Courtesy Photo

The SOL (Sustainable, Organic, Local) Food Festival is back for a second year, celebrating the words in its title, hoping to lead us to personally and globally healthier eating. The event, which happens at Plaza Vera Cruz Park on Saturday, October 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., will also feature the presentation of the 2011 Independent Foodie Awards (winners announced next week). While last year’s festival was a great success, from its Cat Cora presentations on down, this year has a few new wrinkles that promise to make the 2011 version yet better.

Garden of Eatin’: The phrase “field to fork” gets bandied about a lot, to the point it’s practically mere marketing buzz. SOL will fix that with this area of the festival, as each food vendor will be paired with a food producer, making menus from that farm’s goods. You will have to pay for this portion of the fest, but it will be low prices for smaller portions so you can sample a lot. For instance, the SOL Food Kitchen itself will team with Earthtrine Farms to serve ratatouille made from seasonal vegetables and herbs, a fresh melon and basil salad, and handmade soda.

Wine and Beer Making: An ever-growing list of purveyors that currently includes Alma Rosa, Buttonwood, Carr, Firestone, Martian, and Telegraph will be pouring tastes and full glasses, but SOL won’t just stop there — it’s offering workshops and demos so you can go home and try making wine, beer, even mead yourself.

Shutting Down the Street: Sure, there’s a political charge to that, but they’ve got the permits to do it, so you won’t risk getting run over crossing Cota (between Anacapa and Santa Barbara). It’s an easy shot from the Saturday Farmers Market to SOL, which only makes sense, as the Market is what SOL is all about.


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