Sergio Bicas' a real-life Willy Wonka, minus the oompa loompas, and it likely doesn’t take much coaxing to get his three kids to come keep Daddy company at his office in Sherman Oaks. Snacking on pomegranate pucker suckers and a freshly opened 5-pound bag of gummy bears, the co-founder of YummyEarth gladly shared his excitement and some of his company’s kosher organic candy.
Earth Rose Farm in Costa Rica is situated on a remote hillside between the villages of Santa Fe and Esperanza, or “faith” and “hope.”
Farmer Phil McGrath had just made his inaugural delivery of 25 boxes of fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables to Sinai Temple, where organizers of the synagogue's new CSA (community supported agriculture) venture stood admiring and even sampling the boxes' contents.
Passover is also called the "Holiday of Spring," a time when green symbolizes new life. The color also represents all things eco-friendly, which serves as the inspiration for this year's Workmen's Circle community seder.
With our country's growing concern about the environment, many couples are choosing to have eco-friendly weddings. Jewish brides and grooms-to-be in the Southland are no exception.
More than chef or author -- both of which she is -- Amelia Saltsman is an advocate for the Santa Monica Farmer's Market, a doyenne of good taste whom everyone here seems to know. The farmers invite her judgment on their best produce; the chefs ask for advice on recipes.
On Thanksgiving, New Yorker Linda Lantos didn't have to compromise her Jewish or ecological values: She served free-range, organic, nongenetically engineered turkey that was also kosher.
"In the last few years, it's become important to me to find meat that's organic and kosher, and that's hard," said the 27-year-old chef and nutrition teacher, who has kept kosher since childhood.
While this was the third year for Kosher World, it was the first time the show joined with the ethnic and halal markets, under the umbrella of the World Ethnic Market.
Tierra's setting in its bustling, mostly residential neighborhood is stylish coffeehouse; the food is inventive. One typical appetizer consisted of figs stuffed with mushrooms, macadamia nuts and chicken -- flavored with cardamom, cinnamon and a Hindu date dressing (34 sheckels). Not all the entrees strain to be eccentric; there's "grilled pullet and polenta" for 58 sheckels and "calamari paperdello" for 54 sheckels. Some menu offerings are mouth watering; others more creative than tasty. But there's a full bar to wash everything down.
Along with the wave of ergonomically correct strollers and SAT flashcards for the 5-month-old comes Homemade Baby.
Nestled deep within a Malibu canyon off the Pacific Coast Highway, the Shalom Institute, a Jewish summer camp and nature center, has planted an extensive organic garden on its grounds this year and plans to incorporate the age-old tradition of farming into its summer programs.
Bruce Cantz grew up in the San Fernando Valley, where he had a good Conservative upbringing and was bar mitzvahed at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino.
Now a baal teshuvah (returned to Judaism) who goes by his Hebrew name of Benyamin, Cantz, 54, lives on top of a remote mountain in Santa Cruz, where he runs Four Gates, the country's only organic kosher winery and the smallest, kosher winery in California.