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Archive for the ‘california’ Category

   On the way to my family’s house the other evening, I passed one of our local strawberry patches.  It came to me as the sweet perfume of sun-ripened berries wafted in the window on the balmy summer air…It’s that time of year again…

Time for shorts and flip flops, farmers markets and county fairs, fresh fruits and veggies, canning and preserving, frolicking in the garden, and chowing down on all the local goodness you can get your hands on!

Here in the valley we’re very lucky to have such a dazzling array of produce to choose from!

You can put a face and warm smile with what fills your plate, by visiting a Fruitstand or Farmer’s Market in your area….

If you prefer stalking your own goodies in their natural habitat, you can find a You-Pick Farm in your county…

A CSA is also a convenient option which supports your local farmers…

And if you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can always grow some fruits and veggies of your own…You don’t have to have 40 acres, just a few pots or old buckets on the porch will do!

Whatever you choose, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing where your food came from and who grew it…not to mention nothing compares to the taste of fresh veggies and fruit!

Or the smell of it on the breeze for that matter…Happy foraging!

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{Borrowed post from USA TODAY}

So we know dark chocolate is good for us because it has antioxidants and lamb is the new pork which was the new chicken.  Or was it beef?

But a walk through the 206,000 square feet of exhibits at this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show is a glimpse into the possible future of your grocery cart or dinner table. At this year’s show, which ended Tuesday, 17,000 attendees visited 1,300 booths to see the future of specialty food. From the aisles, here are 12 food trends for 2012:

1. Salt

Forget Morton. If it’s not Himalayan or Northwest Indian Salish-inspired, alder-smoked, it’s so 20th century. Salt’s in chocolate, on caramels, and sailing off store shelves. It’s the finishing touch to multiple dishes. At the SaltWorks in Woodinville, Wash., they sell Black Hawaiian sea salt, Bolivian Rose salt, Merlot-infused crystals and Yakima apple wood smoked sea salt. “We’ve started refining our own salt from Pacific Oceanwater at our plant near Seattle,” says the company’s Megan O’Keefe.

Salt has really gotten big in the past two years, says Ron Tanner, with the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, which puts on the show. “We just did a salt and pepper tasting for our members,” he says. These specialty salts can run up to $8 per ounce, or $128 per pound. “Though it seems expensive, in the long run it’s not that much. You might get ten uses out of that package, so the cost per use isn’t high. And it’s a great finish to a dish.”

2. Artisan chocolate

Small producers who carefully source their cocoa beans are turning out chocolate bars that can cost as much as a mega-bag of M&M’s, but taste a lot better. These bars are often all-natural and cater to grown-up tastes. Think lemongrass, lavender-blueberry or French toast.

Standing at Poco Dolce Confections, Italian for “a little sweet,” Adam Smith points to owner Kathy Wiley’s olive oil with sea salt chocolate. “It hits just the right notes.” His Fog City News, a small San Francisco shop that sells hundreds of specialty chocolate bars, does a booming business in flavors such as Mayan chili.

The trend isn’t just in San Francisco. There are local chocolates made “in pretty much every city in the United States,” says Tanner. “People love chocolate and it’s not that hard to start producing them.”

(more…)

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Saturday, August 14th     5:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Sunday, August 15th        6:00 am to 11:00 am

If you haven’t been to this farm event here in our neck if the woods, I highly recommend checking it out!  The Double T in Stevison, CA, is an organic working dairy farm loaded with history and agricultural artifacts that are amazing.  The Double T has been hosting this wonderful farm event for many years with the support of The Ecological Farming Association, through the EFA Heartland Project and their mission is this:

The Heartland Project seeks to strengthen the future of sustainable and family farming in the San Joaquin Valley by bringing together farmers and families and encouraging a closer understanding of food production. Join EFA and other local groups for education events and fun including local music, delicious food, berry picking, and more.

So take your family and enjoy this 2 day festival that will give you the opportunity to experience blue grass music, local foods, children activities, organic dinner,  draft horse driving class and much more you will find no where else in the Central Valley!

Below are a few photos from last year…

Heartland Festival ~ Double T Acres 2009

More info here…

www.eco-farm.org & www.thedoublet.com



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Take this opportunity to hear what’s going on in your Central Valley every first Friday of the month with Tom Willey and guest speakers on KFCF radio….

Down on the Farm ~ KFCF 88.1  fm

Friday Feb. 5th

5:00-6:00 pm

The topic: “A recent immigrant to these parts from No.Carolina has discovered Fresno’s ethnically diverse neighborhoods to be a veritable food wonderland. Host, Tom Willey will interview James Collier whose fascination with our food culture led him to co-found the online community, “Taste Fresno”, fast gaining members and notice. It’s possible newcomers recognize treasures underfoot to which we locals have become complacent. We’ll discuss a citizen food activist’s vision of the celebrated edible culture we could become on KFCF’s Down on the Farm. “

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What is a Community Garden?

