Grab the complete Expo guide in thie week’s Good Times
Hello, and welcome to the Central Coast Home & Garden Expo 2010.
We are very excited to bring you this wonderful expo as spring is in the air and it is time for home improvement projects, planting in the garden and hosting culinary treats for friends and family.
We have some great vendors along with ongoing presentations on three stages.
The Culinary Stage will feature some outstanding chefs. Heather Parsons, executive chef at Cocoanut Grove, will lead the way with her unique approach to preparing culinary delights; Dave Smith, executive chef at Peachwood’s Restaurant will be on hand to discuss the art of preparing a good steak; and master chef, special guest and longtime Santa Cruz food wizard Jozseph “India Joze” Schultz will be on hand. We have a surprise presentation from The Foodies; a new collaborative culinary effort débuting here at the Home & Garden Expo.
The Gardening Stage has Ken Foster of Terra Nova landscaping with the latest on sustainable gardening, Nikos Lynch with a presentation on Great Gardens and Historic Homes in the Monterey Bay. The Monterey Bay Master Gardens, with several presentations, including urban gardening and raising chickens in the backyard. We have Thomas Wittman of Gophers Unlimited and Katia and Alex of the VIVA Gardens radio show on sustainable and edible gardening.
We are very pleased to welcome back Kristin Sullivan who will do a presentation on sustainable home design. Special guest Debra Puterbaugh, longtime interior designer, will give a presentation on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, the new interior design challenge.
These are a few of the ongoing presentations and demonstrations we have for this two-day expo, and as you can see, the Central Coast Home & Garden Expo will be fun for the entire family.
I want to encourage everyone to visit all the vendor booths, ask lots of questions, make new friends and enjoy the pleasant surroundings of the Monterey Bay.
—Gary L. Green, Executive Event Producer
Info: Adults $3 • Children 12 and under free
Free plant for the first 200 people – Fabulous Door Prizes – Home & Garden Gifts
Monterey Bay Master Gardeners
“I have ants,” I confess to Denise Weatherwax, a little embarrassed. “They seem to have invaded the kitchen.”
“That’s OK,” she says kindly. “It’s a big problem this time of year. That’s one of the main questions we’re getting right now on the hotline.”
“We” refers to the Monterey Bay Master Gardeners (MBMG), of which Weatherwax is vice president of the board of directors. MBMG is a state-certified nonprofit agency, run through the University of California Cooperative Extension. Each Master Gardener (MG) goes through four months of classes in order to be certified, and must also complete a certain number of volunteer hours each year to maintain their certification. They also offer grants and advice to other community groups looking to start their own gardens. In addition to staffing a hotline, where amateur gardeners can call in to get answers to common questions, MBMG typically sets up booths at public events statewide. Their booth at the Home & Garden Expo will have at least two Master Gardeners on hand for the entire event to answer questions from the public. Four MGs will also be giving presentations: Barbara Gordon will lecture on urban agriculture and the benefits of growing your own food, Candice MacLaren will provide instructions for raising backyard chickens, Claudia Boulton will speak about water-wise lawn alternatives, and Alicia Molina will discuss promoting sustainability in a home garden.
“We’re a nonprofit, and we’re not selling anything,” Weatherwax explains. “We don’t do commercial establishments or commercial agriculture. We’re just focused on homeowners and their concerns.”
And what are Santa Cruz homeowners most concerned about, garden-wise?
“Gophers,” Weatherwax says without hesitation. “The most common question we get is how to get rid of gophers. We have a brochure on that. A lot of people also ask about garden pests and diseases, ants and aphids. We try to educate people on how to get rid of pests with things that aren’t toxic to the environment.” In addition to bedevilment from gophers and ants, it turns out Santa Cruz gardeners also face the added challenge of micro-climates; growing conditions vary immensely over the space of just a few miles. “I live half a block from the ocean,” Weatherwax says. “It’s never very hot or very cold. It’s a completely different growing climate from Bonny Doon or Scotts Valley. I have a horrible time growing tomatoes. Other people can grow fantastic ones, but I’m just too close to the ocean.” Master Gardeners will frequently ask where in the county aspiring gardeners live, then recommend the best plants for that region.
