San Diego County's food media company
NO. 60 • WINTER 2020-2021
MEMBER OF EDIBLE COMMUNITIES
edible SAN DIEGO®
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 1
IN THIS ISSUE
4 Editor’s Note
6 Gather: Restoring Native American Foodways
22 Local Markets Guide
PREP (FOR REAL LIFE)
24 Manifesting 101
12 How to Sustainably Farm in the City
17 Building a Better Meat System
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON EDIBLESANDIEGO.COM
• Ultimate Instant Pot Guide
• The New Vegan Guard at Grossmont Center Food Court
• How to Start a Raised Bed Garden in Seven Steps
• 10-Minute Vegan Soba Salad
• Cooking to Promote Plant-Based Food Options
Living Local Podcast
• Thai Cooking School: How to Make
Tom Yum Nam Khon at Home
• How to Make a Savory Superfood Turmeric
Sweet Potato Spread
• How to Make Lemon Pepper Tuna and
White Bean Tartine
• How to Make a Super-Soothing Golden Chai
• How to Make Winter Citrus and Radicchio Salad
ON THE COVER
Food is as diverse as we all are.
We are what we eat. What are you made of?
Thank you to Haley Hazell for interpreting
our need for whimsy this issue.
Safe Outdoor Dining,
Stunning Coastal Views,
Uniquely California Cuisine
ARValentien.com | (858) 777-6635
LTP ARV_Edible_June2020.indd 1
7/10/2020 7:58:22 AM
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 3
Editor’s Note |
Considering all we’ve been
through in 2020, we want to
outline what it means to us for you to
be part of this community. After more than
a decade in print and hundreds of thousands of
online impressions, let’s see the goals we’ve set out
to achieve, the people we are inspired by, and
the momentum we are building.
So, what does it mean to be part of the
Edible San Diego community? It means
you’re part of a team that invites anyone
who eats food in our county to have a
seat at this table. We strive to connect
you to the people and things that feed all
of us, offer us health, and bring indulgence
and joy. These are the signifiers of a good life:
moments and sensations that make life worth living as
defined by you and your circle.
It also means we are connected to over 80 awardwinning
publications and media licenses across
North America. Each license is independently
owned, and each publisher uniquely focuses on
local people, producers, and businesses, showcasing
the food and varied cultures that exist in our
respective home bases. All publishers tell their local
stories, allowing any of us to travel vicariously,
maintain connections with loved ones and
beloved places far from home in Covid
times, and feel like part of a much larger
community of people who care about
There’s value in knowing we are all
connected. In a climate where newsrooms
were closing at a national average of 100
per year before the pandemic, and now bearing witness to the
harsh impacts Covid-19 has had on our compatriots in the food,
beverage, and hospitality industries—not to mention the current
norm of socializing through masks and screens—let’s not take
that connectedness lightly.
Your eyes reading this right now means the world to us. While
the value of these words and images in print and floating around
on the internet is exponentially subjective, the need for an editorial
voice that is trustworthy, consistent, insightful, and accessible is
stronger than ever. Edible San Diego has reorganized to step up to
this challenge. We seek to grow good food and connections that
inspire action and empower healthier choices to make access to
better nutrition inherent. Good food is not pretentious,
and access to it, like good healthcare, should be universal.
(And if we had more access to better nutrition and
less to government-subsidized commodities like
corn syrup soft drinks and hydrogenated soy
deep-fat frying oil, we might need less sick
care, but maybe that’s the point.)
These qualities have been part
of the mission all along because it’s
what’s best for people,
the planet we live
on, and the many
types of life shared here.
Even Sir David Attenborough
has published a book and
documentary on the topic,
on Our Planet,
and an Instagram
story campaign to promote
awareness and engagement.
Our collective voices chanting the
sentiments for food equity and improved
production practices are loud enough to hear
because we echo these vital messages together. And
the good news is that it’s making a difference,
even to scale. For example, because of the
people committed to buying pastureraised
eggs, Vital Farms went
public this summer with a $235
million IPO. Because of the people
who choose to eat less meat and
more vegetables, we have more modern
plant-based options than ever.
