Educating people through complimentary tasting is the passionate philosophy behind Temecula Olive Oil Company's retail operation currently supporting four tasting rooms. It's a natural partner for the Slow Food movement because it's exciting to witness it working. Team members revel in stating, "We are the growers" and in asking consumers if they have ever "really tasted" before. Customers become repeats because they truly experience a taste difference but were never encouraged to think about it before. Suddenly, it's not hard, nor difficult to pair flavors; people enjoy it and they tell others.Type your paragraph here.Type your paragraph here.

After the birth of their first boy, Remi and Zoubeida embarked on a life-long journey to reclaim their ancestral health and deepen their connection to the spiritual world. They started a Natural Agriculture garden in Pasadena and learned how to cook traditional foods so that their boys can grow strong and bright. Their are currently growing grapes for wine and most of their food on 20 acres in Northern California.

He also teaches classes, leads retreats, gives public lectures, and organizes Jyorei (healing with divine energy) Intensives.



Presenters - Biographies and Topics

Ben Maestas, Erin Harris, Thom Curry, and Facilitator, Roy Gibbon

Panel Discussion - How Do We Get Healthy Food?
Sunday, 3:00pm-4:00pm

Thom Curry

Olive Oil - The Original Super Food

Saturday, 1:45pm-2:45pm     Sunday, 11:45am-12:45pm

Celestine Barnwell
Growing Live Food with Sprouts

Saturday, 1:30pm-3:00pm

Ben Maestas

Permaculture Design in Natural Agriculture: Building Connections

Saturday, 12:30pm-1:30pm    Sunday, 1:00-2:00pm

Roy Gibbon became an affiliate of the Shumei organization in November of 1993 and has been working in the Education Department of the National Center's office in Pasadena for over 20 years. He is the co-author with Atsushi Fujimaki of the book 'An Offering of Light: Healing with Jyorei, Natural Agriculture, and Art.'
Roy is currently working on other publications, writing articles, and editing translations.

Erin Harris

Development Coordinator, Netiya

Panel Discussion: Sunday, 3:00pm-4:00pm

Sensei Alan A. Imai

Shumei Natural Agriculture - Reaching Out to Africa   Sunday, 1:00-2:00pm

Thom Curry is the General Manager for Temecula Olive Oil Company. Having had over two decades of experience in sales and marketing within the wine industry in Los Angeles, Thom moved with his young family in the mid-1990's to Temecula for a different lifestyle. He became enamored with growing olives and studied olive oil production at UC Davis. He is a certified Master Taster by the International Olive Oil Council. He also sits on the tasting panel for the California Olive Oil Council.

Remi and Zoubeida Zajac

Biochar for Regenerative Farming

Saturday and Sunday, 10:30am-11:30am

Permaculture is about building connections with nature. Like Shumei Natural Agriculture the principles work to create balance amongst the patterns, cycles and natural capacities of systems to benefit everyone involved in daily operations and life. Together we'll explore how to use observations of connections in nature to streamline your system.

Roy Gibbon

Farming in Alignment with Nature   Sunday, 10:30-11:30am

Director of Natural Agriculture Operations, Shumei

After graduating from studies in agriculture at Shimane University in Japan, "Alan" Sensei joined the Shumei organization in 1976.  He was naturally attracted to, and excelled at, the Natural Agriculture philosophy which Mokichi Okada, founder of Shumei, advocated.

Native Soil Farm, Toledo, WA

Playing and working in the farms and forests of Idaho and the Rocky Mountains among the growing number of homesteaders turning away from corporatist lifestyles, Ben was steeped early on in natural systems. The rigors of a self-directed education at High Plains Institute for Applied Ecology, where he studied intensive Permaculture design under the direction of Joel Glanzberg and Water Catchment Design from Brad Lancaster and Jeremiah Kidd, and
      Earthen Home Building at the Mariposa Eco-Village, honed his thinking and communication skills as well as the ability to work with groups of people. He has been a builder, farmer, cook, teacher, writer, storyteller, and naturalist, for over 30 years, as well as a trained Permaculturalist for over a decade.
      His work as founder and director of Amarillo Area Beautification and Revitalization, a grassroots community effort, opened the door to large-scale community programs like the mentors program for residents to navigate their way out poverty, modeled after Dr. Donna Beegle's work at Poverty Bridge. He also developed community revitalization programs throughout the city of Amarillo, Texas. Ben worked with High Plains Institute for Applied Ecology to promote environmental education throughout the Panhandle of Texas and in the implementation of several neighborhood programs like the West Hills Community Garden, Wesley Community Garden, and George Washington Carver Elementary Garden.
      Moved at the age of twelve towards a spiritual life, and trained as a minister after graduating from High School, Ben has always explored the wisdom of the Divine as6 found in natural systems. He was, and still is, deeply interested in the connections between all life and the systems they act upon. In more recent years he has been working to reconnect people with nature through gardening and the observation of natural systems, such as forests, where the Divine has left a blueprint for abundant growth. This holistic experience of understanding natural patterns viscerally, as well as intellectually and intuitively, helps to integrate them into our lives and our work in an even more powerful and effective way.

