We may have the most prolific grapefruit tree in Beverly Hills, possibly in all of Los Angeles County. There’s so much fruit, we can’t give it all away.
Enter Food Forward. This is the brilliant nonprofit that gleans fruit from backyard trees and delivers the bounty to local food banks as well as community special events. So now, we not only can give away the yellow orbs, we can give them away for good.
Thanks to this 60-year-old tree, I’ve also discovered the joy of making marmalade (Grapefruit, vanilla beans, and lots of sugar). And this is where Food Forward steps in again. Their CAN IT! The 2012 LA Foodsteaders Tour is a series of four half-day hands-on workshops that focuses on gourmet jamming, goat cheese-making, backyard orchard care, and raising chickens. The series is also a fund-raising for Food Forward which was founded by Rick Nahmias and the organization’s executive director.
All classes are taught by top home arts teachers or professionals who are certified University of California Cooperative Extension LA County Master Food Preservers. (Please note: This event is not sponsored by UCCE/LA County Master Food Preservers.) Four distinctive private locations will open their doors for the new foodsteaders: an historic estate and creamery in Altadena with its herd of goats; a working home/farm in the West Valley; a farmers market kitchen in Hollywood; and a professional artisanal preserve maker’s workspace in Silver Lake. Each session not only sends you home with knowledge you can use for a lifetime but you bag samples, recipes, canning paraphernalia, and a Foodsteader apron.
Meg Glasser, managing director of Food Forward, created the Foodsteader series. “As a Master Food Preserver, I’ve become friends with a number people working in the artisanal food world who have built businesses based at their own farms and commercial kitchens,” said Glasser. “This series is unique in its Los Angeles focus. It’s a gold mine for anyone interested in learning the art and skill of artisanal food processing and preserving from true innovators.”
Spots are very limited. Tickets are sold as a series and as individual classes. Purchase the series as a group and split up the classes with friends. The price is for one class is $130, two classes $240, three classes is $360, four classes for $475.00. The classes are held Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM. Here is the breakdown of the classes:
CAN IT! raises funds for the non-profit organization Food Forward, which has harvested over 700,000 pounds of backyard fruit and donated it to food pantries and other agencies serving the needs of the hungry in LA. You can purchase tickets here and get more information about it all here.
After a tenure as a product namer and packaging copywriter for a major toy company, a native of Los Angeles (and whose mother is also a native) writer Ellen Lutwak is now concentrating on marketing communications and cause-marketing programs for nonprofits. Her recent public relations efforts have helped promote the work of artist Bendow (OK, that’s her son) and the music of bluesman and storyteller, Mighty Mo Rodgers. She continues to work as a product name consultant and tweets as @NameGirl. As a contributor to Beverly Hills Patch, she focuses on sustainability stories. Lutwak is also a community activist having initiated the Walk to School campaign for her local school district and tweets as @Netwalkers90210 to encourage walking and cycling.