Spring Farm Dinner at Fullerton Arboretum – Heirloom Bean Recipes

Spring Farm Dinner at dusk.
Fullerton Arboretum’s Spring Farm Dinner at dusk.

Last week, the Fullerton Arboretum hosted an exciting local food event, the Spring Farm Dinner. This dinner consisted of a seven course meal, paired with beer and wine, and served al fresco. Every single dish highlighted produce grow right there, in the Arboretum’s own soil. Our Localtopia frequent contributors Jonathan Duffy Davis and Jonathan Dye created and cooked the entire menu. One of the standout Arboretum-grown ingredients of the night was farmer Davis’ heirloom beans. These beans were made first into an pate appetizer and then sauteed to compliment the main course. After a number of earnest requests, Davis agreed to share his bean recipes with the world. Read on for this legume exclusive…  Continue reading “Spring Farm Dinner at Fullerton Arboretum – Heirloom Bean Recipes”

Organic Strawberry Ice Cream: Making the Best of a Seasonal Favorite

Farm fresh strawberry ice cream.
Farm fresh strawberry ice cream.

As winter fades and spring comes into the year with all of the promise and excitement we expect, it was time to take advantage of a special ingredient that won’t be with us for much longer.  Jonathan Davis, the farmer at the Fullerton Arboretum has been tenderly caring for strawberries, and since their season is fading I knew my time was limited to make something really special with as many as I could get my hands on… Continue reading “Organic Strawberry Ice Cream: Making the Best of a Seasonal Favorite”

Easter Eggs Naturally Dyed – The Video!

Ever since that nettle juice left a beautiful marbled stain on our test egg last month, Our Localtopia has been thrilled by the idea of naturally dying eggs! There are a number of well known natural egg dyes like beets, tea, blueberries and coffee. We tried those, but also decided to test out some lesser known sources of natural pigment, like the featured oxalis flowers. The results were stunning, and captured in the attached film. The directions for dying your own eggs is at the end.


#1. Beet juice and onion skins. Egg was boiled in beet juice after being wrapped in an onion skin.
#2. Boiled with onion skins and soaked over night.
#3. Boiled grass, soaked over night.
#4. Turmeric, soaked over night.
#5. Boiled with onion skins, removed from water right after boiling.
#6. Black Tea, soaked over night.

The Nettle Easter Egg!

We’ve been working on so many exciting projects, that we’ve been too busy to blog! But no worries, we’ve been taking careful notes and will soon be sharing them all with you. The picture above is a sneak peek. This is a naturally dyed egg… Dyed using stinging nettle, a local weed that is easy to harvest and actually quite delicious. Stay tuned for future posts on eating stinging nettle, creating naturally dyed holiday eggs and much more!

The Nettle Egg
The Nettle Egg

Thursday Night Pomelo Sour


I mentioned a cocktail during our class on Tuesday that I have been making with some of pomelos and I thought that a recipe might be in order. I am but a budding bartender but I think that this cocktail is a really good one. I believe that it technically falls into “sour” family of drinks – spirit + citrus + sweetener + egg white – but we’re not going to use egg whites (pomelo juice foams up fine Continue reading “Thursday Night Pomelo Sour”

Making Your Own Preserved Lemons

People who like to eat and to cook are crazy about preserved lemons, but I must confess that before the “Thursdays in the Kitchen: Cooking with Lemon” class at the Fullerton Arboretum,  I had never even eaten them. With a heavy lemon crop on the branches and the need for a subject to film in my kitchen at home, I decided to make this short film. Thanks to Jonathan Dye and Alicia Hitchcock for the inspiration!
Want to make your own batch? It’s easy. Follow these short directions and watch the posted video…

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!