Join Us on Our Next Irvine Food Tour Destination: Da Lu’au Hawaiian Grill!

da luThe shared meal is no small thing. It is a foundation of family life, the place where our children learn the art of conversation and acquire the habits of civilization.” Michael Pollan, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (2013) 

Please join us as we continue our Irvine Food Tour with Commissioner Melissa Fox and UCI Professor Catherine Liu, showcasing and sharing our wonderful cultural diversity in Irvine as expressed in scores of amazing local restaurants and markets featuring cuisines as diverse as Irvine’s population!

Our next food tour stop is on Monday, April 21, 2014, at 6:00 pm for a casual and delicious dinner at Da Lu’au Hawaiian Grill, 14151 Jeffrey Rd, Irvine, CA 92620.

Our host and Irvine Food Tour guide will be Da Lu’au Hawaiian Grill’s owner Marc Ner will introduce us to his delicious island cuisine that has gotten rave reviews.

The menu includes Kalua Pork, Chicken and Pork Katsu, Beef Jun, Kalbi Ribs, Coconut Shrimp, Loco Moco and Poke Bowl.

There are vegetarian and kid-friendly options.

And save room for shaved ice for dessert!

Each diner will purchase their own items from the counter.

As always, there’s going to be great food and great conversation!

What: “Irvine Food Tour with Commissioner Melissa Fox and Professor Catherine Liu.”
When: Monday, April 21, 2014, at 6:00 PM
Where: Da Lu’au Hawaiian Grill, 14151 Jeffrey Rd, Irvine, CA 92620

If you have any questions, please contact me at 949-683-8855 or melissa@melissafoxlaw.com.

Upcoming Food Tour Destinations:

Dim Sum Lunch at Capital Sea Food — 1:30 pm on May 8, 2014 (Please RSVP now!)

Diamond Jamboree Tour — TBA

Previous Irvine Food Tour Destinations:

99 Ranch Market, 15333 Culver Dr., Irvine, CA 92604

Gourmet Grill Masters Restaurant, 14141 Jeffrey Road, Irvine, CA 92620

Mokkoki Shabu Restaurant, 14041 Jeffrey Rd., Irvine, CA 92620

Four Sea Restaurant, 15435 Jeffrey Rd., Irvine 92618 (Jeffrey and Irvine Center Drive)

Call for Action: Support Orange County’s Veterans at the April 22 Irvine City Council Meeting

 

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I recently spoke to the Irvine City Council in support of Assembly Bill 1453, introduced by Assembly Member Sharon Quirk Silva (65th AD), which would create a state-owned and state-operated veterans’ cemetery in Orange County, the state’s largest county with no dedicated burial ground for its combat veterans and other servicemen and women.

veterans.melissa.citycouncil.01In addition, I wrote to Irvine’s Mayor and City Council members, as well as to Irvine’s two Assembly Members, Allan Mansoor (AD 74) and Donald Wagner (AD 68), Irvine’s California State Senator Mimi Walters (SD 37), Senator Ben Hueso (SD 40), Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and Senator Lou Correa (SD 34), Orange County member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, urging them not only to support the bill to create an Orange County Veterans Cemetery, but also to locate this cemetery in a portion of the Great Park that was once the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.

I was tremendously proud that my father, a decorated Korean War combat veteran, joined with many other Orange County veterans and also spoke to the City Council, urging them to support a veterans’ cemetery in a portion of the Great Park.

The Irvine City Council then narrowly voted 3-2 to support AB 1453 and call for the establishment of the Southern California Veterans Cemetery in Orange County, to express the City’s strong interest in providing at least 100 acres of land at the Orange County Great Park (formerly MCAS El Toro), and to form a site selection committee of interested parties to see if a suitable location is feasible in and around the Great Park location.

Now we must protect that victory.