And because of restaurants
like Burger Lounge, local
founder of the grass-fed burger
concept, even conglomerates
like McDonald’s are making
a commitment to regenerative
This is because of the choices
people like us—the food people who
have a profound understanding that we are what we
While we can’t put the burden of creating a sustainable
food system solely on consumers, there is no doubt that a food
revolution has been provoked. To the joys that food offers us and
the community we’ve featured in the past, present, and future,
at the beginning of a new decade on the precipice for change,
this 60th issue is a collection of recipes and stories that suggest
we can return to the land and embrace food traditions like our
Indigenous communities. We can help families farm in the inner
city and create futures for their children, the New Americans, by
buying their produce at the farmers’ market. We can advocate
for better meat production across the country. And we can work
together to create a vision for what this dream of a
just and equitable, resilient and renewable,
low-waste, regenerative, and sustainable food
system looks like.
Edible San Diego
OLIVIA HAYO, JAMES TRAN
2011 James Beard Foundation
Publication of the Year
MEMBER OF EDIBLE COMMUNITIES
Editor in Chief
Cheryl Angelina Koehler
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Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings, and
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Thank you for supporting your local food media company.
COVER PHOTO AND STYLING BY HALEY HAZELL
Edible San Diego
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edible san diego
The Season to
Edible San Diego is thrilled to
announce that eight of our
submissions were recognized by
the San Diego Press Club’s 47th
Annual Excellence in Journalism
Awards on October 27.
We congratulate the talented writers,
editors, and photographers who work
to produce content of high quality
and integrity for our readers. Their
dedication, experience, and diverse
perspectives distinguish the content that
we curate for you.
It warms our hearts when judges from
across the country elevate this content
because we make it our business to
connect people through journalism
about local food.
General Interest Site
The Path to Climate
Neutrality Is Paved
with Food System
Elly Brown, executive
director of the
San Diego Food
Living Local with
Edible San Diego
Allyn Silliman of
Beyond the Boule
Min Kim, Olivia Hayo,
Magazine: Front Page
Issue 58, Spring 2020
Photography - Video:
Feature - Light Subject
Tide to Table
Into the Open Air/Five
San Diego Chefs Shop
the Farmers’ Market
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 5
Eating Well |
Directed by Sanjay Rawal, Gather
(lllumine Running, 2020) is an
intimate portrait of the growing
movement among the Indigenous
community to reclaim their spiritual,
political, and cultural identities through
food sovereignty while battling the
trauma of centuries of genocide.
The documentary film features the stories of Nephi
Craig, executive chef and founder of the Native
American Culinary Association, through the opening
of an Indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic
in the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona);
Elsie DuBray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne
River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting
landmark studies on bison and the Ancestral Guard;
and a group of environmental activists from the
Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save
the Klamath River.
The movie is available on iTunes and Amazon.
The following selection of wholesome, healthy recipes
created by Craig, and Donna LaChapelle and Patricia
Chandler from the First Nations Development
Institute, highlight Indigenous ingredients,
preparation techniques, and dishes from the film.
RENAN OZTURK / GATHER
Elevate your next wine pairing with LE GRUYÈRE ® AOP, made for over 900 years from the purest cow’s
milk in the Swiss Alps. Gruyère AOP’s nutty complexity sings with Chardonnay, boosts a Beaujolais, and
perfects a Pinot Noir. For more information and some great recipes and pairing ideas, visit us at gruyere.com.
Cheeses from Switzerland.
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 7
Recipe by Nephi Craig
This recipe is a critical piece of our
identity and speaks to our history
and resiliency as we develop
culinary pathways toward solutions
in health and wellness in Western
There are many variations of this
seed mix across the Americas,
but this one is distinctly Western
Apache because of the acorns. This
recipe is basic and easy to replicate
with seeds readily available in
markets. An independent study will
allow the eater to discover more
combinations of this protein-packed
combination of seeds that revitalize
ancestral taste and health.
As you snack on this seed mix,
think about pre-reservation
Indigenous health and regional
dominant flavors. Although this
mix can be made year-round,
historically, spring, summer, and
autumn were spent gathering
and cultivating these seeds to be
consumed in the wintertime while
telling stories and playing string
games with the family at home.
