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The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s 80-acre site in Sonoma County California serves as a model of sustainability for the greater San Francisco Bay Area and an inspiring meeting place for social changemakers from around the world.  Affectionately referred to as the “Mother Garden,” OAEC curates a collection of over three-thousand rare food crop varieties and multiuse plants, and through this open-air classroom of gardens and wildlands, has provided training, inspiration, and support for thousands of individuals and “daughter gardens” since its inception in 1994.  OAEC’s diverse suite of interwoven programs—restorative agriculture and heirloom seed saving, watershed health, traditional ecological knowledge, permaculture, community resilience design, democratic self-governance, and multicultural organizing methods, to name a few—combine research, demonstration, education, and policy advocacy to develop community-based strategies and regional scale solutions to the pressing environmental and economic crises of our time.  OAEC is well respected in the nonprofit world for its dedication to participatory decision making, so in true collaborative fashion, this book is written with input from many voices including current and former residents, cooks, artists, gardeners, educators, and visionaries.  

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The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

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  1. The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook

    By The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center and Olivia Rathbone
    Foreword by Alice Waters

    Celebrating biodiversity through the Mother Garden’s collection of rare, open-pollinated varieties and wild edibles from OAEC’s ecological preserve

    2016 IACP Cookbook Awards WINNER!  ("Food Matters" category)

    More than anything, food brings us together—as families and as communities. So there is no better place to begin creating a healthier and sustainable community than around a shared table.

    The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook is a beautifully illustrated collection of 200 unique and delicious vegetarian recipes from the renowned California-based farm, educational retreat center, and eco-thinktank.

    OAEC has a passionate ethos about eating seasonally, and this book shows readers how to cook based on what is available in the garden. This unique cookbook incorporates ingredients from all seasons, including weeds, flowers, herbs, nuts, fruits, mushrooms, and other forages. The recipes also include the quantities and measurements necessary to cook for a crowd—making each dish perfect to cook at home, or to share at parties, potlucks, and community events.

    With sample seasonal menus to inspire cooks throughout the year, The OAEC Cookbook offers a wide range of recipes such as: Carrot and Chamomile Soup, Summer Squash Ribbons with Purple Shiso, Roasted Asparagus and Nettle Risotto with Pea Tendrils, and Pepita-Encrusted Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Mint. There are cold vegetable plates for warm summer picnics, and readers will learn how to create delicious salad dressing recipes for garden-fresh greens, including Loquat Ginger, Golden Tomato Cumin, and Preserved Lemon Brine. There are comfort foods like pots of savory Biodiversity Beans and Winter Sourdough Pizza, and warming snacks like Toasted Hazelnuts with Thyme. Readers can top a plate of veggie sides with a generous dollop of one of OAEC’s famous sauces and pestos, and learn how to infuse their own Honey Syrups for homemade cocktails. Last but not least, delicious standout desserts like Fresh Fruit Fools, a Dark Roast Winter Squash Tart with Hazelnut Crust, or the Cardamom-Rose-Plum Bars.

    This informative cookbook will help gardeners find new ways to cook with their vegetables, farmers’ market shoppers looking to expand their repertoire, home cooks who want to cook healthy for their family or host a big dinner party, chefs looking for inspired recipes using weeds and perennial fruits and vegetables, and community-based organizations who cook for crowds on a regular basis.

    Hardcover $40.00

    PUB DATE April 11, 2015

    PUBLISHER Chelsea Green Publishing