Category Archives: Grow Riverside

Community Development Block Grant Public Meetings

Check out the link for the meeting dates in each ward.  Wed Oct. 14th is the first meeting.

This is a check off the public participation box. It’s also our chance to ask about projects different communities want funded. Make your input known. There are numerous local food, recreation, environmental and social development projects worthy of consideration.

Community Development Block Grant Public Meetings

Next Grow Riverside Community Event Looking For Growers

January 30, 2016 was a night of inspired minds and happy taste buds.  GrowRIVERSIDE partnered with Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) to present an eventful farm-to-fork event called Dinner in the KITCHEN, featuring mocktails, entertainment and idea generation.Located at RUSD’s Central Kitchen, the event featured food from their farm-to-fork school program, which supplies fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, meats and beans from local farms and connects them directly with students in their daily lunches.

Learn more

Local Food Movement Celebrates Milestones In Riverside

Gurumantra Khalsa – Riverside, CA

Local Food Movement Celebrates Milestones In Riverside

Riverside’s Food Systems Alliance (RFSA) held their first gathering of 2016 on January 27.  We met to celebrate our achievements. We also discussed opportunities and shared our aspirations for a vibrant, local food economy with the community members.

RFSA Exec Dir Seth Wilson Community WelcomeRFSA Executive Director Seth Wilson welcomed a full-house of enthusiastic, local food supporters. He condensed three years of extraordinary achievements since the first Grow Riverside in 2014. Then he introduced the diverse and growing numbers of local food growers and vendors in attendance to a receptive crowd.

The evening was hosted by Robin Meadows from Health’s Kitchen. Seth Wilson Introducing Robin MeadowsHealth’s Kitchen is the third local-food-friendly restaurant to open in Riverside. Robin joins Jesse Casillas of Wood Fire Cafe and Ronaldo Fierro of The Salted Pig as pioneers in Riverside’s growing local food, gastro pub scene. Robin served a menu of appetizers including a vegan pate with a forest of baby beet greens, veggies, dip, and crackers like nothing you’ve ever eaten before. The food was delightful.

Laurie Goalen-Anderson of Eta Maie Gourmet, a cottage food artisan specializing in homemade jams and preserves using seasonal, locally grown fruits; Janice Lake of Goat Rodeo Soap which is made from her goats’ milk; and Jacob Guiterrez of The Beautiful Olive who has a range of flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars, representing a new wave of micro agri-economic development start ups based on locally sourced ingredients.

When asked about what their dreams are for the next 18 months to five years, “a second location”, “becoming the official jam of Riverside”, “keeping my goats healthy” or “being picked up by Whole Foods Market” were among the aspirations shared with the audience.

Nick Melquiades and Sue Struthers of the Riverside Food Co Op were right at home. About 30% of the attendees raised their hands showing their membership in the Co Op. Nick shared an inspiring story about how their support for the East Side Heal Zone initiative has increased awareness, and more importantly, delivered more access to locally grown food to communities where healthy food choices have been limited.

Programs like Weekly Harvest, a 10-week series of sessions with a weekly bag of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and workshops on good food habits, plus the Al Centro Mini-Produce Stand at Bobby Bonds Park, 2060 University Ave, Saturdays from 9:30AM-12:30PM until March 26, 2016 are filling a need and satisfying a common mission.

Scott Brendt of Fox Farm, Gabriel Ruiz of Unity Farm and Deborah Ghamlouch from The Grove Farm as well as the restaurant owners shared their desire for a food hub. Food hubs make for more efficient sourcing and distribution of locally grown food into local markets.

.Gabriel Ruiz, a certified organic farmer, said that the majority of his clients are in Orange County and that “chefs really appreciate the taste difference made by vegetables picked at times only twenty minutes before delivery.”

Why should Gabriel be taking his produce to O.C.? A food hub would offer the opportunity to expand capacity and develop Riverside markets more quickly. What If Riverside’s Restaurant Week chefs knew they could have fresh produce picked twenty minutes before delivery? What if they could specify crops that were grown just for them? What would “Riverside Grown” taste like in Riverside’s restaurants? Definitely food for thought.

