The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook: Fresh-From-The-Garden Recipes for Gatherings Large and Small

Olivia Rathbone

Published by Chelsea Green Publishing Co, 2015
ISBN 10: 1603585133 / ISBN 13: 9781603585132
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Synopsis: The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook is a collection of inventive recipes from the renowned farm, educational retreat centre, and ecothinktank nestled in the hills of western Sonoma County, California. One of the first farms to be certified organic in California, the Mother Garden has been at the forefront of the eco-agriculture movement since the early 1970s.  Today, it continues to feed and inspire activists, biologists, educators, and artists seeking innovative and practical approaches to the pressing environmental, cultural, and economic crises of our day while having fun, celebrating, and eating well. OAEC has a passionate ethos about eating seasonally, with ingredients based on what is available in the garden. At OAEC, all parts of the vegetable (or fruit or nut) are utilized whenever possible; weeds are seen not as a nuisance, but as a welcome delicacy; and, above all, cooking and eating is best experienced through celebration, and with a community. It is sure to appeal to gardeners wanting new ways to cook with their vegetables, anyone shopping at the farmers market looking to expand their repertoire, home cooks who find themselves scratching their heads every time they re invited to 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 daily basis.

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"Vegetarians, rejoice! One of California's first certified organic gardens, known as the Mother Garden, now has a cookbook. And it's an impressive one, offering some 400 pages of veggie-centric dishes for every season. First, though, the reader gets a history lesson about the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, as well as a lesson in biodiversity and eco-activism. Then come the recipes--from soups to sweets and everything in between. This beautifully photographed book practices what it preaches about biodiversity. Many of the recipes call for out-of-the-ordinary vegetables like borage, nettle, and cistocera (a type of seaweed). No worries if some of the ingredients are hard to find in your area; plenty of the recipes (such as garden-vegetable frittata and quinoa confetti salad) demonstrate simple techniques that work with many different vegetables. Vegetarians--and even omnivores who appreciate the diversity of veg-focused cuisine--will find much to love in this book from the Mother Garden."



"Throughout human history, food has been intimately tied to community. At the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, this vital connection is renewed. Reading this book and cooking these recipes will transport you to a magical place, where deep and important work is being done, beautiful and delicious food is being cooked, and the earth is being healed in a thousand ways each and every day."--Jessica Prentice, author of Full Moon Feast and Co-Founder of Three Stone Hearth Community Supported Kitchen



"I am wildly excited about The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center Cookbook! This handsome book shows how you can eat and live when you take gardening and community seriously. It's not about a restaurant, but about living and working with others, about being surrounded with gardens and the beautiful, nourishing meals made from the plants that grow in them. I found this to be a deeply inspiring and wise chronicle."--Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy and The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone



"If feeding a hungry crowd a healthy, delicious non-hippie stir-fry is your quandary, The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center Cookbook offers many a charming solution. These inventive, scrumptious recipes show you how to weave a rich tapestry of varietals and flavors in your garden-and onto your table-with playful presentation techniques that crack open a new paradigm for eating and building community."--Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer



"The gardens and kitchen of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center are magical places which have been nourishing and inspiring visitors there (myself included) for decades. This compilation of recipes from their kitchen opens this magic to a broader audience of people looking to cultivate values like sustainability, seasonality, and wholesome goodness into their kitchens. This broad-ranging and skill-building book has lots of great ideas for using acorns, garden weeds, less common vegetables and fruits, and parts of garden plants at different stages of development, rather than just the usual vegetables."--Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation



"The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center is one of the most successful and established permaculture sites in the world. This cookbook introduces readers to their work and their irresistible cuisine. Want to learn how to cook gorgeous, healthy, delicious food from your permaculture garden? This book is for you." --Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables



"Cookbooks inspire us in creative ways for feeding family and friends, but this one goes further. The recipes are uninhibited, rich, and earthy, derived from a deep communal relationship with soil and sun and air and water. Some of them even show us how to live with each other more considerately on this earth. We all talk about community and sustainability, but talk is cheap. The folks at OAEC are walking it, they've dedicated their lives to it, and now with this book they are sharing their experience in all of its complex, imperfect, delicious, and nutritious ways." --Michael Ableman, author of Fields of Plenty

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Title: The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center ...
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co
Publication Date: 2015
Binding: Hardback
Book Condition: New

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