Green Gulch’s Abiding Abess, Eijun Linda Cutts, kicked off the official festivities by introducing founding gardener Wendy Johnson. Johnson discussed the inspiring history of the farm, including its longstanding altruistic works. Green Gulch has partnered with a variety of nonprofits over the decades, providing produce and educational services to groups like Project Open Hand and The Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley. From an early stage, Johnson said the farm’s main question was: “How do we get beautiful food to a hungry world?”
Abiding Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts
Sara Tashker, current head of Green Gulch Farm, and Dave Stockdale, head of CUESA in San Francisco, later spoke on the importance of farms and farmers’ markets in connecting the public with the food they consume. Both touched on themes of community and connection, and Stockdale, whose organization runs the regular Ferry Building farmers’ markets, closed by calling the market “a place of inspiration.”
Dave Stockdale and Sara Tashker
Eric Gower, cookbook author and founder of Breakaway Foods, took the microphone to discuss the stress-relieving aspects of preparing our own meals. He strongly advocated carving enough time out of your day to cook, suggesting we should all learn to expand our typically rote repertoires of five to eight go-to meals. Gower, whose company now traffics in the green tea powder matcha, served his product to attendees after the feast was through.
The last speaker was Olivia Maki, event coordinator at 18 Reasons, who tied together the day’s themes of connecting with farmers, being aware of your food’s origins, building awareness among the consuming public, and, ultimately “making food you’re proud to have on the table.”
Speaking of food on the table, the multicourse feast designed by Somerville -- and executed by Aaron Jonas Catering -- was simple rustic fare, prepared with produce from Green Gulch and other local farms. This included a baby gems salad with organic figs and local feta; a Moroccan tagine with baby carrots, turnips, potatoes, leeks and fennel; green beans with toasted almonds; and cheesecake topped with raspberries and blueberries.
Little Gem salad with figs and feta
Moroccan tagine with green beans and quinoa
Cheesecake with seasonal fruit
The event also included periodic tours of the farm, a special daylong children’s program, and a raffle for prizes such as a tasting menu dinner at Greens. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the renovation of Green Gulch’s Cloud Hall, the largest residential structure on the farm.