The County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries invites the community to “Discover the SLO County Food System” by reading selected titles and viewing a series of online local and plant-based cooking classes. 

As part of the 2020 Book to Action program, readers are encouraged to discuss “Letters to a Young Farmer” — a collection of letters from food experts like Alice Waters, Joel Salatin, and Raj Patel — as well as read and discuss “The Food Activist Handbook,” by Ali Berlow, which offers readers actionable ideas for supporting local food systems, local farms, and food justice. 

Copies of “Letters” and “Handbook” are available for check out at the library or as eBooks via OverDrive and cloudLibrary. Additional giveaway copies provided by California Center for the book are available for pick up at the SLO Library while supplies last.

The online cooking classes will introduce discussion topics from Handbook as well as recipes featuring locally sourced ingredients, tips for shopping at farmers’ markets, knife skills tips, and more. Designed by Cal Poly nutrition students, and in partnership with San Luis Coastal Unified School District’s Food Services and Restorative Partners, the videos will be available to the public, as well as shared with other area school districts, and juvenile hall and jail residents as part of programming. 


“We are excited to give students and our community ideas for getting involved with our local food system. There are so many ways to support our neighbors and our farmers,” said Erica Thatcher, Collection Development Coordinator. 

Visit the Library’s YouTube channel or Facebook page beginning July 20 to view the classes. SLCUSD high school students can sign up at for an additional culinary adventure program that runs July 20 through Aug. 3.

California Center for the Book is a program of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.