1 cup dried white corn
1 cup acorns
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pine nuts or pinons
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried wild currants
Kosher salt to taste
Each ingredient must be prepared
separately and combined.
Parch the corn in a heavy skillet
over high heat, stirring constantly
until the corn cracks and is golden
brown. Do not burn.
Acorns should be shelled and very
Toast the sunflower seeds for 10
minutes at 350° or until golden
Toast the pine nuts in a 350° oven
for 10 minutes or until golden
brown. Do not burn.
Toast pumpkin seeds in a 350°
oven for 10 minutes or until golden
Remove and allow the seeds
to cool. Combine all seeds and
currants and season with salt to
taste, if desired. Place the cooled
mixture in a tall Mason jar and put
in a high place of honor to display.
THREE SISTERS SOUP
Recipe by Donna LaChapelle and Patricia Chandler
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup yellow corn kernels
½ cup cooked hominy
1 cup cooked white beans
1 butternut or acorn squash,
prebaked and puréed
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
Chives and plain yogurt, to serve
Melt butter in a large saucepan
over medium-high heat. Add
onion and garlic and cook until
tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in
spices and cook for 1 minute.
Add stock, corn, hominy, and
beans and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and cook,
stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20
minutes to develop flavors.
Stir in squash and cook until
heated through, about 5
Serve warm with chives and
plain yogurt as a garnish.
FOREST WOODWARD / GATHER
SQUASH AND QUINOA
Recipe by Nephi Craig
2 whole butternut squash
Pinch smoked paprika
Kosher salt and pepper
4 ounces cooked white quinoa
2 ounces cooked red quinoa
¼ cup diced Roma tomatoes
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup scallions, bias cut
Fresh herbs and pumpkin seeds for
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cut butternut squash horizontally
at the point where the cavity of the
squash begins, separating the neck
of the squash from the tip of the
cavity. Peel and set necks aside.
Split and deseed butternut squash
cavity. Cut into roughly 6 pieces to
produce a sort of bowl shape. In a
large mixing bowl, drizzle squash
with olive oil, smoked paprika, salt,
and pepper. Place skin side down
on a sheet pan and roast in oven
for 15 to 20 minutes to get a good
roasted color. When roasted and
soft, remove from oven, lightly
drizzle with honey, and set aside.
In a bowl, mix together both colors
of quinoa, tomatoes, parsley, and
scallions. Season with olive oil and
lemon juice to taste; it should be
clean, cool, and bright.
To serve, heat butternut squash
briefly, then spoon 3 to 4 ounces
cool quinoa salad over warm
butternut squash. Garnish with
fresh herbs, smoked paprika, and
pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.
CORN, BLUEBERRY, AND WILD RICE SALAD
Recipe by Donna LaChapelle and Patricia Chandler
SAGE LACAPA / GATHER
6 ears sweet corn, husked (or
1½ cups frozen corn)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 small cucumber, diced
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and
4 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey or maple
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
In a large pot, bring salted
water to a boil. Add corn and
cook, covered, until tender,
about 5 minutes. When cool
enough to handle, cut corn
In a serving bowl, combine
corn, blueberries, cucumber,
red onion, cilantro, wild rice,
Prepare the dressing in a
screw-top jar by combining
lime juice, olive oil, honey,
cumin, and ½ teaspoon salt.
Cover and shake well to
Add dressing to salad and
toss. Cover and refrigerate
overnight or up to 24 hours.
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 9
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BE PATIENT & THANKFUL THAT WE CAN SUPPORT
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Delivered to Your Door!
YOUR FIRST DELIVERY
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WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 11
How to Sustainably Farm in the City
Idzai Mubaiwa turns community garden plots and a neighbor’s
backyard into an urban farm
BY NICOLE BRAVO | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAUREN DI MATTEO
Idzai Mubaiwa is a mother first and a farmer second. In
2002, she relocated from Zimbabwe to the US with her four
daughters seeking a better life. Her priorities early on were
to find a good school for the girls and a bit of earth to grow her
own food. Eighteen years later, she is now a proud US citizen
and has put her daughters through college—in part from the
income earned by selling produce at farmers’ markets from her
urban garden plots located throughout San Diego County.
