Coffee Tasting with Victor Castro | Aug 30 | Oakland, Calif

Posted in: News   Topics: Coffee, Events,

AgroEco coffee now being sold by CAFE PANAMERICANO at the Phat Beets Farmers Market in Oakland!!  Coffee-tasting this Saturday at 1 pm (August 30) with CAN’s Victor Castro. Learn about AgroEco® Coffee, direct trade, and agroecology. Buy a bag of coffee, or two!

Phat Beets Farmers Market
Sat Aug 30 9:30 am-2:30 pm; Victor’s tasting at 1 pm
(Near Destiny Art Center)
970 Grace Ave.
North Oakland, California


News Update: Youth Leadership & Food Sovereignty Project

Last year CAN’s partner organization in San Ramón, the UCA San Ramón, worked with women in the eight coffee cooperatives participating in our Youth Leadership & Food Sovereignty Project there to collect traditional and new recipes that take advantage of the rich variety of fruits and vegetables available locally in home gardens and coffee shade trees being promoted by the project. The result was the Food Security and Sovereignty Cookbook and Guide (the Guide), complete with recipes and nutrition guidelines. Earlier this year CAN was ecstatic to receive a donation of 150 printed copies of the Guide from the group of community volunteers working with the Dignity Health Marian Regional Medical Center (Dignity Health) in Santa Maria, California.

This month the UCA San Ramón organized a workshop with the women beneficiaries of the project to reflect on the process of developing the guide and distribute copies to the women. Together, the women at the workshop developed a set of reflections and commitments around the usage of the Guide:

  • Take care of the Guide in their homes
  • Apply recipes in the Guide in their daily family food preparation.
  • Have cooking days with their families to share the knowledge with them.
  • Hold more workshops to deepen knowledge around the topic of good nutrition presented in the Guide.
  • Utilize as much as possible the wide variety of vegetables and fruits available now in the gardens and fruit trees to prepare the recipes.
  • Assure the availability of a diverse array of food year round by planting gardens year round and planting new vegetables and plants that are not yet grown in the gardens.
  • Use the parts of the plants that usually go to waste but are useful in the recipes (like beet greens and other greens).
  • Have the youth leaders in each cooperative lead more activities to promote continued application of the knowledge and recipes in the Guide in each cooperative.  



Santo Domingo Hosts World Cocoa Foundation Meeting on Sustainability – Sacramento Bee

Santo Domingo Hosts World Cocoa Foundation Meeting on Sustainability
Sacramento Bee
The agenda features topics including the Dominican Republic's cocoa sector transformations, gender, trends in specialty cocoas, agroforestry, cocoa genetics, technological advances, Latin America's role in the global cocoa sector and more. Perspectives

and more »

Harvest Festival Coming Up on September 29

Bright orange pumpkins, roasted red peppers, and apples galore mark the changing seasons at the 19thannual Fall Harvest Festival, coming up on Sunday, September 29 at UC Santa Cruz’s 30-acre organic farm.

The festival features live music from reggae to bluegrass, along with hay rides, kids’ crafts, workshops, tours, pumpkin and produce sales, and campus and community group information tables.

Visitors of all ages are invited to sample more than 25 apple varieties, savor roasted peppers, enter the pie baking contest, try their hand at pressing cider, scale the climbing wall, and enjoy locally sourced, tasty treats.

Also on tap—workshops on making salsa, growing and using peppers, saving seeds, creating popcorn treats, and understanding permaculture design, along with farm tours and an herb walk through the garden.

The festival will take place at the UC Santa Cruz Farm on Sunday, September 29, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for UCSC students, kids 12 and under, and for members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden; general admission is $5. See below for a full schedule of the day’s events.

Want so see how your favorite apple pie recipe measures up? Be sure to enter the Apple Pie Contest by 12:30 pm (see rules, below).

The Harvest Festival is cosponsored by the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), UCSC’s Measure 43, and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden, with major support from Driscoll’s, and additional support from New Leaf Community Markets, Tradin Organics, and Veritable Vegetable. People Power will provide free valet parking for bicycles.