Here is a press release issued by Orange County Veterans’ Memorial Park Committee (OCVMP) urging supporters of the veterans’ memorial park to attend the Irvine City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 22, to ensure that Irvine moves forward with its promises without delay. It is a call for action to support Orange County’s veterans:

PRESS RELEASE AND MEDIA ALERT

Contact: Bill Cook, (949) 697-0123

OCVMP flagFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 2, 2014

Orange County Veterans Have Their Sights Trained On
A Southern California Veterans Cemetery

Group gaining support from State Legislature and a number of Orange County cities.

Ever since the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro (MCAS El Toro) closed in 1999, a small group of Orange County veterans have dreamed of having veterans’ cemetery and memorial for all soldiers who have fought and died defending the United States located on a portion of the former military base. Over the past several months, the group is finally seeing some signs of progress.

The group of about 25 veterans and other veterans’ issues supporters, now known as the Orange County Veterans Memorial Park committee, reports that the following milestones, according to committee chair Bill Cook of Mission Viejo.

In January, Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-CA65), and Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs, introduced Assembly Bill 1453 that would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to apply to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs State Cemetery Grant Program for the construction of a Southern California Veterans Cemetery in Orange County.

In addition, AB 1453:

1. Allows all honorably discharged veterans and their spouses/children eligible for interment in the cemetery — a fee would be imposed for each spouse or child interred in the cemetery.

2. Creates the Southern California Veterans Cemetery Master Development Fund — all money received for the design, development, and construction of the cemetery shall be deposited into this fund.

3. Creates the Southern California Veterans Cemetery Perpetual Maintenance Fund — all funds received would be allocated for the cemetery’s maintenance.

4. Authorizes the cemetery administrator to accept donations of personal property to be used for the maintenance/beautification of the cemetery.

Background

According to the National Cemetery Administration, the closest regional option for Orange County veterans is the Riverside Veterans Cemetery, which offers neither a convenient location nor a long-term solution for the estimated 133,000 Orange County veterans and their families.

California is home to more veterans than any other state. Despite the fact that Orange County is also home to Army, Navy, and Marine bases, Orange County has been identified as the state’s largest county without a veteran’s cemetery. There is clear need, evidence, and community desire for establishing a veteran’s cemetery within Orange County.

Growing County Support for a California State Veterans Cemetery in Orange County

Since the time in January when AB 1453 was introduced, other Orange County government leaders have added their support. Local Orange County elected state leaders have added their support for the bill calling for a Southern California State Veterans Cemetery in Orange County including Assembly Members Tom Daly (AD-69), Alan Mansoor (AD-74) and Don Wagner (AD-68) and Senate Members (Lou Correa (SD-34) and Mimi Walters (SD-37)

In March, the City of Irvine took the lead in supporting the development of a Southern California Veterans in Orange County. Long time Council Member Larry Agran, working in close cooperation with Assembly Member Quirk-Silva and OCVMP committee chair Bill Cook, introduced and obtained passage of a resolution to both support AB 1453 and call for the establishment of the Southern California Veterans Cemetery in Orange County, express the City’s strong interest in providing at least 100 acres of land at the Orange County Great Park (formerly MCAS El Toro) and the formation of a site selection committee of interested parties to see if a suitable location is feasible in and around the Great Park location. . . .

Next Action Steps

The topic of the Southern California State Veterans Cemetery in Orange County again will be on the agenda of the Irvine City Council on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The planned discussion item will be the formation of a Site Selection Committee to review possible locations in and around the Orange County Great Park and the former MCAS El Toro land. The OCVMP committee is urging all interested Orange County veterans to attend this April 22 City Council meeting which normally begins at 5:00 P.M. Veterans are encouraged to wear their patches, ribbons and other appropriate ceremonial attire. The Irvine City Hall is located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine (corner of Alton Parkway & Harvard).

If you agree that our Orange County veterans deserve a final resting place close to their families and loved ones, and that a portion of the Great Park in Irvine, which was once the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, would be an altogether fitting and proper location for this Orange County Veterans Cemetery, as well as a lasting memorial to the Great Park’s military heritage, please attend the Irvine City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 22, to show your support.

Thank you.

Alegria Fresh, Orange County Produce and Filtrexx Corporation launch the ‘Farm of the Future’ at the Great Park in Irvine

By Christopher Simmons

Reposted, with permission, from California Newswire.