In her native Zimbabwe, everyone had a small farm, where
they would grow enough food to sustain a family while selling
the surplus in order to cover the cost of planting again. “If we
didn’t grow something,” Mubaiwa explains, “we would have to
put money into buying what someone else grows, and that just
doesn’t make any sense.” She shakes her head at the absurdity of
it, leaving me a bit bewildered because I’ve never given a second
thought to going to the grocery store and purchasing vegetables
someone else grows.
In addition to Mubaiwa’s plots in community gardens, she’s
transformed a regular neighborhood backyard into a small-scale
farm. Since she sells her pesticide-free produce at local farmers’
markets, she needed more land to keep up with the demand of
patrons, which is what led to the eventual conversion of a friend’s
backyard. What would normally be just a bit of dirt or grass and
a few bushes has been transformed into an edible oasis.
At New Roots Community Farm in City Heights, I
watch Mubaiwa carefully harvest and rinse the vegetables for
tomorrow’s market, throwing aside any leaf of kale or chard
that does not meet her stringent expectations. After spending
hours with her as she labored in the bright sun, I attempt to
curb her over-selectiveness, defending some of the castoffs as
good enough to sell. Her patient reply is that she only provides
her customers with the very best because that is what she would
want to buy.
I ask what she wishes patrons understood about her work. She
replies, “When they go to the store, they don’t ask for a bargain,
but when they come to me, they just want a bargain—after all the
time and effort I put into raising the plants. It takes a lot of time,
we put in a lot of hours here. At times I wish they could just, you
know, help us too because it is hard work.” She goes on to detail
the refreshing exceptions: those customers that encourage her to
raise her prices because they understand the work that goes into
organic practices and recognize the quality of her healthy, vibrant
produce. There are even those who overpay her, offering the
amount they believe she deserves rather than the advertised price.
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 13
THE MARKET AT HFS
Poke & Local Seafood
Open Daily 10am-4pm
6491 Weathers Place
San Diego, CA
Follow Us @TheMarketHFS
Woof ‘n Rose Winery
Specializing in red
wines made only from
estate grown and other
Ramona Valley grapes.
open Sat. and Sun.
and by appointment.
While shopping at farmers’ markets,
we often fail to truly see the farmers,
even when they are standing before us.
We aren’t there for the early mornings,
laborious days, and late evenings. We
never hear about the unexpected heat
that scorches a crop, or the caterpillars
that show up overnight eating their
way through much of that week’s
income. Or all of the trial and error
involved in getting the watering just
right to avoid watery strawberries or
not-too-tiny beets—most of us are
ignorant of it all.
There are countless advantages to
buying from farmers’ markets. We
are directly supporting hardworking
farmers and purveyors who labor
to sustain our families and offer us
the opportunity for reciprocity in
supporting theirs. They are passionate
people who do the work not because it
will make them rich, but because it will
make them happy and strengthen their
We are investing in fresh,
wholesome products with a higher
nutrient density, which contributes
to healthier, more productive lives
now and lower medical bills in the
future. What is more, we are fostering
the expansion of a local food system
that is more sustainable for everyone
involved and far less harmful to the
environment. Considering these shortand
long-term benefits, I’d venture to
say we should actually be paying more
for these products, not less.
In her garden, I notice Mubaiwa’s
eyes squinting from pain every now
and then. As her body forces her to
move a little slower than she’d like, she
reiterates that the garden is her therapy.
“I have arthritis,” she says. “When
I’m home, I hurt. When I come here,
I don’t feel any pain. I love this. I’m
always the last to leave the garden.”
Wrapping up for the day she bends
down near her plants to do just one
more thing. I overhear her say, “Okay
babies, I’ll see you very soon.”
Mubaiwa currently sells at the
Hillcrest Farmers’ Market with her
sister. You can find them under the
banner African Sisters Produce.
Originally published September 21,
2020, on ediblesandiego.com.
