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GrowRIVERSIDE Community Gathering on Thursday, May 7 to Focus on Local Value-added Food Business

April 1, 2015 |

On the heels of the success of the first GrowRIVERSIDE Community Gathering comes the second in the series of gatherings, which will take place on Thursday, May 7 at Stewarts Boathouse at Fairmount Park from 6:00pm – 8:30pm and focus on the development of value-added local food businesses. Register here for the free event:

For reference, a broad definition of “value-added” is to economically add value to a product by changing its current place, time and from one set of characteristics to other characteristics that are more preferred in the marketplace. As a specific example, a more narrow definition would be to economically add value to an agricultural product (such as wheat) by processing it into a product (such as flour) desired by customers (such as bread bakers).*

The event will feature a panel discussion with local Riverside value-added food business owners and a presentation by Angela Janus, Founder of ShareKitchen, on how the company’s incubator program works to help value-added local food businesses grow and thrive in Riverside.

‘GrowRIVERSIDE Community Gatherings’ function as nexuses for networking, community building and solution development around the core local food system issues in the City from growing new food businesses and farmers to resident concerns and food access.

So bring your business cards, your ideas on how to build a more vibrant food system in Riverside and your curiosity and eagerness to learn and join us for an exciting discussion on how to invigorate the local food landscape in the City of Riverside.

Click here to register now:

Select Participating Speakers include:

Angela Janus – Angela  is the Executive Director and Founder of ShareKitchen, a Non-Profit Kitchen Incubator program located in the Coachella Valley cities of Cathedral City and Coachella. ShareKitchen provides business development and support services to culinary entrepreneurs including access to a fully licensed and insured shared commercial kitchen. Angela is a local entrepreneur and culinary professional with an education in the culinary arts and a broad range of hospitality and design experience. As a member of Phi Kappa Phi, she holds degrees in Interior Design and Hospitality Management from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising – Los Angeles and College of the Desert. Currently engaged in regional food systems development, Angela is also an active member of the Riverside County Workforce Investment Board, Les Dames d’Escoffier International – a worldwide philanthropic organization, the American Society of Interior Designers and is a Certified Sommelier of the Associazione Italiana Sommelier which she earned while living and working in Rome, Italy.

Laurie Goalen-Anderson – Laurie is the Founder of Etta Mae Gourmet, a home-based business (officially known as a “cottage food operation”) located in Downtown Riverside, California. She specializes in making homemade jams & preserves using seasonal, locally grown fruits. Laurie has produced several “award-winning” jams and preserves several of which placed at the 2014 California State Fair, including a 1st place for Tropical Citrus Jam. At the 2014 Orange County State Fair, her Strawberry Preserves with Balsamic Vinegar won 1st place in its class and her Orange Vanilla Jam received a special Judge’s Award and 2nd place. Recently, at the 2014 Southern California Fair at the Perris Fairgrounds, four of Laurie’s jams won 1st place, including Orange Marmalade, Grape, Rosemary Plum and Apricot Jams.

Sponsorship Inquiry – To become a sponsor of GrowRIVERSIDE “Community Gatherings”, please send inquiries to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Click here to register now:


Newly Added GrowRIVERSIDE Keynotes to Address Climate Smart Urban Agriculture and Regional Food Systems

April 1, 2015 |

GrowRIVERSIDE today announced that A.G. Kawamura, former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (2003-2010) and Leah Di Bernardo, slow food visionary and award-winning Chef and founder of E.A.T Marketplace, a Cultivating Good partnership, have been added as keynotes to the upcoming “2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE: Future of Local Food” Conference. At the conference, which will take place on June 11 – 12 at The Riverside Convention Center (with Community Day on June 13), A.G. will give an address on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) for Urban Farms, while Leah will discuss the importance of linking city and county local food efforts toward the end of strengthening community, economic and environment and creating a robust regional food system. Read More

Second GrowRIVERSIDE “Dinner in the Grove” set for Saturday, May 16; to Deliver Farm-to-School Twist

March 30, 2015 |

dinners in the grove

The Nutrition Services team at Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) works tirelessly on a daily basis to provide healthy farm-to-school options to the approximately 43,000 students spread across 31 schools located in the district. But, on Saturday, May 16, under the stars and amidst the groves and fruit trees at Fox Farm / Hapeman Ranch in the City of Riverside, RUSD’s culinary brain trust will focus their attention on just 60 diners lucky enough to claim tickets for the 2nd GrowRIVERSIDE “Dinner in the Grove”.

Bringing the same enthusiasm that they usually reserve for farm-to-school lunches, RUSD’s Nutrition Services team will prepare a farm-to-table meal utilizing locally sourced food from growers across the county as well as from the farm of host and sponsor, Fox Farm / Hapeman Ranch.

Fox Farm / Hapeman Ranch, situated in the City of Riverside, is a unique 2.5-acres farm with a stocked fish pond, corrals, chicken coop and a 65 tree orchard.