IRVINE, Calif. /California Newswire/ — California-based Alegria Fresh, in collaboration with Orange County Produce, LLC and Filtrexx Corporation, today announced the launch of the “Farm of the Future” hydroponic and organic farming demonstration center at the Great Park in Irvine. The demonstration center, which features high-performance urban hydroponic vertical and organic farming methods, just completed a new organic food production farm using GardenSoxx.

GardenSoxx is an innovative organic food production system that can be used over cement or other man-made surfaces. The “Soxx” are made of eight inch diameter polypropylene mesh and can be filled with any compost or planting mix.

“Nutrient-rich, fresh food is critical to maintaining health and energy. Our goal is to show people how to grow superior produce within the urban environment while substantially reducing the impact of food production upon our planet,” said Erik Cutter, Managing Director of Alegria Fresh. “Systems employing GardenSoxx and hydroponic vertical farming processes are making this possible. 21st Century farmland may consist of man-made surfaces or unused spaces where food cannot be grown safely, so these highly efficient systems just may represent the farms of the future.”

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Photo by Geoff Fox

The new Alegria Soxx farm consists of 13 rows of five Soxx each, for a total of 7,800 linear feet of growing space within an 8,500 square foot area (approximately one fifth of an acre). GardenSoxx drain easily and provide aeration and cooling to keep the root zone stable. The rich organic soil is supported within a controlled environment allowing greater nutrient density to be achieved and weed growth is reduced which decreases labor. Production yields are expected to be nearly double that of conventional farming. Water usage is estimated to be 70 percent less and fertilizer use 50 percent less. Other cost savings such as being weed-free are expected to increase the return on investment of the new urban microfarm.

Thirteen different specialty crops including several cultivars of beets, onions, red and green romaine, radicchio, red and green cabbage, chard, celery and kale are being grown to demonstrate the versatility of the system and prove that urban microfarms can be profitable with no subsidies required. The controlled growing environment assures superior nutrient-dense produce, high yields and faster growth rates. Alegria Soxx Farms create jobs and can be employed in densely populated urban environments to provide access to superior, locally grown food.

“The importance of preparing for a future with less water available cannot be overstated,” said A.G. Kawamura, prior CA Secretary of Agriculture and co-founder of Orange County Produce, LLC. “We are committed to continuing the legacy of farming in Orange County. By repurposing land and leveraging existing technology to increase efficiencies, we can provide practical solutions to supplement a worldwide food issue.”

For more information about the GardenSoxx or hydroponic vertical farming products offered at Alegria Farm, please visit http://www.alegriafarms.com/ .

About Alegria Fresh:

Alegria Fresh designed and manages Alegria Farms, showcasing urban hydroponic vertical and organic GardenSoxx farm systems. The hydroponic vertical farm employs over 120 hydroponic vertical towers growing over 8,000 plants in less than 1/20th acre. The organic Soxx farm consists of 13 rows of five GardenSoxx each, for a total of 7,800 linear feet of growing space within an 8,500 square foot area (approximately one fifth of an acre).

Alegria Farm is part of the interactive urban agricultural exhibit at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. Alegria Farm is Orange County’s first hydroponic vertical farm and organic GardenSoxx farm and the first West Coast showcase for vertical hydroponic systems which uses no soil, 80 percent less water, requires 70 percent less land and 50 percent less fertilizer than traditional farming. This high performance growing system produces clean, natural food faster and allows plants to grow bigger and stronger, making plants naturally more pest resistant.

Alegria Farm produces an exotic variety of leafy greens, medicinal herbs and heirloom vegetables. Hydroponic farming is soilless and utilizes coconut fiber instead of organic soil, and produces strong plants that are nutrient-rich. For more information on Alegria Fresh or to schedule a tour of the farm, please visit www.AlegriaFresh.com or follow on Facebook and Twitter. Alegria Fresh is the high-performance urban agriculture division of EnviroIngenuity, a company dedicated to reducing waste.

