To a Fruitful February!

Hello Fruitlings-

We’d like to kick off this zesty monthly edition of Fresh Juice, by welcoming Erica Gaetano, our new Projects & Partnerships Manager. Erica, who has a juicy background of non-profit work with groups like Kiva and Charity: Water, will be overseeing our corporate sponsorships, Private Picks, social enterprises and events, such as the upcoming SPRING MELT. Welcome Erica!

(From this fab-o pose – Erica atop ladder – we predict it won’t be long before she is swinging in the trees beside y’all.)

Speaking of Erica and the SPRING MELT, we are in the early stages of planning our 3rd annual spring event for late April. Erica is now assembling a volunteer committee to help out with everything from event coordination to décor to our silent auction.  If you have skills, contacts, and/or a few hours to offer over the next couple of months, please EM Erica at and she’ll help you find a way to get involved with this incredible event. For those of you who haven’t been, the event gets its name from an annual night of gourmet grilled cheeses offered by chef Annie Miler of Clementine – whom we are thrilled to have back again for 2013.

As we’ve put on the finishing touches over the past few weeks, we’ve been simmering with anticipation to announce: Food Forward’s CAN IT! ACADEMY. This year we will extend our mission of eradicating food waste and building community with this pair of innovative educational programs.

Building on two prior years of sold out success, the 2013 FOODSTEADER TOUR presents a quarterly series (that can also be taken as individual classes) offering explorations of food crafting with locally celebrated food artisans and food entrepreneurs, on location in their own kitchens and farms across the Southland. This year’s tour will give you inside looks at everything from coffee to tomatoes to artisanal ice cream and jam making.

And the all-new FOOD PRESERVATION AND COTTAGE ARTS CERTIFICATE PROGRAM is a 12-week series taught by Southern California’s foremost food preserving expert, Chef Ernest Miller (who for the past three years has been the chef at The Farmers Kitchen and lead instructor for the UC Cooperative Extension/LA County Master Food Preserver Program). The course will dig deep into myriad aspects of food preservation, including the nitty-gritty implications of the newly enacted California Cottage Food Law (AB1616) as it relates to opening small food businesses. The class runs Tuesday evenings at 6 to 10 pm from March 26th through June 11th at The Gourmandise School located in The Marketplace at Santa Monica. As you know, we do not do things half way at Food Forward – so we are not exaggerating when we tell you this will be the most in-depth and hands-on course currently being offered in Southern California on food preserving and is designed for the burgeoning professional, the serious hobbyist, and/or the passionate amateur. We are delighted that Chef Miller chose our CAN IT! ACADEMY as the only place he’ll offer his comprehensive and extended food preserving course in 2013.  Topics will include jams/jellies, fermentation, liqueurs/infusions, curing, bread making, and other artisanal preservation methods.  For a detailed curriculum click here.


Please note that SPACES ARE LIMITED for both the 2013 Foodsteader Tour and the Food Preservation & Cottage Arts Program.  As a Fresh Juice subscriber you are getting 3 DAYS ADVANCE NOTICE ahead of the general public. We suggest you take advantage and purchase your tickets now! Just think what a wonderful VALENTINES DAY GIFT this would be for your main squeeze!


Before we send you off into February fruit bliss, we want to give you a quick update on the happenings in Ventura County, courtesy of the lovely Martha Penhall and her merry band of Mandarin maniacs. For starters: last year FF VC harvested over 93,000 lbs of fresh local fruit – nearly 400,000 servings all of which went to Ventura County’s hungry. This past month, “The Gleaner” martini made its debut at Café Firenze (Moorpark) and Osteria Firenze (Toluca Lake) with $5 from each cocktail sold going to FF. Thanks to Fabio Viviani and all of you who raised your glasses to us. And to top it off, Edible Ojai recently published a feature story on FF VC! For more news on FF Ventura County and ways you can get more involved as a Pick Leader or volunteer, please email Martha directly at In Martha’s words, “A year ago I would never have believed we would be this far along in our VC branch growth. Thanks for all your support and dedication.”

One last thing before we get on to that juicy calendar of events… check out the latest FRUIT OF THE MONTH! Everyone’s favorite, Avocados!

Here’s to a Fruitful February….

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1 thought on “To a Fruitful February!”

  1. Trendlike says:

    Great information! This is exactly what I was looking for, but could not find. Thank you.

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