The dinner will support the upcoming 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference, celebrate Riverside’s citrus heritage and local produce and the efforts of RUSD Nutrition Services to serve health farm fresh meals to the children of Riverside.

Rodney Taylor and members of the RUSD Nutrition Services team will speak on the importance of local food and farmers to RUSD while Scott Berndt of Fox Farm and Lana Hapeman of Hapeman Ranch will discuss urban farming as well as the importance of preserving farmland in the City of Riverside.

Reserve your seats now for the 2nd GrowRIVERSIDE “Dinner in the Grove”!


UC Riverside Spring Science Lecture Series to Focus on Food Security and Nutrition

March 25, 2015 |

UC Riverside’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences in partnership with the UC Global
Food Initiative and California Agriculture and Food Enterprise (CAFÉ) present the Spring 2015 Science Lecture Series:


UC Riverside Extension Center
Conference Rooms D&E
1200 University Ave., Riverside, CA 92507
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

All lectures are free and open to the public (no charge for parking). For more information, visit

April 9 – Feeding Botswana: From Field to Lab to Vaccine
Larry Grill (’79 Ph.D. Plant Pathology), Dean of Research, and Director, Vaccine Research Center, Keck Graduate Institute,  Claremont, CA Read More

Only TWO DAYS Remain to Get Early Bird Discounted Tix for “GrowRIVERSIDE: The Future of Local Food” Conference

March 22, 2015 |
From left to right: Robert Egger, founder of L.A. Kitchen; Krysia Zajonc, CEO and co-founder of Local Food Lab; Bob Knight, founder of Inland Orange Conservancy and Old Grove Orange, Inc.; Fortino Morales III, UC Riverside Community Garden Coordinator.

(From left to right) – Robert Egger, founder of L.A. Kitchen; Krysia Zajonc, CEO and co-founder of Local Food Lab; Bob Knight, founder of Inland Orange Conservancy and Old Grove Orange, Inc.; Fortino Morales III, UC Riverside Community Garden Coordinator.

RIVERSIDE, CA – Only 2 DAYS REMAIN to obtain Early Bird DISCOUNTED REGISTRATION Tickets for the “GrowRIVERSIDE: The Future of Local Food” Conference (Purchase here: The event, to be held June 11-13, at the Riverside Convention Center, will assist cities in examining and developing solutions to develop and strengthen their urban agriculture and local food infrastructure. Experts in farming small plots, new business creation, local food marketplace development and community food access will come together to offer solutions on how Riverside can become a model for other cities to follow.

In compliment to featured keynote presentations on “How the Local Food Market Opportunity Strengthens Community, Environment and Economy,” “Developing Business Models to Support Small Farmers and Strengthen the Local Food System,” and “The Importance of Local Food in Addressing the Nutrition Needs of Riverside’s and by extension America’s Children,” the two-day program will offer a series of panels including:

  • Local Food Access for All – An exploration of how to make fresh and local food available to all in an economically viable manner; addressing food deserts and food access in Riverside and beyond;
  • Building a Local Food Market – A discussion of how to scale the local food marketplace in Riverside and beyond via the creation of food hubs, appealing to institutional buyers from hospitals to schools;
  • Local Agriculture Innovation – an examination of various technologies (aquaponics, irrigation technology, et al) as well as new business models (CSA, direct marketing) enabling the development of economically sustainable small-scale farming operations;

The program, organized for the City of Riverside by Seedstock co-founder Robert Puro, has been formulated as a model for any and all cities looking to enhance local and urban agriculture. The deadline to purchase tickets at the “early bird” price ends Tuesday, March 24. For additional information pertaining to the event, ticket prices, program speakers, and registration, please visit

Click here to purchase your Early Bird Special Ticket!


Mark Winne – Co-founder of the Connecticut Food Policy Council
Robert Egger – Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen
Dwight Detter – Local Forager for Whole Foods Market
Viviana Franco – Executive Director of From Lot To Spot
Fortino Morales III – UC Riverside Community Garden Coordinator
Rodney K. Taylor – Director of Nutrition Services, for the Riverside Unified School District
Robert Tse – State Broadband Coordinator for USDA CA Rural Development
Erika Block – Local Orbit
Bob Knight – Founder of Inland Orange Conservancy and Old Grove Orange, Inc.
Rishi Kumar – Founder of The Growing Home
David Rosenstein – Founder of EVO Farm & Chair of the Aquaponics Association – Western Region
Pierre Sleiman – Founder of Go Green Agriculture
Krysia Zajonc – CEO and Co-founder of Local Food Lab
Jim Bergantz – Sales Engineer at Agra Tech, Inc.
Mateo Aguilar – Co-founder of Local Food Lab
Hop Hopkins – Co-founder of Panther Ridge Farm
… and more!

More information on the conference:

Click here to purchase your Early Bird Special Ticket!