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 15
A COOKBOOK TO BENEFIT THE PUBLISHERS
OF EDIBLE COMMUNITIES
PHOTOGRAPHS, PODCASTS, VIDEOS
AND COOKING ILLUSTRATIONS
From the makers and advocates
of local, sustainable food in
Edible communities everywhere.
Every purchase you make will help a
community continue their work in
telling the story of local food.
today for $20
BY MARILYN NOBLE
COURTESY OF WHITE OAK PASTURES; COURTESY OF MIKE CALLICRATE
All it’s taken to expose the precarious state of our modern
industrial meat supply is a tiny bit of infectious genetic material
wrapped in a protein coat.
The coronavirus pandemic has shone a not-so-friendly light on
the inhumane ways both animals and people are treated in a system
dominated by four major companies: Tyson, JBS, Cargill, and
National Beef. Over the past 40 years, as the meatpacking industry
has consolidated in the name of scale, efficiency, and profits—and
while consumers have been the beneficiaries of cheap meat—
producers, rural communities, slaughterhouse workers, and the
environment have all paid a steep price.
As the virus rampaged through enormous packing plants in the
Midwest, sickening thousands of mostly immigrant workers and, as
of June, killing more than 100, the packers slowed production and
claimed a meat shortage was imminent. This sent meat prices soaring,
and panicked consumers cleaned out grocery store meat cases. In
the meantime, decreased packing house capacity meant farmers
had nowhere to sell their animals and were forced to exterminate
millions, mostly hogs and chickens, the disposal of which (by burying
or incineration) has created serious groundwater and air pollution.
In the modern industrial system, once animals reach their slaughter
weight, there’s no alternative to mass euthanasia and disposal if the
facilities aren’t available.
“What do you do with a million cattle and no slaughter capacity?
You cannot keep feeding them,” says Mike Callicrate, a rancher in
St. Francis, Kansas, who owns a small slaughter plant, along with
a processing plant and retail store in Colorado Springs. He’s also a
fiercely outspoken advocate for small family farms.
“These companies are so unbelievably fragile. One little thing
happens and they fall apart. It’s just a house of cards,” he adds.
In the late 1960s, the US was home to around 9,000 mediumand
small-scale slaughter plants scattered throughout the country.
By 2018, that number had shrunk to about 800, with the vast
majority of beef and pork processed in only about a dozen extremely
large plants concentrated in the Midwest. Not only does this leave
the meat supply vulnerable to disruption, but as small plants have
disappeared, it’s become harder for livestock growers to opt out of
Mike Callicrate, the founder of Ranch Foods Direct, is a
rancher, business entrepreneur, and family farm advocate.
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 17
Will Harris, a fourth-generation cattleman and owner of White
Oak Pastures in Bluffton, GA, is a recognized as a leader in
humane animal husbandry and environmental sustainability.
the industrial system, and small rural economies have collapsed
as competition has disappeared and dollars have been siphoned
off by massive corporations.
Callicrate places many of the problems inherent in the
commodity meat system at the foot of the USDA for several
reasons—especially when it comes to truth in labeling, another
issue depressing prospects for small producers. “We’ve got USDA
out there acting like they’re the food police and making sure our
food is safe and wholesome, and yet they are complicit in one
of the biggest labeling frauds in our history: ‘Product of USA,’”
he says. “We’ve got to realize that USDA does not represent the
people’s interest anymore.”
Consumers may think they’re buying American beef when
they read “Product of USA” on the label, but meat can legally
carry that terminology even if it’s imported from countries like
Australia or Brazil, as long as it’s processed in a US packing plant.
The misleading Product of USA label goes hand in hand with
the end of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef. When
Congress allowed the industry to drop the country of origin
from the label in 2015, the doors opened wide for consumer
confusion, especially with grass-fed beef.
“The USDA rule that allows multinational corporations to
shop for grass-fed beef in the cheapest markets in the world
and then sell it to the most lucrative market in the world (the
US) and call it a product of the USA is a major issue,” says Will
Harris. He’s the fourth-generation owner of White Oak Pastures
in Bluffton, Georgia. In the mid-90s, he began transitioning
his commodity cattle operation to a pasture-based, multispecies
model, and now is vertically integrated, with two slaughter plants
and a robust sales and marketing department that moves product
through several different sales channels, including retail, food
service, and direct-to-consumer.
