An Introduction to the Project

Santa Cruz County is a region shaped by an abundant bay, naturally rich soils, an evolving cultural landscape, an economy rooted in natural resources and something that has tied them all together: Food.

We want to bring all these components together into a book, blog, website, and phone app that connects locals and tourists to the history and culture of Santa Cruz county through the lens of local food such as:

  • Apples
  • Brussels sprouts and artichokes
  • Berries
  • Seafood
  • Dry-farm tomatoes
  • Eggs and Dairy
  • Sugar beets
  • Wine and grapes
  • Beer and hops

To explore these foods we will be looking at where they were introduced from, who cultivated them, how they were used, and how they were and are grown and produced. We will also research economic histories, environmental impacts and share interesting facts we discover along the way. The project will include a call for recipes that showcase the diverse ways these foods have been used in Santa Cruz. While many local recipe and history books have been written, we see this as a new opportunity to celebrate our food traditions, and unite education with pleasure.

This project will honor our food heritage and inspire future generations of food stewards.

We are working with the support of the Agricultural History Project and Slow Food Santa Cruz. Many local  government and private historical archives have been generously opened to us, and we will list those organizations soon.

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