Panoringa’s’s cooperative with 200 South acres of farmland teachers in the South South.

Ann Marie Panoringa.

O.C. Food columnist – reporting on industry news, current events and trends. Panoringa’s previous work included writing about OC’s weekly food writing, in which she interviewed more than 330 chefs, restaurants, and industry experts in the weekly “Online” column. She is accredited by the Orange County Press Club and is a frequent guest on AM 830’s Socal Restaurant Show.

The UC South Coast near the intersection of Irvin Bulevard and Modjesca is not part of the UC Irvin or Costa Mesa South Coast neighborhood. Associated with the University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). The main purpose of the station is to serve as a research institute for UC scientists in the region.

In recent years, leadership has made concerted efforts to open the door to community access, host local school visits, organize u-pick events, and work with small businesses on current events. I have lived for more than 15 years, 10 miles from the farm, but because I was educated and I visited the property for the first time in the summer. For the past four months, I have been intrigued by what he has to offer on each visit, meeting with UC South Coast and participating in some of its activities.

Past and Present UC ANR Research

Founded in 1956 (eight years before the founding of UCI), this research and extension center is one of nine in the state. Due to Irwin’s tropical climate and coastal growth, the land is ideal for studying fruits, trees, and ornamental plants. It is also home to related programs such as Orange County UCCE Major Gardeners and Orange County Agriculture Bureau.

Academic experts from UC Riverside and UC Davis conduct research on the UC South Coast. There are also 40 different active research projects by postgraduate scholars from non-US universities. “If a project is on the ground, our farm workers will take care of the land, labor and water,” said community educator Jason Sups. Some data collection is done by individual researchers.

Suppes invited me to pick some green beans, and one morning I was having a hard time picking carrots while discussing gardening successes. In previous projects, 85% of the strawberries eaten in North America were grown in collaboration with a sister site in Ventura. After the completion of the research, many projects are expected in the South South. For example, as a result of the previous project, the farm occupies the largest cherimoya shrub (the most peaceful place on the farm) in the Northern Hemisphere.

The current study involves avocado cultivation, led by Dr. Mary Lu Arpia, a leading avocado researcher and director of the UCR breeding program at UC Riverside. Four new avocado proprietary plans are set to be used in international markets soon.

Darren Hoover, Director of UC South Coast and Water Resources / Water Consultant, spent time with me as he described the physical and virtual project Hub for Urban Living in its early stages of development. Overseeing the only research and extension center in the city, Haver offers unique opportunities to meet with experts in various fields related to food security, agriculture, pest control and other topics.

Planning a visit To UC South Coast

UC South Coast is at 7601 Irvine Blvd. In Irvin. Due to ongoing research projects, the farm is generally not open to the public. If you are interested in learning more about this site, here are some tips to help you get started:

The center’s objectives include the establishment of a network of professionals focused on critical issues of sustainable urban life and the facilitation of partnerships between government agencies, the private sector and educational institutions.

For example, Harvest Solution Farm is a consultative project between UC South Coast, Second Harvest Food Bank and Solutions for Urban Ag led by Chairman AG Kawamura. Beginning August 31, 2021, volunteers began planting cabbage on one hectare of land. Harvest Solutions The goal of the crop is to plant 45 hectares of celery, broccoli and cabbage weekly until they reach the ground, feeding the needy and creating food security in the area.

Environmental Cooperation

In addition to research on UC South Coast farming, Suppes works with local entrepreneurs to find fresh ingredients for their products. Individuals include Janditger Tea founder Lane Zentil and Forekachiia canal owner Derek Brachon.

Zintil’s first visit was to invite a chef’s friend to visit the site in 2019. “Every time I jump into a golf cart with Tami (Magcherek, a community educator) and Jason, I feel like a child in a candy store,” she said. And of course, thick green pulp balls came out, ”she said.

She remembers visiting the bergamot tree. Bergamot is a fragrant citrus used in Earl Gray tea. According to Zentil, it is one of the hottest drinks in the United States (second in breakfast tea). She said of the fruit as Unicorn Citrus, “Because when I was training for tea sommelier, I was told that bergamot grows mostly in China and Italy, not Irvin!” She shouted. He was surprised that Zentil had cut open bergamot and scratched his skin.