Click here for directions to the UCSC Farm. Free parking will be available at the Campus Facilities and Barn Theater parking lots, and a free shuttle will be available. For more information call (831) 459-3240 or email

2013 Harvest Festival Schedule


Feed Me Jack          11:00 – 12:00

The Downbeets       12:15 – 1:30

Live Elk                      1:45 – 2:45

Kinetic Poetics         3:00 – 3:25

Ancestree Reggae   3:30 – 5:00

Activities, tours, workshops

Apple and Pepper Variety Tasting                          11:30 – 4:00

Apple Pie Contest Bake-Off (entry deadline)       12:30

Salsa It Up!                                                                    12:00 – 1:00
Crystal Owings, Food Systems Working Group

Guided Tours of the UCSC Farm                              12:30 and 4 pm

Popcorn Palooza                                                         1:15 – 2:15
Austin Lewis, Food Systems Working Group

Herb Talk & Walk through the Garden                2:00 – 3:00
Darren Huckle, Western/Chinese herbalist & licensed acupuncturist

Introduction to Permaculture Design                  3:00 – 3:45
David Shaw, UCSC Common Ground Center

Pepper Talk: Varieties and How to Use Them      3:30 – 4:00
Orin Martin, manager of the Alan Chadwick Garden

Seed Saving and Cleaning Workshop                    4:00 – 5:00
Cole Thomas and Connor Spears, Demeter Seed Project

Official Rules for the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden Apple Pie Contest

Pie entries accepted 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Official judging begins at 12:45 p.m.

Winners will be announced at between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

1. The Friends of Farm and Garden Apple Pie Bake-Off is a nonprofessional baking competition open to Harvest Festival attendees (entry to the Harvest Festival is $5; free admission for UCSC students, Friends of the Farm & Garden members and for children 12 and under).

2. Contestants are responsible for submitting a written (preferably typed) recipe with their pie.

3. Contestants are responsible for supplying all ingredients and baking the pie prior to bringing it to the contest.

4. All entries in this contest must be homemade.

5. A representative of the Friends of the Farm & Garden will assign each contestant a number. Contestants should verify that the number on the bottom of their container is the same number assigned by the representative.

6. Contestants’ entries are judged on taste, presentation, and creativity.

7. The decision of the judges shall be final. Pie not consumed during judging will be returned to the contestant.

All pies must be entered by 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 29, at the Fall Harvest Festival, UCSC Farm. For questions or additional copies of the rules, call (831) 459-3240 or e-mail

International Cocoa Community Convenes In Santo Domingo With A Focus On … – Sacramento Bee

International Cocoa Community Convenes In Santo Domingo With A Focus On
Sacramento Bee
The agenda for the Meeting covers topics including Latin America's role in the global cocoa sector, gender and cocoa, community development in cocoa-growing areas, agroforestry, cocoa genetics, technological advances and more. Speakers for the event 

Viewpoints: Why overlook agriculture in considering climate change? – Sacramento Bee

Viewpoints: Why overlook agriculture in considering climate change?
Sacramento Bee
That's just one element of a paradigm shift that Pollan and other experts, including Dennis Garrity, the former director general of the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, Kenya, and Hans Herren of the Millennium Institute in Washington, D.C., are

Macroinvertebrate metrics and their integration for assessing the ecological status and biocontamination of Lithuanian lakes

Available online 28 February 2013
Publication year: 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters

We present an assessment system for determining the ecological status (eutrophication and land use pressures) and non-indigenous macroinvertebrate species (NIMS) specific deviation from naturalness of Lithuanian lakes, using semi-quantitative sampling of littoral macroinvertebrates. This system includes two integrated indices, the multimetric Lithuanian Lake Macroinvertebrate Index (LLMI) and the Fauna Autochthony Index (FAI). The LLMI, developed for the assessment of ecological status, averages four metrics: the conventional Average Score Per Taxon (ASPT) and the first Hill’s number (H 1 ), as well as the newly validated number of Coleoptera, Ephemeroptera and Plecoptera taxa (#CEP) and the proportion of Coleoptera, Odonata and Plecoptera individuals (COP). Furthermore, the metrics of biocontamination were transformed into the WFD-compliant FAI for the NIMS-specific naturalness evaluation. The LLMI had significant correlations with total phosphorus, total nitrogen, chlorophyll a , biochemical oxygen demand, water transparency, the morphoindex and the combined trophomorphoindex. Relationships between the LLMI or its core metrics and biocontamination were not found; thus the LLMI and the FAI are not interdependent and have the advantage of separately accounting for pressures requiring different management techniques. Variation of the LLMI and the FAI did not differ between stony/pebbly and vegetated littoral mesohabitats suggesting that any of the mesohabitats or a multihabitat sampling technique can be suitable for a reliable evaluation of lake status. Aquatic beetles revealed themselves as good indicators of the trophic status, while caddisflies and conventional macroinvertebrate metrics ETO and EPT proved unworkable. The ineffectiveness of the latter metrics may be due to the relatively low trophic level in most of the studied lakes which resulted in an increment of caddisfly metrics with an increase of nutrient loads, as well as due to the susceptibility of caddisflies to the invasive species, the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha and amphipod Pontogammarus robustoides .

Decoys could blunt spread of ash-killing beetles

As the emerald ash borer ravages North American ash trees, threatening the trees’ very survival, a team of entomologists and engineers may have found a way to prevent the spread of the pests. “Within 25 years, practically no ash trees may remain on either side of the St. Lawrence Seaway,” said Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State.

Ecological Farming Association to offer conference fellowships – Lake County Record-Bee

Ecological Farming Association to offer conference fellowships
Lake County Record-Bee
The EFA, along with the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, the Community Alliance for Family Farmers and California Certified Organic Farmers, received a $665,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beginning Farmer and

Chemical and biological benefits in a stormwater wetland in Kalmar, SE Sweden

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Jan Herrmann
A manmade stormwater wetland in Kalmar, SE Sweden, sized 1 ha and receiving water from residential and road areas, was monitored over the first years after inundation with respect to chemistry and biology. Water flow and chemistry was analysed in years 2–4, mainly on a monthly basis, but, in the final year, every second month. This revealed that total nitrogen, according to the Swedish Environmental Quality Criteria (EQC), typically showed moderate or high concentrations, whereas total phosphorous levels were very high or extremely high. Metal (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn) concentrations were low or moderate in terms of EQC. Yearly average reduction of nitrogen was 173 kg ha−1 y−1, tending to increase over time, and for phosphorous 12.1 kg ha−1 y−1, tending to decrease. Vegetation analysis was performed in years 1–4 by noting all species in 27 consecutive zones around the wetland system. This showed that one year after filling with water, the vegetation was already well established with >30 plant species in the entire pond system, and this increased only slightly. After four years, the shoreline vegetation cover had become denser, especially with larger graminoids such as common reed ( Phragmites australis ) and sea club-rush ( Bolboschoenus maritimus ), and submersed vegetation almost disappeared. There was a tendency for common species to become more dominant, and for less common species to become rarer. Using sweep net sampling of benthic invertebrates during years 0–2, ca 50 species/higher taxa were observed during the first year, largely because of the appearance of many beetles, especially dytiscids. However, these decreased the following years. Apart from these animals, in the first few months the invertebrate colonisation was dominated by chironomids and corixids, whereas later prominent increases were noticed for the isopod Asellus aquaticus , the snail Physa fontinalis , and the mayfly nymph Cloeon dipterum . The results are discussed in terms of wetland values for biodiversity and nutrient reduction, suggesting that these objectives seem possible to combine in stormwater wetlands.

It’s going to be a very good year!

This year looks to be my best yet for growing food. The warm winter, followed by a wet spring, resulted in blossoms galore and lots of soil moisture for my plants. Following is a sampling of fruits and veggies on their way, in various states of growth. Enjoy this beauty from my garden that I get to enjoy every day. As always, you can click on any photo to see a larger version.

Baby plums


Beet sprouts

Baby apples

Apriums–only my second year of these sweet-tart taste bombs.

String bean sprout–first time I’ve been on the ball early enough to plant these from seed.

Blackberry vine–my old standby.

Baby grapes. This is my first year to harvest grapes after several years of growing out the vines. Looks like I’ll have a bumper crop!

I’ve got a good crop of spiders, too! I think these are the orb weavers that are all over my garden later in the summer.