Since 2001 Steve Sprinkel and Olivia Chase — The Farmer and The Cook respectively — have been serving up organic food at their casual corner grocery and restaurant in the Ojai Valley borough of Meiners Oaks. It’s real good food.
On this episode of the podcast, Sprinkel sits down with me in his humming organic office at the market and we discuss the state of affairs with local, regional and national issues around farming food production and regulation. If that seems boring, quit being so negative. Steve is a local legend and a regional and national expert on these issues, plus he’s one of the most entertaining characters I know in town. I think you’ll enjoy this episode and likely want to tell a friend or neighbor about it.
I’m grateful for the Farmer and the Cook because they support my window washing efforts at their store and they now carry the “Organic Or Else” tie dyed tote bags that are printed by my hands with an ominous image of Sprinkel’s mug.
I couldn’t resist. Go in there to the store at 339 W. El Roblar Drive in Meiners Oaks and check out the bags, the windows, the people, the soup and the bulk foods… for starters.
And kindly enjoy this conversation, brought to you in part by the Ojai App for your smartphone, now with the 2013 Holiday Shopping Guide. Get it on your phone and keep up with your local community more completely.
Cheers and thank you so much for supporting and listening and commenting and saying “hello” when I’m out and about in our beautiful paradise valley home. Goodness we’re the fortunate few.
I met Lisa Casoni of Porch Gallery Ojai and the Ojai Art Festival a few weeks back and she introduced me to the ideas behind her collaboration on a brand new art festival here in town. We talk about Fallen Fruit of Ojai map which shows where you can find publicly accessible fruit in the downtown neighborhoods. I blogged about that a few days ago and wrote about it as well in the Ojai Valley News.
In our interview we talk about Gordon Matta-Clark, who’s body of work inspired the Ojai Art Festival and earned main street Ojai with its very own garbage wall built by Greg at the MOB Shop bike shop. Here’s a video to learn more about Matta Clark from the Whitney Museum.
I enjoyed this interview very much and I think you will too. Lisa is involved in some really great artistic activities, products and services that are revolutionizing the way a festival happens and artists and patrons interact.
There’s a pretty good chance that you’ve observed the temperate climate of Ojai and how it lends itself to a verdant and rich display of agriculture throughout the Valley. Citrus and avocado groves blanket much of the landscape and in the downtown streets Ojai central, a surprising number of yards also sport a variety of fruit-bearing trees, bushes and vines.
A number of the yard and publicly planted fruit trees hang over sidewalks and roadways drooping heavy at times with a bounty of unpicked fruit. This is where the guys at Fallen Fruit come in. Essentially a public art collaboration, originally conceived by David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young, it began by mapping fruit trees growing on or over public property in Los Angeles and other cities. This fruit, they determined, was up for grabs by anyone who passes near or neath it on the sidewalk or street and dares to reach up and pick it. Oranges, lemons, loquats, grapes and pomegranates all make an appearance in Ojai’s downtown blocks their newest map reveals.
“We are working with Fallen Fruit from Los Angeles in two different ways. One is a neighborhood infusion that will soon be distilled here in Ojai right before the festival begins on November 7, and the other is a map that they have produced of Ojai called Fallen Fruit of Ojai. Here’s information about them on our website,” Casoni stated.
When Lisa gave me a copy of the map, it opened my eyes in a whole ‘nother way. Now on my bicycle rides and walks, heck even driving around, I’m suddenly more aware of the trees and peoples’ yards. Further as a progenitor of face-shaped Ojai art, its pretty cool to me that the map drawing looks like a head. I like that the maps by Fallen Fruit aren’t exhaustive, rather focusing on a few streets in a local neighborhood. Ojai’s new map is bordered by Shady Lane and Signal Street on the east and west and by Grand Avenue and Ojai Avenue on the north and south.
The kicker comes down Thursday evening Nov. 7, 2013 at the Ojai Art Festival’s opening at the Porch Gallery which will also include works from photographer Enrico Natali. Also featured at the gallery will be several artists who have been juried into the Ojai Art Festival. At this point we’ll all be able to handle paper copies of this map and get our thirsts all over this neighborhood infusion. My understanding is that it is some sort of rye and mulberry mixture Lisa dreamed up with Jorge at OBC. Can’t wait to get my kisser up close and personal with a few thimblefuls of that. MMMMM AHHHH.