If you are interested in joining the Slow Food Santa Cruz Board or in working with us on a project or event, please email us at

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2017 Slow Food Santa Cruz Board


Catherine Asmus

Catherine Asmus

Cathy has been a Santa Cruz local for 7 years, and joined Slow Food Santa Cruz in 2016. She has a BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz, and is now a Farm Certification Specialist with California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), a non-profit based in Santa Cruz that is dedicated to advancing organic agriculture through promotion, advocacy, and education. Her interest in sustainable food systems is derived from her grandfather, a Japanese immigrant farmer and gardener who taught her the value in knowing where food comes from, and how to grow it. She carried this wisdom throughout her higher education, as a research assistant and intern at several organic farms, including UCSC’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), and UC Davis’ Agricultural Sustainability Institute. At both farms, she did everything from turning compost piles to conducting research on the viability of heirloom okra varietals. She also lived and worked in Rome, Italy in 2014, where she was lucky to see the successes of the Slow Food movement reflected in their thriving local cuisine. She is committed to promoting transparent, just, and sustainable food systems in order to foster a healthy environment and community. Outside of work, Cathy is an avid dancer, cyclist, and backpacker.



Julia Bell

Julia has worked in ecological landscape and event design in around the Monterey Bay for the past 15 years. Her company, Bell and Flourish Design, has evolved to create beautiful spaces that celebrate nature, health and community. She is currently the Creative Director of Succulent Gardens in Castroville, CA, combining horticulture, design and art.

Education from UCSC (BA Art, BA Biology), Cabrillo and West Valley College (Landscape Architecture, Horticulture, Engineering Technology, Graphic Design, Fine Art) provides a diverse backdrop for ongoing ‘freelance’ studies in Permaculture and land management. Engagement in community organizations and events provides a rewarding network for sharing her interest in the arts, ecology, botany, and food!

Edible gardens and home-orchard management are specialties within her practice that stem from a passion for cooking with organic, local harvest. Stepping out from the kitchen to gather herbs, veggies and fruit, or pick a home-grown boquet are luxuries she loves to create. Slow Flowers represent an extension of the Slow Food principals of celebrating local, ecologically responsible product. Organic event design and floral arrangement has become an additional opportunity for Julia to combine her artistic eye and ecological mindset. She looks forward to engaging and educating the community in attainable, healthy, Slow Food!



Kelly Bond

Joining Slow Food Santa Cruz (SFSC) in 2016, native New Jerseyan Kelly is a public health professional who moved out to Santa Cruz to work in the field of Organic Certification. At Montclair State University she studied Nutrition and Food Science, and most recently received her Master’s in Public Health Nutrition from Tulane University. Although new to Santa Cruz, she’s already fallen in love with the city and eager to contribute to the efforts of SFSC. Passionate about creating sustainable food systems, she’s worked on organic farms through the WWOOF program, in various community gardens, taught nutrition education and gardening classes, and worked on development plans for community gardens and farmers markets. With SFSC Kelly hopes to educate the community on eating locally and foster sustainable and accessible food systems. Through ongoing projects of SFSC, she will contribute a unique public health and nutrition perspective to expand and promote healthy communities.


Val George

Val Davis

Val grew up in northern California actively involved in any 4-H project that would allow her to embrace her love of animals. Her connection with food and agriculture was fostered at a young age raising pigs, sheep, cattle, and rabbits. She followed that passion to pursue a degree in Animal Science from CSU, Chico. Upon graduation, she worked at an organic farm, as a research assistant at UC Davis studying invasive weeds, and continued her education at Michigan State University (MSU). Her research at MSU focused on farm to school programs and opened her eyes to the food system beyond the farm gates. Learning about food access and food justice was truly inspiring and challenging, and lead Val seek a role that would allow her to be involved in both the farm production side of food and the system that ensures access to good food. Val currently works as the Farm Program Manager at CCOF and she is privileged to spend each day supporting the growth of the organic industry—a vital component of a sustainable future. Val is excited about her new role on the Slow Food board and looks forward to collaborating with others in our community to build a food system that is good, clean, and fair. When she’s not working on food and agriculture projects, Val enjoys spending her time cycling, cooking, playing with her pup, doing fiber art, and spending time with her family.



Elizabeth Hodges

Liz moved to the Santa Cruz area in 2006 and began helping her aunt with seasonal lavender and olive oil production at Valencia Creek Farms while doing latte art at Grind’s Coffee in Capitola, pouring wine at Hallcrest and completing her BA in Global Studies. She researched the far-reaching effects of our food system throughout her academic career and learned about the traditional and sustainable farming methods of West Africa while she studied in Ghana for two semesters. Upon returning, she volunteered at the Salinas Chinatown Community Garden and the Pacific Grove Farmers Market.

While Liz was studying International Environmental Policy as a graduate student in Monterey, she realized that all of her focus was on sustainable and organic agriculture as the intersection of ecology, equality, health and happiness. This, coupled with her passion for growing her own food, led her to study horticulture at Cabrillo. During her time at Cabrillo, she worked as an intern, managing a crop of 10,000 organic veggie starts.

Currently, she does freelance food writing and has a sustainable living blog and natural skin care line at She enjoys gardening, foraging, raising chickens, cooking, and connecting the thriving sustainable food community of Santa Cruz with Slow Food members and all lovers of good, clean, and fair food.



Stephanie Webb

Upon completing her Master’s Degree, Stephanie took a position with AmeriCorps’ Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) Program at Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT).  During this time, her career motivations turned towards using education to preserve (access to) natural resources and using entrepreneurial approaches to create fair wages for producers. Within in this role, Stephanie became passionate about conservation, sustainable agriculture and seafood and immersed herself in understanding various hurdles within our supply chain and how to overcome them.  Using her finance expertise, applied and academic education and strategic planning skills, she developed, financed and staffed a community-supported fishery (CSF) – the first CSF in Oregon. A rising model among producers derived from the agriculture sector also known as a community supported agriculture (CSA) where consumers pay prior to the food being harvested, processed or distributed. Currently, Stephanie works as a freelance consultant for various community-based social justice, conservation and (sea)food system initiatives. She recently moved to Santa Cruz, CA to enhance her quality of life, expand a place-based consulting business and participate in a community with like-minded individuals. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, surfing, cooking and practicing yoga.


Mailing Address

Slow Food Santa Cruz

P.O. Box 7225

Santa Cruz, CA 95061