Support Fairview Gardens : Create Community Connection

16 May

Farm : Open to the Public

As many of you know The City of Goleta has put Fairview Gardens on tomorrows City Council Meeting Agenda.  The topic of discussion; $46,873.80 in accumulated CUP fee’s.  Please follow this link to read in detail about these fee’s here.  The city staff has proposed two ways to deal with these fee’s:

1.  Direct that all accumulated unpaid balances associated with the various Fairview Gardens planning deposit applications (total accumulated unpaid balance of $46,873.80) be waived and that costs are recovered from the General Fund.

2.  Direct that all accumulated unpaid balances associated with the various Fairview Gardens planning deposit applications (total accumulated unpaid balance of $46,873.80) be paid by the applicant via a long-term payment plan and/or through collections.

* The City Council may elect to introduce an alternative or modified approach.

Here is an excerpt from a letter our Executive Director, Mark Tollefson sent to the City Council Members May 1, 2011:

Dear Council Members,

In the Past years Fairview Gardens has gone through major changes.  We have finished 4 out of 5 phases in the upgrading of our Farm Worker Housing , we met all the requirements of our Commercial Poultry Operation CUP, we have submitted an application for a Conditional Use Permit for the building of a new farm stand, and we have submitted an application for educational and special events Conditional Use Permit so we can continue to provide much needed educational and recreational services to our community. We have accrued various fees for all of the Conditional Use Permit activity that we have been engaged in.  The plans for all of these permits were established and begun in a different financial era. 

We are asking for a full waiver of all fees that have been accrued from our Conditional Use Permit activities.  We recognize fees have been required of both for profit and nonprofit organizations, recognizing that application processing is a direct cost to the City.  We also understand the City’s financial challenges.  We recognize we don’t qualify for the City’s exceptions to fee collection.  However, due to our unique challenges and change in operations, we believe a fee waiver is nevertheless in the public interest.  We do not believe a waiver of fees will set a precedent of fee waivers for other future non-profits due to the unique characteristics of the permits that we have applied for. 

Fairview Gardens is a “beneficial project”, providing support, recreation, community connection, education, and access to healthy food for residents of Goleta and Santa Barbara County.  Over the years Fairview Gardens has consistently provided many opportunities for our community to benefit from our our activities.  We provide education on why organic agriculture is important and have benefited the community with easily accessible high quality food.  People recreate here in taking our free public tours, our Suburban Homesteading classes teach much needed self reliance skills empowering people to take a more active part in their own lives, and in the whole community. 

Finally we firmly believe that we have a huge role to play in our community.  We provide emergency relief with the food we grow at the farm in case of a natural disaster striking our area, almost every school in our area visits Fairview Gardens at least once during the school year, and in more intangible ways we answer scores of visits, phone calls, and emails from local residents needing help with everything from bee swarms to tomato blight.  We believe that the community benefits from a stable educational presence of agriculture in an urban environment. As a non-profit organization in a challenging economic climate, Fairview Gardens faces difficulties in funding.  We need to continue to focus our efforts on stabilizing our current operation and finishing our strategic planning.  We are confident that our current work will bring us the stability we seek, and it will then allow us to continue reaching into the community to provide subsidies for low-income families to have access to our food and programs.

In closing I must put a recommendation in for the staff we work with at the City of Goleta.  It has been a pleasure to work with people of such high character.

Sincerely, Mark Tollefson

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call 967-7369.  If you can’t come, please write a letter to the City of Goleta. What the city needs to see is that Fairview Gardens provides a needed public benefit. You can email your letter to Scott Kolwitz. He is a senior planner at the City of Goleta.

Again, thanks for your help!

Please Join us Tuesday, May 17th at 6:00 pm.

Goleta City Hall

130 Cremona Drive, Suite B

Sneak Peek:

Lacinato Kale



Salad Mix


Fava Beans

Sugar Snap Peas


Recipe of the Week:

Penne with Sugar Snap Peas and Arugula Pesto


  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 pound penne 
  • 3/4 to 1 cup arugula pesto

For the pesto:

  • 2 bunches of arugula, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well and spun dry (about 6 packed cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Sardo
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • l large clove
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
To prepare the penne:
In a large saucepan of salted boiling water blanch the sugar snap peas for 45 seconds, or until they are crisp-tender, transfer them with a skimmer to a large serving bowl, and toss them with 1/2 cup of the pesto. In the boiling water cook the pasta until it is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking water, and drain the pasta in a colander. In the bowl with the sugar snap peas toss the pasta with the reserved pasta-cooking water, 1/4 cup of the remaining pesto, or to taste, and salt and pepper to taste.To make the pesto:
In a food processor combine the arugula, the walnuts, the Parmesan or Sardo, the salt, and the garlic and pulse the motor until the walnuts are chopped fine. With the motor running add the oil in a stream and blend the pesto with hot cooked pasta, potatoes, or vegetables. The pesto keeps, chilled, its surface covered with plastic wrap, for 2 weeks. Makes about 2 cups.

Recipe from Epicurious

Leftover Quinoa?  (these just looked so good!)

Little Quinoa Patties
by Heidi Swanson
Makes 12 little patties

**Note: This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen**

Anytime I have leftover cooked quinoa, I make these little patties. They’re good hot or cold and are well suited to fighting afternoon hunger pangs. It’s a bit of a stretch, but they could be described as a (very) distant cousin of arancini, Italy’s beloved deep-fried risotto balls. In contrast, these are pan-fried in a touch of oil, and smushed flat in the pan to get as much surface browning and crust as possible. I’m including my basic version, but often times I’ll add a handful of very finely chopped this-or-that: broccoli, asparagus, or cauliflower, depending on the season. They’re great on their own, slathered with ripe avocado or drizzled with hot sauce.

2 1/2 cups / 12 oz / 340 g cooked quinoa*, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup / .5 oz / 15 g finely chopped fresh chives
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup / .5 oz/ 15 g freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
Water, if needed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter

Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into twelve 1-inch / 2.5cm thick patties. I err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if need be. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 6 patties, if they’ll fit with some room between each, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply browned. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until the patties are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Alternatively, the quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook patties to order, if you prefer.

* To cook quinoa: Combine 2 cups / 12 oz / 340 g of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 3 cups / 700 ml water and 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.

Read More, here.

Next Suburban Homesteading Workshop

Backyard Chickens

May 21 9 am to 5 pm $85.00
Click here to sign up On-line

Learn everything you need to raise happy hens, including a hen house and yard set-up, nesting boxes, water, feed, local suppliers, caring for your hens and chicks and favorite crops to grow for your chickens. You will see how easy it is to raise chickens and how great a role they play in creating a healthy organic vegetable garden. Give them food scraps and garden greens – they give us eggs and fertilizer. Chickens are wonderful pets that fully participate and contribute to the whole.


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