97 Percent of All U.S. Farms are Family-Owned, USDA Reports

March 20, 2015 |

post_usdalogoWASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that family-owned farms remain the backbone of the agriculture industry. The latest data come from the Census of Agriculture farm typology report and help shine light on the question, “What is a family farm?”

“As we wrap up mining the 6 million data points from the latest Census of Agriculture, we used typology to further explore the demographics of who is farming and ranching today,” said NASS Statistics Division Director Hubert Hamer. “What we found is that family-owned businesses, while very diverse, are at the core of the U.S. agriculture industry. In fact, 97 percent of all U.S. farms are family-owned.” Read More

City of Riverside Displays Local Food Chops at Inaugural GrowRIVERSIDE “Dinner in the Grove”

March 16, 2015 |

The City of Riverside’s local food bounty was on full display at the inaugural GrowRIVERSIDE “Dinner in the Grove”, which took place on Saturday, March 14. The over 70 people in attendance at the dinner from the Mayor of the City of Riverside to local businessmen, school teachers and administrators, growers and more were treated to a dinner created by The Salted Pig along with a desert featuring swiss chard and other locally sourced ingredients from à la minute, an ice cream parlor that used liquid nitrogen to freeze very small batches of ice cream right before attendees’ eyes. Additional sponsors of the dinner included beer sponsor Packinghouse Brewing Co., coffee sponsor Torch Coffee, wine sponsor Ponte Winery and Fairlawn Farm.

Almost all of the food was sourced from within 40 miles of the City of Riverside and the bulk of the ingredients from wild nettle and pea shoots to lemons, oranges, fennel and chard were sourced directly from Fairlawn Farm, the farm at which the dinner took place.

The menu was as follows:

– Roasted New Potatoes
– Braised Nettle (sourced directly from Fairlawn Farm)
– Gonestraw Farms Chicken
– Cook’s Ranch Pork Shoulder
– Sauteed Pea Greens (sourced directly from Fairlawn Farm)
– Shaved Fennel (sourced directly from Fairlawn Farm)
– Strawberry Swiss Chard Sorbet (Swiss Chard sourced directly from
Fairlawn Farm)

Read More

GrowRIVERSIDE Announces Community Food Systems Expert, Mark Winne, as Opening Day Keynote

March 12, 2015 |
mark winne story image growriverside

Community Food Systems Expert and Former Executive Director of the Hartford Food System, Mark Winne.

GrowRIVERSIDE organizers, Seedstock and the City of Riverside, are pleased to announced that Mark Winne, former executive director of the Hartford Food System and co-founder of the Connecticut Food Policy Council and Community Food Security Coalition among others, will deliver the opening keynote address at the GrowRIVERSIDE Conference on June 11.

From 1979 to 2003, Mark Winne was the Executive Director of the Hartford Food System, a private non-profit agency that works on food and hunger issues in the Hartford, Connecticut area. During his tenure with HFS, Mark organized community self-help food projects that assisted the city’s lower income and elderly residents. Mark’s work with the Food System included the development of commercial food businesses, Connecticut’s Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, farmers’ markets, a 25-acre community supported agriculture farm, a food bank, food and nutrition education programs, and a neighborhood supermarket. Read More

“GrowRIVERSIDE Community Gathering” to Explore Upcoming Conference and Local Food Entrepreneurs

March 1, 2015 |

grcommunity 650Interested in learning more about the upcoming GrowRIVERSIDE and networking with local food entrepreneurs, growers and community advocates? Then you won’t want to miss the first in a series of “GrowRIVERSIDE Community Gatherings” on Thursday, March 26 at The Boathouse at Fairmont Park from 5:30pm – 8:30pm come where you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the upcoming 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference (June 11 – 13) and how you can participate in and help to develop a vibrant local food system in the City of Riverside.

“GrowRIVERSIDE Community Gatherings” will function as nexuses for networking, community building and solution development around the core local food system issues in the City from growing new food businesses and farmers to resident concerns and food access. Read More

Experts in Local Food System Development, Urban Agriculture to Highlight “GrowRIVERSIDE” Conference in June

February 26, 2015 |

growriverside speakersRIVERSIDE, Calif., Feb. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — A stellar roster of sustainable urban agriculture experts is slated to impart insight and ingenuity at the 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food.

Presented by Seedstock in partnership with the City of Riverside, the event, scheduled for June 11-13, fosters the growth of a sustainable local food and agriculture system that benefits communities, environments and economies in Riverside and in cities supporting these endeavors.

“This year, GrowRIVERSIDE will dive deeply into the nuts and bolts of what it takes to develop and strengthen a city’s urban agriculture and local food infrastructure,” said Robert Puro, Seedstock co-founder and GrowRIVERSIDE conference organizer.  “Experts in farming small plots, new business creation, local food marketplace development and community food access will come together to offer solutions on how Riverside can become a model for other cities to follow.” Read More