As the founder of Jadeetger Tea, Lan’s mission is to create organic, handmade tea leaves. She enjoys eating fresh fruits and turning them into special tea drinks and cocktails. “Tea is a sustainable resource that grows near the Cancer Trophy, so when I have to travel to Asia, Africa or India to visit a real tea state, UC Farm is my farm-to-cup connection,” Zentil said.

Prior to the outbreak, Zentil helped prepare tea for a special meeting between the Chancellors and the UC Faculty and staff. “I made ice cream with hand-picked jasmine coconut ice cream and black pork guava honey ice cream made from strawberry guava (also from the South Coast),” she said.

Coincidentally, it was the same luncheon at Focachia Boy Derrick Bracho, where he met Soap and Zentil. “Since then, Jason and I have been killed and it comes to mind when they have more produce. From garlic to potatoes, I have used everything I can, ”Bracho said.

Soup and Bracho recently had a special pizza special. They both had a craving for garlic cheese from North Woods House, so they made pizza cakes using a purple garlic crop that grew on the UC South Coast. The Focachia Canal Square Pizza, called West Street In, began with garlic rosemary dough, then smoked cedar garlic butter (made with purple garlic), a mixture of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and parmesan.

Bracho Sups believes he is creating something unique at UC South Coast. “The relationship with the makers is unique and you can’t find it anywhere else, it allows people to produce,” Bracho said.

Development Program

A joint effort between the OC Farm office and the UC South Coast Orange County Development Agricultural Education Program caters to young people from local schools in horticulture and agricultural landscapes. Initially focused on high school students participating in Agriculture and Future American Farmers (FFA) programs, this year’s crop includes those enrolled in CET Technical Education (CTE) courses.

Students can spend part of the morning interactive modules and learn how the field facilitates research projects as they tour the site by car and on foot. In addition, some of the crops grown in Southern California learn the importance of culture, such as dragon fruit and cherry. Afterwards, they discuss the professional and personal impact of the UC South Coast on their own culinary journey with entrepreneurs such as Zentil and Bracho. The tour ends with a selection of delicacies, including pomegranate (white pomegranate apricots are now popular, thanks to tasting), comparing apples and honey.

Derek Bracho (right) Fokasia Boy speaking program students at UC South Coast. Credit Ann Marie Panoringan / OC. Sound

Sharing ice-cream tea mixed with pomegranate and honey, Zentil spoke with Huntington Beach Union School District students about the importance of incorporating organic and environmental ingredients. “The kids were completely engrossed and never had a taste of pomegranate juice or they didn’t know that tea was just one leaf (Camellia Cinnamon),” she said.

Bracho’s warmth warmed up when he realized that it would be helpful for the younger one to hear about his experiences. “Seeing all these different chefs and makers opens the mind to the creative life that drives some of us into it,” he said.

Community outreach

In addition to the development program, UC South Coast provides events and opportunities for the public to visit and learn more about the farm. These activities take the form of current product sales and interactive activities.

During the first annual run-off run in October, participants toured the gardens and shrubs. The day included a plentiful supply of herbs and expo by UC ANR experts on a wide range of topics, including nutrition and vegetable care.

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Cherimoya and avocado popcorn volunteers were picking up and packing pre-paid fruit bags. Proceeds from the sale will support UC South Coast teams, including the Adult Transition Workforce Program.

The most popular activities are known as “u-pick”, when subscribers get a crop and pick up a bag that can be reused with enough potatoes, summer squash or hyper season. Before taking Percimon, I watched as participants were treated to a hoshigaki display – a Japanese Persian air-drying method to preserve the sweet fruit throughout the year; It is a relatively simple process, a time-consuming commitment.

“We are committed to spreading the gospel about the benefits of urban agriculture and research in urban agriculture and our daily lives,” he said. “Jason and Tami are very approachable, knowledgeable and constantly sharing the blessings of the farm.”

Anne Marie Panoringa is a columnist for the Voice of OC Arts and Culture. She can be reached at

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