Visit Alegria Fresh at http://www.AlegriaFresh.com/ or Alegria Farm athttp://www.AlegriaFarms.com/ and EnviroIngenuity athttp://www.EnviroIngenuity.com/ .

About Orange County Produce, LLC:

One of the oldest remaining farm companies in southern California, Orange County Produce, LLC, has farmed within the rural urban environment of OC for over half a century.

The company is managed by A.G. and Matthew Kawamura, third generation growers and shippers of fresh produce. A.G. Kawamura is the former California Secretary of Agriculture where he served from 2003 to 2010 and is actively involved in developing policy in the areas of education, hunger and nutrition. He serves as the co-chair of Solutions From the Land, a United Nations Foundation project that is developing a sustainable roadmap for 21st century agricultural systems.

Orange County Produce, LLC, engages in year-round production and marketing of fruits and vegetables. Dedicated team members work creatively to resolve hunger and nutrition problems within the local community and educate the public about the art and science of urban farming and the challenges facing our food system. Orange County Produce, LLC, is currently engaged in building an exciting, interactive urban agricultural exhibit at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California.

Visit Orange County Produce at http://www.OCProduce.com/ .

About Filtrexx Corporation:

Filtrexx Corporation is a proven green technology firm that designs and manufactures products used in more than 100 applications. The Filtrexx GardenSoxx system uses locally made, annually renewable, bio-based, recycled compost and other organic materials, contained by the company’s Made in USA mesh containment system to create patented products used around the world. The all-natural Filtrexx system is currently in use in nine countries, including every US state and province in Canada. For more info, visithttp://www.GardenSoxx.com/ .

Copyright © 2014 CaliforniaNewswire® and Neotrope®. California Newswire is a publication of the Neotrope News Network and a U.S. reg. TM of Neotrope.

Fox and Hounds – Meet Up with Commissioner Melissa Fox and Scout at Irvine’s Central Bark Dog Park

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One of my favorite things to do is to take my family’s best friend – Scout, our Siberian Husky – to Irvine’s Central Bark Dog Park, located just off Sand Canyon Avenue at 6405 Oak Canyon Road, for off-leash running, playing, and socializing with other dogs.

How about meeting Scout – and me – at Central Bark this Saturday, March 29, at 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Scout Fox

Scout Fox

Opened in 2000, Irvine’s Central Bark features almost three acres of open field for off-leash doggie play.  The park is funded and maintained by the City – under the supervision of the Community Services Department and the Community Services Commission.  It features water for dogs, bags for dog droppings, high-quality turf for off-leash running and playing, trees for shade, and shaded seating for human (and sometimes canine) visitors.  It is handicapped-accessible.  There are separate fenced areas for small (or frail) dogs and for large dogs – you will often see smaller dogs running the length of the fence barking at and “chasing” the bigger dogs from the safety of their side of the enclosure.

Central Bark also has its own parking lot for about 30 cars and parking on the street is easy and free.  The park’s lighting allows for longer operating hours, from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily except Wednesdays, when it is closed for maintenance.

Entrance is always free.

Central Bark isn’t just a great place for dogs to be social.  It’s also a great place for dog lovers to connect.  It is easy to start a conversation about your dogs, vet care, pet food, the best (and worst) things about Orange County’s dog parks, and the many glories (and the occasional problems) of living life with man’s best friend.

Let’s you and me and our best friends meet at Irvine’s Central Bark this Saturday, March 30.  I will bring Scout, and a short questionnaire that will provide you with the opportunity to let us know what you like and don’t like about the park and your ideas about how we might improve Central Bark for both dogs and people.

See you there!

What: Fox and Hounds – Meet Up with Commissioner Melissa Fox and Scout at Irvine’s Central Bark Dog Park
When: Saturday, March 29, 2014, at 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Where: Irvine’s Central Bark Dog Park, 6405 Oak Canyon Road, Irvine 92618

For park information and for info on closure due to weather, call 949-724-MUDD (6833).

If you have any questions, please contact me at 949-683-8855 or melissa@melissafoxlaw.com.

