Slow Food Nation

On Tuesday July 1st, the lawn in front of San Francisco's City Hall began its transformation from grass carpet to edible garden, with volunteers preparing the land for Slow Food Nation's Victory Garden. On Saturday July 12th, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Slow Food Nation founder Alice Waters and more than 100 volunteers will plant the first edible garden in the City's Civic Center since 1943.

In case you were wondering, the Victory Garden project takes its name from 20th Century wartime efforts to address food shortages by encouraging citizens to plant gardens on public and private land. San Francisco's program became one of the best in the country; Golden Gate Park alone had 250 garden plots.

This event is in preparation for ~SLOW FOOD NATION~, taking place in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend (August 29th–September 1st, 2008). Billed as "the largest celebration of American food in history," the event is expected to bring together tens of thousands of people.

The majority of Slow Food Nation's events will be free and open to the public; certain events are ticketed. Events are listed and tickets are on sale at

I also noticed some of the restaurants hosting Slow Dinners are beginning to sell tickets; dinners will be hold from Thursday August 28th–Monday September 1st. There are some amazing dinners and collaborations, check it out.

There are also Slow Journeys and Slow Hikes! Be sure to check the site for more.

Highlights of the four-day event include:


Saturday August 30th; 11am–3pm; 5pm–9pm
Sunday August 31st, 11am–3pm; 6pm–9pm
Fort Mason/Festival Pavilion
Tickets: $45–$65
Taste is Slow Food Nation's grand celebration of good, clean and fair food from across the United States. In-depth taste workshops and hands-on experiences with quality, process, and distinguishing flavor factors will connect visitors with the origins and true value of our food. Each of the 15 uniquely designed pavilions showcases a different food through on-site demonstrations and tastes. Featured foods include: Beer, Bread, Charcuterie, Cheese, Chocolate, Coffee, Fish, Honey & Preserves, Ice Cream, Native Foods, Olive Oil, Pickles & Chutney, Spirits, Tea, and Wine. The Green Kitchen takes place here, where acclaimed chefs will demonstrate techniques for making simple, everyday dishes sustainable.

Food for Thought Speaker Series
Friday August 29th, 9am–4:30pm and Saturday August 30th, 11:30am–10pm
Civic Center/Herbst Theater and Milton Marks Auditorium
Tickets: $5–$25
Featuring leading thinkers, community organizers, journalists and activists discussing current food issues, from policy and planning to education and climate change. Speakers include: Wendell Berry, Marion Nestle, Carlo Petrini, Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Vandana Shiva, and Alice Waters.

Friday August 29th–Sunday August 31st; 9am–4pm
Civic Center Plaza
Tickets: Free
The Market showcases 60 California farmers and artisans growing and producing good, clean and fair food. Visitors can purchase directly from the producer and learn the significance of regionality, diversity, and artisanality in the Bay Area's food system. Next to the Market, "Slow on the Go" demonstrates how "fast" slow food can be. Visitors can purchase affordable street food from San Francisco's diverse ethnic community, prepared with fully sustainable, source-verified ingredients.

Slow Food Nation Victory Garden
Friday August 29th–Sunday August 31st; 9am–4pm
Civic Center Plaza
Tickets: Free
In collaboration with Victory Gardens 2008+, Slow Food Nation will herald the era of self-sufficiency through the creation of an ornamental edible garden in the heart of San Francisco's Civic Center. Planted on the same site as 60 years ago during World War II, the Slow Food Nation Victory Garden demonstrates the potential of a truly local agriculture practice and brings together and promotes Bay Area urban gardening organizations, while producing high quality food for those in need. The Slow Food Nation Victory Garden will be introduced to the public on Saturday July 12th in a ceremony with Mayor Gavin Newsom and Slow Food Nation Founder Alice Waters.

Slow Food Rocks
Saturday August 30th; 11am–7pm and Sunday August 31st; 11am–5:30pm
Fort Mason/Great Meadow
For tickets visit:

Featuring: Gnarls Barkley; G Love & Special Sauce; the John Butler Trio; Medeski Martin & Wood; New Pornographers and Ozomatli. Additional major headliners to be announced soon. A two-day outdoor music festival featuring the biggest names in rock, folk, hip-hop, soul, jazz, and world music. Produced by the Festival Network, this is one of only three public events permitted on the Great Meadow the entire year.

Petition Launch for a New Vision for Agriculture and Food Policy for the 21st Century
Thursday August 28th; 4pm–5pm
Civic Center/Slow Food Nation Victory Garden
Tickets: Free
Hosted in conjunction with Roots of Change (ROC), Slow Food Nation will introduce a Vision Statement for Agricultural and Food Policy for the 21st Century drafted by notable activists, practitioners, producers and eaters across the country. The Vision Statement will be a call to action to frame future food and agricultural policies, including the next Farm Bill, to benefit all Americans.

Slow Food Nation
Fri. Aug. 29–Mon. Sep. 1, 2008

various locations