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Best block by the rock



In that yuppiest of traditions, Morro Bay has thrown themselves a block party, and someone gave them an award.

Sunset Magazine featured 15 Morro Bay adults and 16 children in a recent article as the winners of their One-Block challenge.

The One-Block challenge is a contest designed to bring neighbors together and teach folks about sustainable living. All participants must grow their own food (yep, all of it) to cater an epic block party.

According to Sunset the block (known from here on out as Team Beach Tractors, and yes that would be a perfect indie-band name) grew everything from oysters to wheat for their very own beer.

To celebrate the success of their harvest, which took a year, Team Beach Tractors took out a borrowed yacht on the bay and toasted their crunchy, organic ways with a glass of their beer (which proved to be a bit of a challenge to make, given Morro Bay’s foggy climate).

A total of eight families oversaw the care and progress of the food. The Johnsons were in charge of the children’s kitchen, vegetables, and flowers. The Hales grew the kiddies’ edible garden and provided the party-site. The Ditmores did all the wheat-threshing. The Becketts made all the sugar vinegar and wine products (talk about cornering the good side of the homegrown food market). The Diodatis had the pleasure of growing the meat (formerly know as chickens), goats, sugar beets, hops, barley and other veggies. The Muffs grew the egg-laying chickens, wheat, berries artichokes, corn, coriander and chamomile for the beer. The Smiths put up a green house for the peppers, sugarcane and cilantro. The Burtons were put in charge of flour production, meat chickens, and potatoes.

All this hard work paid off. Team Beach Tractors managed to grow almost 50 different crops and came up with some delicious recipes using their food. Their menu was quite extensive and included: lemon ginger beer, Rock cod ceviche with oyster-shell scoops, Morro Bay oysters on the half-shell with two salsas, honey wheat rolls, goat-cheese frittata, succotash and chicken with garlic and spicy greens. Desert was Pavlovas with summer berry sauce.

Lest you think the kiddos starved, they had their own party featuring food made by their nimble little fingers.

But even with all hands on deck, the project didn’t go without its challenges. The sugar beets didn’t produce sugar; the first goat was dry and the beer wheat mildewed in the Morro Bay humidity; the meat chickens got huge.

Even with all these challenges, the group experienced great results and came together as a neighborhood. There were even drive-by cheers from townsfolk who saw members of Team Beach Tractors weeding or tending to the crops. Thanks to this very successful block party, Morro Bay has cemented itself as the friendliest, organic rock on the block.

Contributor Maeva Considine compiled this week’s column. We want a Bite! Send us your food, wine, and related news at



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