A Love Affair With Lemons

Lemon Bounty

Any time of year – any type of lemon –  my attention is centered.  With the 2nd class in our culinary series fast approaching, I am excited to be revisiting favorite recipes and an AMAZING ingredient in preparation for Thursday the 31st at the Fullerton Arboretum.  We’re going to explore at least six recipes in class this week in which lemon is the “star” ingredient – but I am MOST excited by two of our selections…

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First Class: Southern California Cool Season Cuisine

Cooking Rhubarb

The stalks of Rhubarb snapped as I twisted them free from the base of the plant that I put in the ground over 18 months ago. Later in the evening this rhubarb would be folded into a cake batter to provide tart contrast to a sweet walnut streusel and crunchy crumb. Our guests were coming not only to eat, but to learn a bit about cooking by watching us prepare a seasonal meal.

I am passionate about growing fantastic food and I am lucky enough to do so for a living. My journey into small-scale agriculture began four years ago at Fullerton Arboretum, a botanical garden in north Orange County. Today, the eastern acres of Fullerton Arboretum include 16,000 square feet of vegetable beds, a new orchard filled with nearly 200 young fruit trees, and an apiary (bee hives). The intense and often mundane physical labor and the searing Southern Californian summers made a tentative farmer of me at first. I can no longer imagine a life that doesn’t involve growing food.

Our Localtopia is just getting started!

Purple Cauliflower
This vibrant purple cauliflower is growing in Fullerton, CA, on the Fullerton Arboretum’s two acre produce farm.

Our Localtopia hopes to explore the plentiful resources for locally grown or produced artisan and ecologically minded food in Southern California. Check back soon for information on what’s in season, where it is available and how to prepare it!