In the years since COOL ended, Harris says he’s seen his
business revenues drop almost 25%. “We’re selling the same
amount of beef,” he says, “but our margins are dropping because
we’re competing with cheaper meat from other countries.”
But there’s one pandemic-related glimmer of hope: When the
Big Four slowed and shut down plants, small producers who had
COURTESY OF WHITE OAK PASTURES
COURTESY OF MIKE CALLICRATE
direct-to-consumer sales channels in place saw dramatic growth
in business. For both Callicrate and Harris, it was unexpected
and somewhat overwhelming. “We’re just trying to figure out
how we’re going to adapt,” says Callicrate.
Harris says his farm was inundated with orders from new
customers, and that left some of their regulars in the lurch. “I was
embarrassed that I allowed our regular customers to go without,”
he says. His team is building a loyalty program to potentially
alleviate that situation in the future, and he’s considering increasing
capacity in the farm’s fulfillment center if business keeps up.
But will the sudden interest in local meat from small family
farms last and create meaningful change in the industry?
Callicrate says it’s up to both the government and
consumers. “Part of it depends on what the government does,”
he says. “If we continue to allow these big meatpackers to
run chains at 400 head an hour and have workers standing
shoulder to shoulder, paying them below living wage, and
allow the continuation of these animal factories that are
inhumane and polluting, and if we don’t protect the better
local or regional model, nothing will change. It’ll go back to
hiding behind the curtain again, as it has been for 30 years.
Right now, consumers are learning about what’s actually
happening. They’re seriously concerned.”
But he adds, “One of the worst, most deadly diseases in our
country is aggressive price shopping consumerism because it
wipes out your economy. Eventually, it’s all gone. Your money is
being siphoned off into the Walton family bank account, along
with a handful of other multinational corporations. So that’s the
really big dread, that people will not start considering more than
the price in their purchasing.”
Harris believes that if consumers shop their values,
meaningful change can happen. “Right now, there aren’t very
many people doing what we’re doing, maybe about 20 of us in
the whole country. I don’t think any of us care about becoming
hundred-million dollar companies, but if there were a hundred
companies doing what we’re doing, then we could build those
regional food systems.”
So how does an aware and enlightened consumer help grow a
sustainable and healthy food system? Harris offers some tips:
Decide what values you want to support, whether it’s animal
welfare, regenerative agriculture, healthy food, local farms, or a
Find a farm or ranch that fits your values and don’t rely on
package labels or certifications. In these days of social media,
it’s increasingly easy to learn about how businesses run. Most
family farms have websites and engage with interested potential
customers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others. Ask
questions; get to know the people producing your food.
Once you find a farm or two, buy their products and
support them. “Consumers buying from us is the air we
breathe,” says Harris.
Callicrate sums it up: “The consumer is the only way we get
out of the ditch. They’ve got to support something better.”
Marilyn Noble is an independent food and agriculture journalist based in
Arizona. In the past three years, she’s written regularly for Edible Phoenix and
is a contributing writer for The Counter, a nonprofit, independent newsroom
that investigates the forces shaping how and what America eats. One of
her articles was selected by Samin Nosrat for inclusion in The Best American
Food Writing 2019 anthology. In addition, she’s written several Southwesternthemed
cookbooks, the latest of which was published in May 2020. Follow her
on Twitter @mariwrites or visit her website marilynnoble.com.
Look for this story on ediblesandiego.com with
perspectives on the topic from local stakeholders like
Paul Grieve of Pasture Bird, and Brad Wise, owner
and chef of the Wise Ox Butchery & Eatery and Trust
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 19
Partner Content |
BY NAN STERMAN
These are the most amazing-looking fruits. Large, deep pink
orbs covered in green scales—no wonder their nickname is
“dragon fruit,” a term that comes from Vietnam, where the
fruits were introduced in the late 1800s. In their native tropical
Central and South America, however, these fruits are called
pitaya, which is the term for all cactus fruits, or pitajaya, the
name for this particular cactus fruit.
