It’s become one of the most memorable dining experiences of the season, the Sustain Supper held in, by, and for the Homeless Garden Project.
This year’s dinner in the fields, on July 14, begins at 4 p.m. with an informal tour of the vibrant gardens that helps orient visitors about the land, the harvests, the staff, and how the whole thing works. Prepare to be inspired by the tales of those whose lives have been changed by working this land. And prepare to be very well fed! Wine and live music lead into the sit-down dinner itself, where four courses are served along with matching wines. Brief talks and testimonials on farm and environment topics we all care about lead up to this year’s keynote speaker, Congressman Jimmy Panetta, a man passionately devoted to sustainable farming in California. At the Sustain Suppers in years past I’ve reconnected with old friends, met plenty of new neighbors, and been treated to some outstanding dishes made by local chefs. This year’s Sustain Supper begins with appetizers made by Steve Wilson from Cafe Cruz. Salads of fresh greens and herbs grown on the Homeless Garden fields will be created by Sarah LaCasse of Earthbound Farms. Vegan dishes will be made by Emilse Pereira Beck of San Francisco’s FoodZense. Beck studied culinary arts in Buenos Aires, cooked at Nobu in London and Gary Danko in San Francisco, and now teaches nutrition to various nonprofit institutions.
Expect plenty of flavor and ingredient surprises at this dinner, which will include a non-vegan entree as well. Outdoor grilling and pit roasting is almost always involved. Dessert, once again, will be finessed by Aubergine’s Yulanda Santos, who wowed participants last year with her amazing lemon cream cake and fresh strawberries. Organic coffee and teas are provided by Alta Organic Coffee Warehouse & Roasting Co. The day will be atmospheric, as only a long afternoon enjoying fields overlooking the ocean can be. Prepare for lots of sunshine, and a bit of inevitable fog toward evening. The four-course meal, wine, tours, and talks are priced at $150 each, and they are going quickly! 4-7:30 p.m. July 14, Shaffer Road at Delaware Avenue. homelessgardenproject.org.
The Felton Farmers Market is one of the best excuses to visit the San Lorenzo Valley’s home of redwood forests and laidback beauty. For more than 25 years the Market has been hosting the best of summer season produce, fruits, vegetables, herbs, eggs, and flowers. The selection is broad and filled with fresh flavors. But it’s not just seasonal produce, tempting you to purchase, take home, and enjoy in your own kitchen. The Tuesday Felton Farmers Market has expanded into a showcase for regional organic growers as well as food artisans who always seem to have some new concept for market-goers to try. I adore the small-batch ice cream from Penny Ice Creamery (look for the honey yogurt persimmon flavor!). And the incredible aromas and flavors of the rotisserie chicken from Roli Roti. Fresh catch seafoods, pastured meats, pastries and breads, plus the perfect summertime drinks from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and Santa Cruz Cider. Of course we all know the real reason it’s become a ritual with residents to hit the farmers market every week—the chance to meet the growers and producers and to catch up with our neighbors. Felton Farmers Market is 2:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays (through October) 120 Russell Ave., Felton (just off Highway 9, halfway between Cremer House and Henry Cowell Park).