Any piece of land gardened by a group of people

A few months ago I visited a community garden and met an inspiring woman who is truly in love with dirt, gardening and the well being of her community. This kind preserver of nature is an ER nurse that admitted playing in the dirt was a great stress reliever. I applaud her for taking this passion one step further by following her dreams and bringing her community together to successfully build 4 community gardens in Riverbank, in just one year!

Her name is Dotty Nygard, she is president of the Riverbank Community Garden Coalition. Partnered with the school district, the city and the community this amazing hands on team have created a wonderful opportunity and educational environment for all, their goal and belief ….” creating consciousness for our earth, our community and ourselves”.

As I strolled through the first garden across from California Avenue School, with my camera in tow, Dotty sat with a group of children and read “Our Generous Garden”, a lovely children’s story about gardening. Quietly listening I could feel the profound respect and connection between Dotty, children and the dirt they learned to love and nurture together.

If Riverbank is your community don’t miss out, become a part of this experience and get dirty!

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Just wanted to share this wonderful comment here on LC, I am very excited to be invited to the grand opening of Riverbanks Community Garden!

“Dear Anna,

We wish to invite you to the unveiling of Riverbanks’ first-ever Community Garden, Friday, October 23 from 3:30-4:30 at California School in Riverbank. We have partnered with the Riverbank Unified School District and the City of Riverbank Park and Recreation Department. This has been an awesome adventure and am so excited for the children to learn, experience and benefit from growing fresh fruits and vegetables. we hope you can attend.

May we grow together,

Dotty Nygard/Riverbank Community Gardens”

Come back for pictures!!

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Enjoy some good old fashion fall fun at  The Greenery in Turlock,

and see all the beautiful flowers, plants and unique goodies they have

to spruce up your home for the holidays!

October 16 – 18, 2009

California State University Stanislaus

Get inspired and equipped for the green future of the Central Valley!

The Council for Sustainable Futures is pleased to host the third annual environmental conference, featuring speakers, and activities that promote environmental solutions, human rights, and social engagement. Come and see how people are making a difference, globally, nationally and locally.

Morning sessions of the conference feature live satellite feeds from The Bioneers Conference, an acclaimed forum of social and scientific innovators.

Tickets are just $20 for the entire conference. Register today!

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planting, hoeing, shoveling, cover cropping, composting, integrated pest management, cultivators, tractors and many hands of love for the belief of growing certified organic healthy foods.

Brian and Tracy Kline come from a long list of conventional farming families and wanted to continue the tradition but with an alternative twist….organic farming was the row they chose!

Their first small patch started in 1993 as “Dos Manos Farms” and has flourished to “Kline Organic Produce” with more land, specializing in a variety of seasonal heirloom tomatoes and potatoes, various unique vegetables, fruit, herbs, their new pasta sauce and spicy pickled bean products, an annual tomato tasting, selling at 2 farmers markets and a CSA of over 40 members!

This local family farm here in the heart of big Ag has a small farm charm that is tended by committed family, including their two young daughters, and many friends. It oozes with the most comfortable natural energy enticing you to be a part of.

With every farm visit I learn something new, this time I came away with a true understanding of how and why farmers connect with mother earth, and what she can give us providing she is nurtured with respect and appreciation, the bond for those who do is phenomenal!

You can find Brian’s smiling face at Modesto Farmers Market on Saturdays and Thursdays & Tracy’s friendly face at Sonora Farmers Market on Saturdays.  To keep up with what is going on at the farm and learn more about your local choices visit their website at www.klineorganicproduce.com.

Happy Farming,

Just Anna!

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If you have never been tomato tasting here’s your opportunity,
another don’t miss!

Sunday ~ August 16th, 2009
4 ~ 7 pm
Tyson Hill Farm in Waterford

Go join the potluck with your favorite dish, table service, blanket and chairs. There will be sampling of over forty varieties of tomatoes, including heirlooms, old & new favorites and trail varieties!

Tyson Hill Farm is just west of Waterford city limits. From Hwy. 132 (Yosemite Blvd.) take Blossom Rd. south. The farm is about a mile down on the right, look for the signs!

For more information, contact:

The Tyson/Clark Family
874-2498

The Kline Family
874-5113

The Seifkin/Kerr Family
664-9944

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Young sustainable farmers in the making…

Thanks to Heifer International and University of California Cooperative Extension, who have partnered to help schools and communities start vegetable gardens, and with the collaboration among local non-profits a garden was grown and nurtured by local teens who have learned to farm organic seasonal produce and sell at the West Modesto Farmers Market!

Your are invited to tour this organic youth farm!

August 11

9 am ~ 2 pm

3906 Don Pedro Rd. Ceres

There will be…

  • free seasonal farm grown lunch
  • free seeds
  • educational workshops & resources for teachers and the community
  • fall & winter planting ideas
  • land preparation education
  • drip irrigation instrucion

Enjoy a day of learning, sharing and how to participate

in your local community and school gardens!

Please RSVP to

Anne Schellman ~ aschellman@ucdavis.edu ~

(209) 525.6800

more info here!

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