Weatherwax also notes that Santa Cruz is a Mediterranean-style climate, meaning that we have just two distinct seasons: wet and dry. Besides the actual Mediterranean and the western United States, these types of climates are most commonly seen in Australia and South Africa. Rather than trying to plant a lawn, which doesn’t grow easily in this environment, and is “a huge waste of water,” Weatherwax tries to find Mediterranean-style plants that will bloom year-round and require minimal amounts of water. “Sustainability is really big here, and in many areas of California,” she explains. “And more and more people are becoming interested not just in sustainability, but with what’s in their food. There’s a big movement towards growing your own food, or trying to buy stuff that’s grown as close to you as possible. It reduces our carbon footprint and requires a lot less overhead. And it’s just cheaper to grow your own food. I had lettuce, arugula and chard and broccoli and cauliflower growing all winter, and this year that’s probably about half of what we ate. Really, the best way to control just what goes into your food is to grow it right in your own backyard.”
So this spring, ditch your lawn and grow something delicious. Sound intimidating? Never fear—the Master Gardeners will be there to help. | Anna Merlan
Musician Michael Franti has commented that some day, people will look back on the present time much in the same way that we now look back on the time when whaling was taking place—humans once killed whales for the purpose of lighting streetlamps and making soap. Today, humans still abuse the planet, particularly when it comes to searching for for resources that could easily be replaced by solar power.
Solar Technologies (solartechnologies.com; 421-0440), a local clean energy company whose main focus is to design and install solar electric systems for homes and businesses, is doing its best to remedy that situation. The organization was founded in 1998 by Roger DeNault, who has been active in the solar industry since the 1970s, when he started Santa Cruz County’s first solar company, Altenergy. Not long after, he founded the electric vehicle company ElectroAutomotive, both of which are in Ben Lomond.
As Solar Technologies sales manager Steve Peabody explains, the company strives to make it economically feasible for families and businesses to go solar. “First off, we properly design a system: We work really hard not to oversell or oversize a system,” he says. “We’ll help a customer choose from a variety of products and from system sizes to properly meet their budget and their financial ability.” The company also brings several financing options to the table, including some zero-down situations. Peabody claims that in many cases, the payment on a financing system is similar or even lower than the savings on a PG&E bill.
Solar Technologies will be on hand at the Central Coast Home & Garden Expo 2010, which takes place at the Cocoanut Grove on March 27 and 28. Other participating businesses and presenters include Sustainable & Edible Gardening, Katia & Alex of VIVA Gardens Radio Show & Nature Elements Landscaping, Terra Nova Landscaping’s Ken Foster, Jozseph “India Joze” Schultz and Dave Smith, executive chef at Peachwoods Restaurant. The expo features a $500 cash prize each day, and the first 200 people to arrive will receive a free plant.
Peabody explains that Solar Technologies will have a booth at the expo where they answer people’s questions. “We’ll spend anywhere from a minute to a half-hour with somebody, really going over the intricacies of solar,” he says. The company will have lots of pictures of installed systems to give potential customers a good idea of what such a system might look like on their home.
Local solar expert Joe Jordan will also be giving a talk on behalf of Solar Technologies. His discourse will deal with “the solar, cosmic, planetary, national, personal context of today’s world,” covering such diverse topics as dust storms, solar cooking in Africa and the earth’s shadow on the sky at twilight—the last of these subjects being “a metaphor for the night-and-day difference between our dark, fossil-fueled present and the bright, solar-powered future.”
Peabody, too, has a lot to say about the benefits of going solar. Along with environmental considerations, there’s the financial aspect: “Over the life of the system, you can save thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars.” As utility rates inflate, the solar power user’s savings go up each year. Peabody claims that a solar system will typically pay for itself in anywhere between four and 10 years. Customers also enjoy locked-in electric rates: Instead of having a rate that continues to escalate, they’ve bought equipment that allows them to produce their own power.
Peabody notes that the rebates given to new solar power users by the state of California will be going down soon, so anybody who’s interested in going solar would be well advised to get a reservation in place now so as not to miss the opportunity. He adds that 2010 is probably the best year for people to go solar. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and it’s never been better,” he enthuses. “The prices may be very close to their very bottom.” | J.D. Ramey
Most people don’t give their roof much thought. And if you have a good roof, you shouldn’t need to, according to Warren Knox of Knox Roofing. A roofer for 30 years and a familiar face around town (if you own a TV, chances are you’ve seen his commercials), Knox shares some of his roofing tips here.