UpdateThank you to everyone who came to Irvine’s Central Bark yesterday and filled out a survey. We learned that people really love our dog park. There were also some terrific suggestions for making the park even better.  It was great talking with so many people who love their dogs and love our dog park!

Melissa

 

 

Orange County Veterans Deserve a Military Cemetery

iwojima.2

Orange County has a long and proud military tradition. Currently, more than two million veterans live in California – more than in any other state.  This military tradition continues into the present, as nearly 7,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars live in Orange County.

Yet Orange County veterans do not have their own official military cemetery and those in Orange County who want to visit a veteran’s grave in a national cemetery must travel to Riverside, San Diego or Los Angeles counties.

A bill recently introduced in the California Assembly by Sharon Quirk-Silva (AD 65), Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, would remedy this problem by creating a state-owned and state-operated veterans cemetery in Orange County.

As the daughter of an Orange County Korean War combat veteran, I strongly support this bill.  It is time that Orange County offered its veterans – who have sacrificed so much for us – a final resting place close to their families and loved ones.

Furthermore, as an Irvine resident, I believe that a portion of the Great Park in Irvine, which was once the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, would be an altogether fitting and proper location for this Orange County Veterans Cemetery, as well as a lasting memorial to the Great Park’s military heritage.

For these reasons, I have written a letter to Irvine Mayor Steven Choi and the Members of the Irvine City Council, as well as to Irvine’s two Assembly Members, Allan Mansoor (AD 74) and Donald Wagner (AD 68), Irvine’s California State Senator Mimi Walters (SD 37), Senator Ben Hueso (SD 40), Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and Senator Lou Correa (SD 34), Orange County member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, urging them to support the bill to create an Orange County Veterans Cemetery and, also, to locate this cemetery in a portion of the Great Park that was once the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.

If you agree with me, please contact your representatives and the Irvine City Council and let them know that you believe that a cemetery should be established in a portion of the Great Park that was once the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station to serve and honor Orange County veterans.

Here is the letter I sent to Mayor Choi and the Irvine City Council:

March 5, 2014

City of Irvine
1 Civic Center Plaza
Irvine, CA 92625
City Council 1 Civic Center Plaza Irvine, CA 92625

RE: California Assembly Bill 1453

Dear Mayor Choi and Members of the Irvine City Council,

I am writing to urge you to support AB 1453, introduced by Assembly Member Sharon Quirk Silva (65th AD), Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, which would create a state-owned and state-operated veterans’ cemetery in Orange County, the state’s largest county with no dedicated burial ground for its combat veterans and other servicemen and women.

I am also writing to declare my support for locating this new veterans’ cemetery on land that was once the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS El Toro) and is now part of the Great Park in the City of Irvine.

Orange County has a long and proud military tradition. Currently, more than two million veterans live in California – more than in any other state. This military tradition continues into the present, as nearly 7,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars live in Orange County.

Yet Orange County veterans do not have their own official military cemetery and those in Orange County who want to visit a veteran’s grave in a national cemetery must travel to Riverside, San Diego or Los Angeles counties.

It is time that Orange County offered its veterans – who have sacrificed so much for us – a final resting place close to their families and loved ones.

I believe that a portion of the Great Park in Irvine, which was once the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, would be an altogether fitting and proper location for this Orange County Veterans Cemetery, as well as a lasting memorial to the Great Park’s military heritage.

As an Irvine resident and a member of the Irvine Community Services Commission – and as the daughter of an Orange County Korean War combat veteran – I urge you to support AB 1453 to create an Orange County Veterans Cemetery and, also, to locate this cemetery in a portion of the Great Park that was once the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.

Sincerely,

MELISSA J. FOX, ESQ.

Join Us on Our Next Irvine Food Tour Destination: 99 Ranch Market and Bread Farm Bakery!

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903)

Please join me as we continue our Irvine Food Tour with Commissioner Melissa Fox and UCI Professor Catherine Liu, showcasing and sharing our wonderful cultural diversity in Irvine as expressed in scores of amazing restaurants and markets featuring cuisines as diverse as Irvine’s population.