The fruits of this climbing, epiphytic cactus start out as
gigantic, fragrant white flowers that open for just one night, and
close as the sun climbs in the sky. In their native habitats, moths
and bats pollinate the flowers. Here in San Diego, bees can do
that job, but many growers prefer to do it themselves. They use a
makeup brush to move the white powdery pollen from the male
parts of the flowers to the female parts.
Pitajaya is very easy to grow. The bright green succulent
stems do best in full sun and well-draining soil, with minimal
irrigation, something sturdy for support—a post, a wall, even a
tree—and the long vines pruned short so fruits develop within
easy reach. Plants flower in cycles from May to November,
depending on the variety. Six weeks after pollination, the fruits
are ready for harvest.
Ripe dragon fruits weigh
between half a pound to more
than three pounds. Their skin
gives slightly to the touch, and
the fruits feel very heavy in your hand. Slice a pitajaya open
to reveal the color of its flesh, from white to hot magenta and
studded with tiny black seeds.
The tastiest varieties are the brightest pink to deepest magenta
colored. They are sweet, juicy, fragrant, crunchy (from the seeds),
and absolutely delicious. They also pack a nutritional punch as a
high-fiber and antioxidant-rich food.
Most often, we eat the fruits fresh, sliced in fruit salad, as
a garnish, in smoothies, and even combined with lime juice
and ice for aguas frescas. Dragon fruit makes surprisingly good
sorbets and ice creams. In Florida, daring chefs chop dragon fruit
into ceviche. One of my favorite breakfasts is sliced dragon fruit
with cottage cheese—yum!
Increasingly, San Diego home gardeners grow pitajaya in
frost-free backyards. Today, just three or four farms in north San
Diego County grow commercial crops. Expect that number to
increase as farmers look to move from thirsty crops like avocados
and citrus to crops that need less water.
While the high-touch nature of growing dragon fruit makes
the fruits expensive at local farmers’ markets and specialty
retailers, just one taste tells you they are worth every penny.
Get started growing your own pitajaya by selecting a named
variety so you don’t end up with a bland-flavored white fruit.
(White-flesh fruits are still beautiful, but they aren’t very tasty.) My
favorite varieties are Delight, which has a pale pink flesh, and the
deep magenta-fleshed Physical Graffiti and American Beauty.
Follow A Growing Passion on Facebook and
Instagram for a behind-the-scenes look at
our Season 8 episode featuring this delicious
and surprisingly sustainable fruit, and watch
older episodes of A Growing Passion at
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 21
edible san diego
Escondido—Welk Resort √†
8860 Lawrence Welk Dr.
Enjoy the Open Air
1st St. & B Ave., Ferry Landing
262 East Grand Ave.
2:30–7pm (2:30–6pm Oct to May)
The Farmstand NEW
(formerly People’s Produce Night Market)
4261 Market St.
Mira Mesa √*
10510 Reagan Rd.
2:30–7pm (3–6pm fall-winter)
Otay Ranch—Chula Vista √
2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd.
Pacific Beach Tuesday √†
Bayard & Garnet
San Marcos √
1035 La Bonita Dr.
UCSD Town Square √
UCSD Campus, Town Square
10am–2pm, Sept to June
Vail Headquarters √*
32115 Temecula Pkwy.
Little Italy Wednesday √*†
501 W. Date St.
Ocean Beach √
4900 block of Newport Ave.
Carlton Hills Blvd. & Mast Blvd.
3–7pm (2:30–6:30pm winter)
South Bay √
4475 Bonita Rd.
Place orders at
by Tuesday at 3pm
State Street in Carlsbad Village √
State St. & Carlsbad Village Dr.
3–7pm (3–6pm fall-winter)
40820 Winchester Rd. by Macy’s
EAT the most
7 days a week
Lemon Grove √*
2885 Lemon Grove Ave.
Linda Vista √*†
6939 Linda Vista Rd.
3–7pm (2–6pm winter)
North Park Thursday √*†
2900 North Park Way
Oceanside Morning √*
Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101
Rancho Bernardo √
16535 Via Esprillo
Borrego Springs √
700 Palm Canyon Dr.
7am–noon, Oct to Apr
Horton Plaza Lunch Market
225 Broadway Circle
Imperial Beach √*†
10 Evergreen Ave.
2–7pm (2–6pm winter)
La Mesa Village √*
La Mesa Blvd. btwn Palm & 4th St.