“The first thing to know about a roof is that it shouldn’t leak,” says Knox. He continues, “It needs to be fireproof, have a warranty to it if possible, and look nice—it can add curb appeal to a house. It needs to be vented properly for mold. Those are the basics, the generic things that every roof needs to have.”
He says that the life span of a roof ranges anywhere from 20-50 years, and that the difference is who installs it. “Workmanship is key,” says Knox. “The No. 1 failure, 99 percent of the time, is workmanship, not materials.”
So make sure to hire the right company when putting in a new roof. Things to look for: whether they are properly insured, have a good track record and references, are financially stable, are Diamond Certified, and offer good products with warranties.
As for existing roofs, “You don’t want to wait for it to leak before making a decision,” says Knox. “Then you’re repairing sheet rock and damages inside your house. If you don’t get up on your roof yourself, you should have someone come out and inspect it. You’ve got to check on it from time to time to make sure it hasn’t had any wind damage, or a critter, like a raccoon, dug a hole in it, or tree limbs falling on it.”
If you don’t feel like climbing around on your roof (and Knox recommends that you don’t, as it can be dangerous), a little can be learned about the aesthetics from the ground: the uglier the roof gets, the more likely it needs to be changed. If you think there’s damage, Knox Roofing can come out and give you an estimate. And people who have lived in their house for a while can probably tell if something’s up. “Most people have kind of a gut feeling that they need somebody to look at the roof, especially if they’re not able to get on it and clean it themselves,” says Knox.
If you have more questions for Knox or want to see their products, visit their showroom at 46 El Pueblo Road in Scotts Valley. “Knox Roofing would appreciate all available business,” says Knox. “Come up any time and visit with us and look over everything we offer in the roofing and gardening business.”
Knox Roofing will also exhibit at the Home and Garden Expo at the Cocoanut Grove, of which they’re a sponsor. The Expo takes place Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Knox Roofing will have roofing products on display as well as their elaborate and unique birdhouses and the Knox Garden Box. The boxes, which Knox has been building for 40 years, are “elevated redwood and cedar garden boxes for growing your vegetables up off the ground rather than in the ground or raised beds. [They] hide your garden from gophers, dogs, and bad backs.” Go see if Knox can really show you how to grow enough vegetables in the box to feed a family of four. | Melinda Clark
Tips To Keep Your Roof Healthy
1 Pick the right roof and the right company to install it.
2 Maintain it: keep tree branches and other debris off of your roof.
3 Have it inspected periodically for proper caulking around critical areas.
4 That’s it! “You shouldn’t have to do anything after it’s done except keep it clean. It’s choosing the right product and company to begin with and getting warranties from companies that will stay in business,” says Knox.
Skeeter Marazzo and The Foodies
It’s a bright, hot, still afternoon on the back patio at Severino’s Bar and Grill in Aptos, and Skeeter Marazzo is regarding, with no small amount of satisfaction, a plate of salmon in front of him. Pan-seared king salmon, to be exact, dressed with blueberry salsa and candied sea scallops, floating in a sea of white-wine sage butter sauce and garnished with the season’s first spears of asparagus. The salmon and scallops are tender and juicy, the blueberries providing a sweet counterpoint to the creaminess of the sauce. It’s a superb lunch, to be sure. But it also represents the earliest fruits of a much bigger dream.
Marazzo’s dining companions are Paul Zech and Jolie Lindstrom; the three of them, along with Santa Cruz locals D.B. Morris and Marina Marazzo, Skeeter’s daughter, form a group of culinary enthusiasts called The Foodies. Their mission is simple: to spotlight fresh, local, inventive cuisine all over the country, and they’re starting right here in Santa Cruz. All current or former restaurateurs, and hospital industry veterans, dream of creating a television show that will travel the world creating unique dishes with the regional ingredients they discover. “We’re just a group of regular people in the hotel and restaurant business,” Zech says. “But we really saw an opportunity for a great show. People are just so much more interested in food nowadays. They’re mixing different ingredients in ways we never would have dreamed of 10 or 15 years ago.” The salmon dish we’re eating today is Skeeter’s own recipe. “He’s a qualified chef,” Zech explains. “And he’s an expert at coming up with new ideas. Some people are just afraid to do that, to step outside their comfort zone.”
Also joining The Foodies at lunch today is Dan Frazier, food and beverage director at Severino’s, and Chef Antonio Gomez, who prepared the dish today and will do so again at the Home & Garden Expo. “We’ll be serving anywhere from 60 to 260 people,” Skeeter says. “Antonio will be cooking onstage. The set-up will include a special range and a mirror so the audience can see what’s going on.” The Foodies hope that the dish’s presence at the Expo will highlight not just their own work and Severino’s cuisine, but also Santa Cruz County’s unique regional food culture, which they feel has been underexplored.
Zech and Skeeter first met in 1981, when they worked together at a popular restaurant and nightclub in Minneapolis. Zech then moved on to oversee a group of hotels in Santa Cruz County, while Marazzo worked doing musical instrument design for a host of famous musicians, including Prince and Whitney Houston. “I got sick of eating road food every night,” he explains, “Restaurants would open up their kitchens to these touring musicians late at night, and I would cook.” But he continued meeting up with Zech and their other friends in Santa Cruz to cook, eat, and explore the Central Coast’s best restaurants, wineries and farmers’ markets. When they first began to dream of creating a television series to showcase their culinary adventures, Santa Cruz seemed a natural place to begin. “This region of California is absolutely unique,” Skeeter says. “In my mind, there are only two other places like it in the world: Tuscany and Provence. The ocean, the mountains, the award-winning wines, the amazing produce—it’s incredible. We want to expose everything this region has to offer, and hopefully boost tourism to this area. With every episode, we’ll trace the evolution of one dish from the soil to the table.”
Fellow Foodie Lindstrom also praises Central Coast wines. “I’m a wine collector,” she says. “I moved here with about 700 bottles of wine. And the wines here, I can compare them to Chilean wines. They’re very smooth. A lot better than Napa, honestly. This is really an untapped area.” She also points out that the oldest continuously operating vineyard in California, Bargetto Winery, is actually located in Soquel. Though she’s speaking of wine, she sums up the entire mission of The Foodies in just a few simple words. “We really don’t think Santa Cruz County or the Central Coast has really been explored very much, and we want to show people just how much there is to offer here.” | Anna Merlan
One of Santa Cruz’s most beloved chefs and teachers, Jozseph Schultz, is re-opening the restaurant India Joze—a Santa Cruz institution—on May 1. The casual eatery will be at 418 Front Street, a small storefront that currently houses Jumping Monkey. India Joze’s cuisine will span a range in terms of ethnicity and flavor, “super-varied food for any taste or any dietary restriction … a wild mix including dishes for people who like spicy food and those that like mild food,” Schultz says. He always brings a distinctive perspective, whether he’s teaching, cooking, or running a restaurant. “Food is the way I study the whole world. It’s the way I study chemistry, the way I study anthropology, sociology … it’s a lens for looking at other cultures in a way that is useful, different, interesting and memorable.”
Schultz wants to create a space that facilitates community outreach. To host periodic special events, he will borrow a large space to the rear of the dining area. “I think a restaurant should be a place where community comes together.” He hopes that many groups will hold events at India Joze, and that the restaurant’s dining area is filled with people of all kinds. “I don’t want to be exclusive. It’s going to be reasonably priced.”
Schultz was founder and chef of the original India Joze restaurant, which was open from 1972 to 1998. Past India Joze customers are positively electric with excitement at the news that Schultz is returning to the restaurant world. Schultz literally opened up a world for many Santa Cruz residents. In 1972, there was no Thai restaurant here. Thai was one of many cuisines that Schultz featured on the menu; others included Indonesian, Persian and Vietnamese. One popular dish, the Gado Gado Platter, will be on the new India Joze menu. This includes tofu or tempeh, tumis (Indonesian wok vegetables), peanut-coconut sauce, Atjar Kuning (salad with almond sauce and pickled vegetables), egg, and sambal (relish tray). At the former India Joze, many customers tried foods or flavor combinations for the first time. Dishes as varied as Indonesian tamarind tofu and Persian pomegranate-cream lamb appeared on one menu, making it a unique experience. With Schultz at the helm, the new India Joze is sure to do the same.
The restaurant will sell equipment including woks, which Schultz has been selling online to customers across the world for 15 years. “And we’ll be selling the sauces to go, that we are serving at the restaurant,” Schultz adds. “I want to support home cooking.” People can experiment and use sauces with different ingredients at home, or perhaps recreate a dish they’ve tasted at the restaurant. Sauces will include three relishes each from these cuisines: Indian, Indonesian and Middle Eastern.