Joyce Jong of Jongs.com, who offers natural and organic f​​ertilizers, biological amendments, and compost tea brewing supplies, and Chris MacArthur, a greenbelt orange grower, rounded out the panel. Chris was celebrating having his orange crop picked. He reminded everyone that there is simply nothing on earth that tastes as good as Riverside orange juice. Nodding heads and recalled memories seemed the norm. This is another crop that can be easily integrated into local restaurants. Frozen or world class fresh? You choose.

Joyce also manages the local food initiative for the City and Councilman MacArthur has been a long time Green Belt advocate.They represent the depth and the hybrid nature of collaborative connections which have sprouted from Grow Riverside.

Diana Ruiz from the Riverside Corona Resource Conservation District announced the development of a Riverside Local Food and Green Guide and encouraged all stakeholders to claim their free listing.

“If this first community gathering of 2016 is any indication, we’re on the right track,” said RFSA Chair Gurumantra Khalsa. “Creating a world being well begins with what we eat.”, he added.

RFSA is creating a multitude of channels for expanding opportunities and influence. These come from growing, processing, distributing, selling, sharing and eating locally produced food. The more opportunities we create, the more community value we create.

RFSA’s secret sauce to engage community is to meet, mix and mingle over a shared appreciation for local food. That’s how some of the best ideas, insights, and new possibilities are germinated.

RFSA Chair Khalsa reminded everybody that our local food future is now. He said, “Your presence is the evidence that this is what it looks like when it’s working.”

For more ways to connect and get engaged, join us for these upcoming community events and opportunities.

Enjoy an evening of friends, entertainment, fabulous locally-sourced food and mocktails at Riverside Unified School District’s Central Kitchen on Saturday, January 30, 2016.

Keeping aligned with the GrowRIVERSIDE initiative, the evening will connect those working together to strengthen our community for a sustainable future!

Check out the events at Grow Riverside 2016

Community Gathering Feb. 24th – A preview of Grow Riverside 2016.

Community Gathering Mar 4th – A Grower’s Forum

Grow Riverside Conference Mar 21

Citrus Circle Dinner – Mar 21

Farm Tour – Mar 22

Green Riverside Festival and Summit – April 23

Join The Riverside Food Co Op

Like the Riverside Food Systems Alliance

 

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Building Riverside’s Local Food Future

Wear Your Stretchy Pants!  Join Us In Building Riverside’s Local Food Future

Showcasing the Bounty of Locally-Grown Fruits and Vegetables

Grow Riverside Community Dinner RUSD KitchenMeet Chef Ryan Douglas. His accomplishments have been admired on several levels including commendation from First Lady Michelle Obama and an invitation to help launch the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. Chef Ryan is the culinary ambassador and professional expert chef for the FRESH Meals @ Schools project administered by the California Department of Agriculture.

Saturday evening’s locally-sourced menu will be specially prepared by RUSD’s Executive Chef Ryan Douglas and staff. As Executive Chef, Douglas creates fun, fresh menus to positively impact the health and well-being of the 43,000+ students across the district. With more than 30 years of experience in institutional cooking, kitchen management, and senior administration, Chef Ryan’s expertise in culinary arts and nutrition provides inspiration to recipe platforms showcasing the bounty of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Enjoy a delicious sampling of the locally-sourced talents at this Saturday’s Dinner in the KITCHEN from 5:30 to 9:30 pm. This is a farm-to-fork meal you do not want to miss (and come wearing your stretchy pants)!

Tickets for Dinner in the KITCHEN are available HERE.

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet for the 3rd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: Cultivating Our Future, it’s not too late to catch the early bird special!  Learn more

   

Dinner In The Kitchen

Dinner In The Kichen

RUSD Central Kitchen Food MasteryEnjoy an evening of friends, entertainment, fabulous locally-sourced food and mocktails at Riverside Unified School District’s Central Kitchen on Saturday, January 30, 2016.

Keeping aligned with the GrowRIVERSIDE initiative, the evening will connect those working together to strengthen our community for a sustainable future!

Check out upcoming Grow Riverside 2016 events

Community Gathering Feb. 24th – A preview of Grow Riverside 2016.

Community Gathering Mar 4th – A Grower’s Forum

Grow Riverside Conference Mar 21

Citrus Circle Dinner – Mar 21

Farm Tour – Mar 22

Riverside Green Fest and Summit – April 23

Join The Riverside Food Co Op

Like the Riverside Food Systems Alliance