       Thom oversees sustainable agriculture at the company's ranch and additional private properties. He uses olive oil as bio diesel and has developed variations of his own mill and press designs. A newly added mobile olive pressing division has furthered the company's commitment to producing only the freshest, traditional, cold pressed, 100% extra virgin olive oils using a variety of only California grown olives. Thom is a sought after speaker having tailored

an Olive Oil 101 course for students of the Culinary Institute of America and other programs.

Tim Martinez

Erin Mahoney Harris is a certified Master Gardener and the author of the agritourism guidebook Visit California Farms. In researching the book, she spent over two years visiting small farms throughout the state with her two kids, West and Avery; this ignited her passion not only for growing and preparing healthy, seasonal food for her family and friends, but for empowering young people with the enthusiasm, skills and work ethic required to be successful gardeners or farmers. Erin is the Development Coordinator and Urban Farm Educator for the food justice organization Netiya.
     Over the past six years, Erin has also served as a docent and parent volunteer for the edible gardening program at Grant Elementary School in Santa Monica. There she provides hands-on weekly lessons to kindergarten through 5th grade students and their teachers. She has also run a teen girls' urban farming program for the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps and worked as a Garden Lead for the Palos Verdes School Gardens organization and Lawndale School District, preparing and presenting weekly garden lessons to students ranging in age from preschool to the 8th grade.

Tim Martinez works for Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy to preserve, restore and protect open space in the San Gabriel Mountains. An expert on the uses of Southern California’s native plants, he is also an experienced macrobiotic cook and a graduate of Macrobiotics America - Macrobiotics Global Counselor Training Program. Tim is passionate about the history and traditional diet of his Mesoamerican and Celtic ancestors.

Cooking with Cactus: The Mexican Superfood     

Saturday, 1:45pm-3:30pm
Explore the benefits of including nopales and other Native American foods as part of a nutritious, macrobiotic diet.  Learn how to prepare and cook a delicious meal with the nopal cactus, a traditional Mexican superfood.

Alan previously served as the International Coordinator in Shumei’s partnership with The Rodale Institute, The Center for Regenerative Studies, and the College of Agriculture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  He now co-ordinates Shumei Natural Agriculture projects around the world, including communities in Zambia, Turkey, Brazil, Nepal, Madagascar, and the Philippines.

Celestine Barnwell grew up with gardens, studied Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at UCSD in 1971.  She has shared Shumei’s Core Beliefs, especially Natural Agriculture for the past 10 years.  She is one of five founders of the NaturaGrow Garden Club; teaching and installing healthy Natural Agriculture gardens throughout Southern California.

   Celestine is a certified motivational speaker, coach, a counselor for at risk youth, and holistic health consultant.  She has developed a 13 week curriculum for mixed-use sustainable gardens where educators can instruct any subject in a meditative environment. Her motto is “I believe everyone should have access to healthy food wherever they live”.

Plant Uses & Survival Skills Workshop      Sunday, 12pm-1pm
Learn the medicinal, food, and practical uses of California native plants.  Learn to live in balance with your local environment, develop a relationship with the plants in your area and practice ethical harvesting in your own garden. 

Spring Cooking Class!      Sunday, 1:45pm-3:30pm
Harmonize with the energy of spring!  Learn the benefits of light, quick springtime cooking, and explore ways to make your meals balanced all throughout the year.

Amy Waters

Fighting Food Waste by Eating Ugly   

Saturday 1:00pm-2:00pm

We will look at food waste in the United States, the various ways it impacts our environment, and what Imperfect produce is doing to combat this enormous issue.

Amy Waters is an avid outdoor enthusiast and environmentalist who works with Imperfect Produce to reduce food waste in the United States. During her time hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2016, she came to appreciate the value of a lifestyle dedicated to minimizing waste, and was inspired to pursue work in this field. As an Outreach Associate with Imperfect, Amy is actively spreading knowledge about and solutions for food waste issues we face both as individuals and as a nation.

Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy