Category Archives: Go Green

Consume less, recycle more, work for justice. Ways to share what you don’t need with others.

Leucadia: The Sunday Farmers Market With Rosie Daley

Rosie Daley goes green at the Sunday Farmer's Market in Leucadia.Credit: Bob Bretell

Shopping with Rosie Daley is like boarding a roller coaster –you just hold on and go along for the ride.  A dedicated  locovore,  this vivacious chef believes that  good food shared with friends and family  is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Perhaps it was her enthusiasm for fresh food and healthy living  that motivated Oprah Winfrey to hire Rosie in the 1990s as her personal chef.  The two collaborated on a book, “In the Kitchen with Rosie: Oprah’s Favorite Recipes.”  Rosie co-authored another book,  “The Healthy Kitchen: Recipes for a Better Body, Life and Spirit” (Knopf, 2002), with integrative medicine expert, Dr. Andrew Weil.

Apples for apple date bars. Photo Credit: Bob Bretell

 Most Sundays you can find her at the Farmers Market in Leucadia (Sundays 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. /185Union Street (at Vulcan) Encinitas, CA. / Map /  on the school playground of the Paul Ecke Elementary School)   where she shops and chats with neighborhs like fire fighter Steve Meichet who plays with “TheLeucadia Locals.” (See related story, below.) 

Rosie, who calls herself a culinary artist,  takes a spontaneous approach to cooking, planning her meals according to the food available at the market,  in her own garden, and the staples on hand in her kitchen.   “There’s nothing pre-meditated about coming here,” she says. “That’s the fun of it.”

Because it’s at the school yard, it’s more like a family outing.  The kids get to meet the farmers and see where fruits and vegetables  come from.   It’s a chance to talk with your neighbors,  get some fresh air and exercise.  There is also music, and smiles.  It’s a social occasion.  Rosie Daley 

Richard Frost and Rosie Daley at Farmer's Market in Leucadia Photo Credit:  Bob Bretell

Richard Frost and Rosie Daley at Farmer's Market in Leucadia Photo Credit: Bob Bretell

 Cruising along the rows of more than 65 vendors, she stops at a stall to get  composting tips from  Richard Frost, a geologist and passionate gardener who sells seeds, starter plants and mulch.

 At another stall, she inquires about a farmer’s health.  “He’s been sick and we haven’t seen him for a while,” she explains. “Whenever anyone is not here, we miss them.” 

Tasting a gigantic plump date, she pronounces  it “delicious”  and considers how she can used dates in the meal she will cook later on for guests.  

  “I can serve them in a salad with greens and feta cheese,  or stuff  them and bake them for an appetizer.  Apple date bars for desert is also good.”

Bakery goods and prepared foods also on offer. Credit: Lydia Breen

Get live reports from the farm. Photo Credit: Lydia Breen

 Guavas are in season, so she scoops some up to decorate her kitchen counter. Moving on, Rosie buys feta cheese and greeens, and some locally-grown blood red oranges; she will freeze the juice in ice cube trays and add them to hibiscus flower tea.

 Making the case for locovores, Rosie Daley says locally-grown food stays fresh longer and requires little preparation.  “When you have fresh ingredients you don’t have to do that much to them.”  She  says she likes to shop regularly at the  market because the items on offer change frequently.  “If you don’t come for a week or two, you can miss out on something.”


The market has seven certified organic growers. Photo credit: Bob Bretell

 A few more  items go into Rosie  basket and her shopping is complete.  At the shaded picnic area, she joins Donna Butnik, a fellow members of the 101 Artist Colony.  Both women painted banners for the Arts Alive Banner Contest and volunteer to work with kids to make art from recycled materials.

 The market has seven certified organic growers, a drawing card for the many health-conscious surfers, runners, bikers and practitioners of yoga who live in the area.  Locovores say they make the Sunday Farmers Market in Leucadia  part of their weekly routine. Many like to walk or ride their bikes there, whiling  away part of the day shopping, listening to music, visiting with friends and eating – Jamaican, Indian, French, Mexican, etc.  Parents love the market because the fenced-in schoolyard is free of traffic  and it  has a play ground.


Green Power

In cooking demonstrations she occasionally hold around the country, Rosie talks about how  people can incorporate healthy foods and healthy living into their lives.  “I try to show them how to make food fun.  And I tell them to make sure that they don’t miss out on what’s important in life.” 

Rosie Daley’s trip to the Sunday Farmers Market in Leucadia shows she likes to practice what she preaches.

Photo: Lydia Breen

Leucadia Farmers Market – Sundays 10 a.m. p.m. /185Union Street (at Vulcan) Encinitas, CA. /Manager: Ron La Chance / (858) 272 7054/ Map /   On offer:  65-70 vendors (7 certified organic vendors).  You’ll find produce, prepared food, plants, jewelery etc.   Covered picnic tables, fenced-in playground and music most Sundays 


  Loco and Laid Back:  The Leucadia Locals Garage Band

The Leucadia Locals will play at the Farmers Market in Leucadia on the last Sunday of the month throughout the summer. Pictured: Steve Meiche, guitar; Harley Feinstein, drums; Kirk Cumming, guitar and Oliver Kolpin, guitar.

 The Leucadia Locals are a garage band without delusions of grandeur.  “We like playing  for our neighbors,” says guitarist Steve Meiche, who claims the Sunday Farmers Market in Leucadia  is a perfect venue for them.  “When  you play in a club, the audience can be very critical.  The vibe here  is so accepting.” 

 These guys are in it for the fun, playing a mix of Honky tonk, country and rock, a style that Meiche calls “a funky blend, much like Leucadia itself.”  In May, the Leucadia Locals  will be play at another hyer-local venue,  The Encinitas Sports Festival on Moonlight Beach (May 15-16th).  You can also hear them throughout the summer on the last Sunday of the month at the Farmers Market in Leucadia.

Most of the musicians have other gigs:  guitarist Steve Meiche (fire fighter), drummer Harley Feinstein (attorney),  guitarist

Tile artist Roz Light. Public installations featuring her work can be see around Encinitas.

  Oliver Kolpin (C.P.A),  Tony Horner (pediatrician)  steel pedal guitarist Bob Siggins (neuroscientist)  and saxophonist Baird Whatley (architect).  Guitarists Kirk Cumming and trumpet/guitar player Tim Winter are  full-time musicians who  play occasionally with the band. 

The group’s size changes from five to seven members – or more, depending on who is around at the time.  It’s an easy-going approach to playing together that is reminiscent of  the neighborhood brass bands in New Orleans.

The group  came together when  Meiche was practicing in his garage and his neighbor came over and asked  if he could join in.  In time,  other neighbors and friends came on board.  (It’s how things seem to work around Leucadia, an informal place full of creative people.)     

 “When you walk through the streets of  Encinitas, you can always her music, “ says Meiche who who books gigs for the band.    “From professional musicians to amateurs… jazz musician Peter Sprague lives around here, so does  guitarist Nina Anderson and Ben Redmond of Super Wave.”

In April, they  played at the Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour, where plenty of  local art –  including art by of his wife, tile artist Roz Light,  was on display in backyard gardens, fences and walls.   “There  are a lot of artists here,” explains Meiche  “ It’s all about art and music.”

For more info on the Leucadia Locals,  email Steve Meiche: 





Luis Villanueva: In Found Objects, He Make Art Zany and Divine

Artist Luis Villaneuva

Artist Luis Villanueva

-by Lydia Breen

Luis Villanueva holds out two crumpled figures, part of a crèche he made fifty years ago as a boy living on the outskirs of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.   “I wanted a crèche for Christmas,” he explained, “but my mother said we were too poor. So I decided to make one. ”

Using cotton stuffing, a burlap sack and gold paper from the inside of  a cigarette box, the crèche supplied Villaneuva with his first artistic lesson:  rich or poor, beautiful art can come from things – and people – that others discard.

For the past fifty years Luis Villanueva has continued to make intricate, decorous and often-humorous pieces out of recycled materials.   Not content with the Spanish and Indian traditions of his childhood,  he is also inspired by the pop culture of Los Angeles, where he now lives and serves as artistic director at the Day of the Dead Festival at Hollywood Forevever Memorial Park—the final resting place of Mary Pickford, Peter Lorre, Douglas Fairbanks and others.

Although Villanueva’s artistic interests range from mythical to folk, sacred and pop art, his use of found materials is constant.  His atelier is filled with a seemingly endless supply of oatmeal containers,  Styrofoam plates,  lamp shades, tennis balls, junk  jewelry, wallpaper and bits of ornaments from discarded Christmas trees.

The full range of his zany materials is difficult to appreciate because his finished pieces are  covered with a layer of papier-mâché, paint, cloth jewelry and other decorations.

Villaneuva's "Catrina Tijuana"

Villaneuva's "Catrina Tijuana"

“To appreciate his genius, you must see him at work, ”  says Yadhira De Leon, promotional director at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, where Villanueva  makes mythical Aztec animals in children’s workshops.

“I think twice now  before putting things in the recycle bin, “ explains De Leon.  “ I think Luis uses his art to show there’s something divine or godly about using recycled materials.”

Each  piece is unique, employing delicate hand-painted designs.   His riotously-costumed skeletons (known as “La Calavera Catrina”) have been on display at the Day of the Dead festivities for the past decade.  The Catrinas recall a full range of Mexico’s traditions from its ancient, colonial and revolutionary past – traditions that both revere and mock death.

“The traditional  art world can be very proscribed about the range of acceptable art materials,” says Eduardo Diaz, Director of the Latino Center at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

“Villanueva throws that all out the window. For me, art is all about quality, relevance, diversity and accessibility.  Luis’ art is all of that.  There are many artists today working in found objects.  But Luis is one of the best.”

Bull Taco: Sunday Brunch With an Ocean View

the deck at Bull Taco's

View frm the deck at Bull Taco's at San Elijo State Park near Encinitas, California

by Lydia Breen

Greg Lukasiewicz and Laurel Manganelli, owners of the Bull Taco Cafe ENCINITAS:  He  used to wear designer suits and Ferragamo shoes.  Now he wears sandals and shorts.

Greg Lukasiewicz and his wife, Laurel Manganelli  owned a 12,000 square-foot fine dining restaurant in Pasadena, CA. with a nightclub, a wine bar and two private dining rooms.  Fed up with life in the fast lane, they traded their  million dollar restaurant for an outdoor café with a million dollar view.

They’re having the time of their life, working side-by-side with family and friends in Northern San Diego County, developing local seafood-based  fare  to a rabidly loyal and growing customer base. He has even found time for his newest  passion: spear fishing.

The couple took charge of the concession  at San Elijo State Beach Campground, off Coastal Highway 101 in Cardiff, CA., a business that was held for years by Laurel’s family.  Today, Laurel runs the store where campers come to buy charcoal, s’mores fixings and beach hats.  Daughters Halie, 11, and Devon, 13, sell shaved ice, a job Laurel had at the same store when she was their age.

Greg runs the café, where patrons sit at picnic tables and look out over the cliff at surfers and sun bathers.

“Life is beyond perfect,” says Greg. “It’s more than I ever could have imagined.  I can cook at the grill and look out at the ocean — I can see all the way down the coast to La Jolla.   It’s far beyond anything I expected.”old globe surfing 009

Life flows at a relatively relaxed pace.  It’s a welcome change from the grueling schedule the couple kept seven days a week for  fourteen years. “I think I was the first to say I couldn’t go on anymore, “ says Laurel.  “ I felt like our kids were growing up without us. It was as if we were working for our investors. As a couple, we always said family comes first.”

The choice was more difficult for Greg who has owned four restaurants.   “I was a little hesitant at first  to leave Los Angeles because my family lives in Pasadena.  I had a following there, and the investors wanted me to keep developing more restaurants.  But  I wasn’t home enough.  Now I’m learning to scale down.  I don’t take for granted the magic life has to offer. ”

The couple bought a modest house in Oceanside next to Laurel’s mother.  Greg  took a year off.  He helped  Laurel set up the campground store and he spent lots of time with his kids.  Eventually, he wandered into the café kitchen at the campground, where the most exotic  item on the menu was nachos and cheese.

He  began to experiment  with the kind of food he himself loved to eat: gourmet tacos, which are an after-hours favorite for the culinary cognoscenti of Los Angeles.  Slowly and quietly he let his business concept grow.

Last summer Bull Taco was born.  The name is an homage to Restaurant Bulli in Spain, founded by world-class chef  Ferran Adrià, dubbed the “Salvador Dali of chefs” by Gourmet Magazine.

Bull Taco specializes in local fresh seafood and organic produce.   Grilled fish, oyster and duck tacos with salsa, onions, cilantro and lime are priced at $1.75 – $2.50.  Lobster, crab, abalone and tacos cost $5-$10.

Early mornings on the deck you can grab a breakfast burrito, juice and espresso.   For the less adventurous, nachos and cheese, bean burritos and smoothies are a safe bet any time of day.

The butterflied catfish plate with ponzu sauce  is a mouth-watering tip of the hat to chefs Wolfgang Puck and Shiro.  It serves two at $15.  Hamburgers are available off-menu, but only when organic heirloom tomatoes are in season–because, according to Greg, “the only way to eat a hamburger is with a slice of heirloom tomato.”


Bull Taco Café – San Elijo State Campground 2050 S. Coast Highway 101 (at Chesterfield Drive), Cardiff by the Sea.

Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 6 a.m.-7 p.m.  Cash only.  Non-campers must park outside on the street.  Dogs on a leash are welcome. Bikers and others can call ahead for a pick-up.   Tele: (760) 436-6601.