Schultz, a Santa Cruz resident for 40 years, has always worked to bring people together. The former India Joze offered community events such as a calamari festival, mushroom festival, and various classes. Schultz wrote an international mushroom cookbook that is still popular today. After the restaurant closed, he taught at Cabrillo College for 10 years through its culinary arts program and began an India Joze catering company. He also started leading culinary tours to Bali and Turkey; he really enjoys guiding home cooks via these journeys. In these countries, “… they’ve been doing it for a couple thousand years and have refined the techniques. I see the tours as 24/7 classes.” He currently teaches regularly at UC Santa Cruz (classes are open to the public) and New Leaf Community Market. Recent New Leaf classes included evenings focused on Turkish and Persian cuisines. Kim Beer assists Schultz during catering events and classes. She describes Schultz’s teaching: “People love his classes; they are so much more than just cooking. He brings history, mythology, culture, and personal experience. It’s fascinating.” | Tara Fatemi Walker
You can see Schultz give cooking demonstrations and lectures both afternoons at the Home & Garden Expo this weekend. The theme is easy foods for entertaining, including Vietnamese spring rolls. May 1 is the India Joze grand opening party; watch website indiajoze.com for details. Schultz welcomes people’s input on India Joze’s future offerings; you’re invited to visit the website and fill out an online questionnaire. Also, to raise restaurant capital Schultz is offering gift certificates at 10-20 percent off depending on the amount purchased: contact [email protected]
When perusing the flier for the Central Coast Home & Garden Expo, one might do a doubletake at the line: “Compost Tea, Rejuvenating Soil.” Fortunately, Compost Tea is not some fad health drink—at least, not for people. It’s the soil-enhancing product Caleb Adams and Angus Mills have worked for years to perfect, and that they think can “reduce fertilizer, pesticide and water use while increasing yields and plant health.”
That’s the goal of their company, Liquid BioTech (LBT), which they started about a year-and-a-half ago after seeing “amazing results” in their almost six years of research and experiments with Compost Tea on farms and in their own yards. They put their idea into motion after attending an inspiring class put on by Soil Foodweb, Inc. LBT’s process and equipment designs are “based on the most recent scientific studies conducted by Dr. Elaine Ingham,” president and director of research for Soil Foodweb, Inc., and the world’s leader in soil biology, says LBT.
So what exactly is Compost Tea? It’s a liquid—made by soaking compost in water—that has very high levels of beneficial bacteria, fungus, protozoa, and nematodes that can be “sprayed on plant leaves and put into drip systems,” says Adams, noting that some of the benefits includes the reducing disease. It also “holds water, so it reduces the water required and [it leads to] healthier plants with higher yields.” It improves soil quality as well.
While compost tea itself is not necessarily a new concept, Liquid BioTech has taken it a step further by creating a commercially available product made from high-quality, all-vegetarian compost. Adams elaborates: “It’s a quality product without any of the negative results—with manures, there can be disease. We have a specific protocol for making our product and very specific equipment. It’s all very sanitary. Everything we make we have tested. With this new method we can guarantee there are no diseases.”
Compost Tea is hard to produce commercially, since it has a very short shelf life. But that doesn’t stop LBT. “We only keep our product on the market for one week,” Adam says. “It doesn’t matter how much we sell, any leftover product we pull and put on our gardens. But most of the time we sell out in a couple of days and have to do extra deliveries.”
The future seems to hold good things for the company, as they’re looking at expanding and hiring their first employees next year (it’s currently just Adams and Mills). Which seems to support their business plan of “trying to use capitalism to improve the environment,” says Adams. “Agriculture can’t change unless it’s because of money.” That’s why he and Mills wanted to create a successful business selling an affordable alternative to conventional methods—a product that can cut fertilizer and pesticide use, improve degraded soil, and reduce ground water pollution and loss of soil while increasing crop yields.
Find out more about Compost Tea at the Central Coast Home & Garden Expo, where Adams will give a talk. (See schedule.) LBT will most likely have a booth showing off some of their equipment, such as their brew your own Compost Tea kits, which come with instructions and a batch of their specially made, high-quality compost. | Melinda Clark
See the H&G schedule for speaking times. Learn more at liquidbiotech.org or email [email protected]
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