Sustain Supper
Dining Reviews

Homeless Garden Project’s Annual Farm Feast

Plus an Aptos wine safari

Chefs at the Homeless Garden Project’s annual fundraiser, the Sustain Supper.

Dining with friends, seated outdoors a stone’s throw from the ocean in organic fields in full bloom. It doesn’t get much better—except it does.

Guests at the June 15 Sustain Supper at the Homeless Garden Project’s Natural Bridges Farm will also enjoy live music, a farm tour, a four-course meal with special wine pairings, and engaging talks about sustainability from eco-advocate Nell Newman and environmentalist Kat Taylor. This is the farm-to-table dinner of the season, offering an opportunity to see the field operation of this training site for individuals experiencing homelessness while also being re-inspired by charismatic speakers, gorgeous dishes prepared on the spot, and connecting with old and new colleagues. It has come to be my favorite benefit event, at which I’ve had incredible food, met local growers, winemakers, restaurateurs, politicians, and fallen in love with the land all over again.

Ms. Taylor and Ms. Newman are inspiring, accomplished community-minded leaders with a passion for social justice and sustainable agriculture. And they serve as co-chairs of the Pogonip Farm Capital Campaign’s honorary committee.
Chefs for this unforgettable event include John Paul Lechtenberg of Hollins House, who will be preparing the entrée.  Peter Henry from Cremer House will finesse the event’s appetizers, and salad will be created by Kendra Baker of Penny Ice Creamery. Luci Sandoval of Wind & Rye Kitchen is in charge of dessert, and you can be sure that all the ingredients involved in the procession of beautiful spring dishes will be ultra-fresh, and utterly organic. The folk duo Hazy Hill, with Wesley Somers on the fiddle and Mathew Harmon on the guitar and bouzouki, will provide traditional Irish and American tunes in their own California style.
Definitely bring layers for the farm’s micro-climate, which morphs from warm sun to soft-focus fog. Tickets cost $150 and benefit Homeless Garden Project programs.

Sustain Supper, Saturday, June 15, from 4-7:30 p.m. Delaware Avenue and Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz. homelessgardenproject.org.

Lester Wine Safari

Here’s some tasty news for fans of the exceptional varietals from Lester Estate Wines. The invitingly named Safari Wine Adventure promises to be a memorable wine tasting trek in the vineyards. Up to eight guests at a time will tour the 210-acre estate while enjoying a gourmet picnic.
Meet at the rustic tasting barn, and begin the adventure with a walking tour of the nearby vineyards (famed for the magic touch of viticulturist Prudy Foxx). From there, board Lester Estate’s lovingly restored 1981 Land Rover Defender, known as “The Ranch Rover” for an adventure through Deer Park Ranch on Pleasant Valley Road in Aptos. Your tour will include a trip to the top of Elephant Hill offering panoramic views of Corralitos, Pleasant Valley and Monterey Bay, as well as exploration of hidden meadows, redwood groves and oak forests. Safari-goers are encouraged to wear sturdy walking shoes and a brimmed hat. Pith helmets, and a sense of fun, are welcomed.

Safari Wine Adventures will be offered the first two Saturdays each month at 1 and 3:30 p.m. $65. Reservations at deerparkranch.com/contact.

Christina Waters was born in Santa Cruz and raised all over the world (thanks to an Air Force dad), with real-world training in painting, music, winetasting, trail running, organic gardening, and teaching. She has a PhD in Philosophy, teaches in the Arts at UCSC and sings with the UCSC Concert Choir. Look for her recent memoir “Inside the Flame” at bookstores everywhere.

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