Celebrate Long Beach’s Sustainable Food Movement on Food Day, Dia de los Verdes-Style


Images courtesy of Green Long Beach!

Join the sustainable food celebration this Saturday, October 24 as Dia de los Verdes returns to North Long Beach on Food Day, an annual event created to call attention to what works and what’s broken within our food system on both a local and international level, and what we can do it fix it.

diadeThis year’s Food Day theme is “Toward a Greener Diet” and encourages participants to not only celebrate accomplished sustainability, but to work harder toward a vision of maintaining a healthier diet and creating a better food system, to inspire healthier communities through the enjoyment of food produced with consideration for the environment, animals and the people creating it.

“Highlighting the food movement at Dia de los Verdes is just one example of the way that Long Beach shows our commitment to sustainability,” said Valerie Smith, one of the organizers, in a statement. “But we are excited to showcase art, music, and movement through a community ceremony.”

Alongside the festivities, the first annual Food Champions that were announced at the Sustainable City Commission on September 24 will be honored at a 2:00PM ceremony. Awardees include nonprofits, local businesses and small farmers from all over Long Beach.

Each of the nine districts featured “a tremendous amount of candidates,” said Smith in a statement. “It was incredibly difficult for our team to distinguish only a few, but we are confident that those awarded highlight the variety of exemplary people, businesses, and organizations that make the food movement so strong in Long Beach.”

Some of the deserving recipients spearheading the sustainable food movement in the city include Cesar Chavez Children’s Gateway Park, the first Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible community garden in Long Beach in District 1, Rainbow Juices, providing locally-sourced, organic, raw juices in District 2 and Panxa Cocina, showcasing local, seasonal, fresh and sustainable sourcing at the Latin-influenced restaurant in District 3.

diade1Food Day also awarded the Citywide Food Champion award to Roland Tamai, owner of Tamai Farms, one of the largest suppliers of sustainable produce to both residents and businesses in Long Beach, according to the release.

Dia de los Verdes builds upon the traditional Mexican Día de los Muertos holiday, a day meant to honor lost loved ones through feasting, creativity and remembrance, by inviting the community to “remember and uplift our planet and all the gifts she provides,” according to the announcement.

Attendees can check out the altars created by local artists and organizations, and even learn to make one. Local musicians will share their sound, while friends and neighbors gather over food, yoga and other fun activities such as pumpkin painting and bicycle safety workshops, not to mention a bicycle giveaway.

Highlights of the day include two stages and 12 musical sets played by Nothing But Flowers, Bootleg Orchestra, Tall Walls, MOVE, The Red Leslies, The Hawkline Monster, Alyssandra Nighswonger, Daniel and Bear, Alicia Murphy, Rene Marino, Front Porch Dreamer, Julian Moon and DJ Hawkeye.

Attendees can learn from several cooking demonstrations featuring special guests Beth from Tasty Yummies and Ranmalee from Veda -The Spice of Life. Tours of the farm, including its aquaponics system, community garden, chickens and growing orchard, will be scheduled throughout the day.

Dia de los Verdes will take place at The Growing Experience, an urban farm and community garden in a low-income housing development in North Long Beach, located at 751 Via Carmelitos, from 11:00AM to 7:00PM with both an opening and closing ceremony. Guests are encouraged to bring their own water bottles.

For more information about Dia de los Verdes, visit the Facebook event page here.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.