Rancho Bernardo √
13330 Paseo del Verano Norte
Cook All Weekend
find the freshest local catch
City Heights √*†!
Wightman St. btwn Fairmount & 43rd St.
Del Mar √
1050 Camino Del Mar
Little Italy Mercato √†
600 W. Date St.
3960 Normal & Lincoln Sts.
La Jolla Open Aire √
Girard Ave. & Genter
185 Union St. & Vulcan St.
Pacific Beach √
4150 Mission Blvd.
14134 Midland Rd.
9400 Fairgrove Ln.
Village Walk Plaza
I-15, exit west on Calif. Oaks & Kalmia
North San Diego / Sikes Adobe √†
12655 Sunset Dr.
Rancho Santa Fe Del Rayo Village √
16077 San Dieguito Rd.
Temecula—Old Town √*
Sixth & Front St.
Tuna Harbor Dockside Market
598 Harbor Ln.
Port of San Diego
325 Melrose Dr.
Support local growers
Santa Ysabel √
21887 Washington St.
Solana Beach √
410 South Cedros Ave.
DUE TO COVID-19: Markets shown in gray are temporarily closed
and all listings are subject to change. Please contact markets
directly to confirm hours of operation and locations.
Visit ediblesandiego.com and click on “Resources”
for more complete information and links to market
* Market vendors accept WIC (Women, Infants, Children) Farmers’
† Market vendors accept EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer).
! Market vendors accept WIC Fruit and Vegetable checks.
√ Indicates markets certified by the San Diego County Agriculture
Commissioner, ensuring that the produce is grown by the seller
or another certified farmer in California, and meets all state
quality standards. Temecula markets and the Murrieta market
are certified by the Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner.
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 23
Prep (For Real Life) |
According to the laws of attraction, creating a vision board
is one of the primary practices of manifesting. You tell the
universe what you want, and the universe delivers. If only it
were that easy—but surely there is something to it if you are willing
to put in the work.
Food Vision 2030 is an 18-month project led by the San Diego
Food System Alliance (SDFSA) and a steering committee with
input from local stakeholders designed around three goals: to
cultivate justice, fight climate change, and build resilience. Earlier
this year SDFSA invited San Diego County residents to share their
needs and aspirations related to food in their communities; over
2,200 individuals participated, with 55% of the respondents being
food workers or residents of marginalized communities.
“This year’s pandemic, climate disasters, and events highlighting
deeply entrenched racial injustices reinforce that transforming
many of our systems is more important than ever,” says Elly Brown,
executive director of SDFSA. “The food system, in particular,
can be a powerful lever for elevating social, environmental, and
economic equity for all. Changing the way we grow food, move
food, share food, and think about food ultimately changes the way
we treat the planet and each other.”
Early previews find participants are most concerned about
reducing hunger and food insecurity, minimizing food waste, and
reducing racial and ethnic disparities, while many expressed interest
in seeing more community gardens, composting programs, coops,
and urban farms. Finding healthy, affordable, and culturally
appropriate food was the most important issue to participants in
City Heights, Logan Heights, and National City.
Vital feedback and comments from participants are helping to
shape the framework for a vision, with the final report due in 2021.
What can you do to be a part of this vision with us? Continue
to share in these hopes and dreams as part of a 10-year strategy, and
let’s make it happen in 2030.
Be a part of Food Vision 2030 and find more information at sdfsa.org.
COURTESY OF SAN DIEGO FOOD SYSTEM ALLIANCE
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this small, locally
continue serving up
WINTER 2020-2021 | edible SAN DIEGO 25
HAS NEVER LOOKED BETTER
DAILY BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER
SUNDAY CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH
Al Fresco Dining | Sushi & Seafood Options | Complimentary Parking
Located at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa | (858) 539-8635 | OceanaCoastalKitchen.com
26 OCK_Edible_Full ediblesandiego.com
7/16/2020 9:20:48 AM