Our next food tour stop is on Friday, March 14, 2014, at 4:30 pm for a guided store tour (with samples) and then dinner at Irvine’s 99 Ranch Market on 15333 Culver Drive.

Founded by Taiwanese American immigrant Roger H. Chen in Orange County’s Little Saigon neighborhood in 1984, 99 Ranch Market has grown to become the largest Asian American supermarket in the United States, with over 35 store locations in California, Nevada, Texas and Washington State.

The 99 Ranch Market on Culver Drive in Irvine also features a newly opened Bread Farm Bakery and Café, which offers customers traditional Taiwanese and European bread and pastries, prepared fresh every day. Bread Farm Bakery is the first endeavor for Executive Chef Haruka Lin, who headed 99 Ranch’s pastry department for the past several years. Chef Lin was trained in Taiwan and served as a pastry chef at the Grand Hyatt in Taipei.

Irvine Food Tour co-host Catherine Liu is Professor of Film & Media Studies and Director of the UCI Humanities Collective. Professor Liu studied at Yale University and received her Ph.D. in French from the Graduate Center, CUNY.  She also speaks Mandarin Chinese, German, Italian, and Spanish.

As always, there’s going to be great food and great conversation!

What: “Irvine Food Tour with Commissioner Melissa Fox and Professor Catherine Liu.”
When: Friday, March 14, 2014, at 4:30 PM
Where: 15333 Culver Dr., Irvine, CA 92604

If you have any questions, please contact me at 949-683-8855 or melissa@melissafoxlaw.com.

Previous Irvine Food Tour Destinations:

Gourmet Grill Masters Restaurant, 14141 Jeffrey Road, Irvine, CA 92620
Mokkoki Shabu Restaurant, 14041 Jeffrey Rd., Irvine, CA 92620
Four Sea Restaurant, 15435 Jeffrey Rd., Irvine 92618 (Jeffrey and Irvine Center Drive)

UPDATE:

Teresa Leung

Teresa Leung

Our host will be 99 Ranch Marketing Associate Teresa Leung.  Teresa is a specialist in exposing Asian cuisines and Asian culture to the larger SoCal community.

The store tour will start at 4:30 pm and last approximately 30-40 minutes.  It is suggested that we bring a jacket, since it gets cold in the store.

Teresa and 99 Ranch staff will guide us around each department of the store with food sampling along the way: Produce, Drinks, Meat, Seafood, Dairy, Freezer, Bread Farm, Asian Kitchen and Deli.

We will conclude the guided tour at the Hot Deli department with samples, around 5:10

We will then take a group photo prior to dinner and may purchase our own meals.

Again, if you have any questions, please contact me at 949-683-8855 or melissa@melissafoxlaw.com.

Reservations are not necessary, but are requested so we can better estimate the size of our group.

I hope you’ll join us!

Melissa

Irvine’s New Incredible Edible Farm to Help Feed Orange County’s Hungry

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The Incredible Edible Farm — a new 4.5 acre urban farm at the Orange County Great Park that will grow produce for the hungry to be harvested by volunteers from Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County — is great for Irvine, great for the Great Park, and great for our community!

The Incredible Edible Farm is the transformation of the City of Irvine’s Incredible Edible Park, which was created in 1999 and located on an easement under Southern California Edison power lines off Harvard Avenue in Irvine, into something even better.

The new Incredible Edible Farm is expected to produce 144 tons (288,000 lbs.) of food per year – more than double the yield of the old Incredible Edible Park – enough food for an additional 156,000 meals for Orange County’s needy families.

Broccoli, cauliflower, onions, kale, and a variety of other vegetables will be grown at the Incredible Edible Farm and harvested by volunteers from Second Harvest Food Bank who donate thousands of hours of their time each year to provide food for the hungry throughout Orange County.

The Incredible Edible Farm is located just behind the Great Park’s Sunday Farmers Market.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Incredible Edible Farm, please call Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County at 949-653-2900.  Volunteers of all ages are needed to plant, maintain and harvest crops for the hungry.