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Archive for the ‘San Joaquin Valley’ 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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Hey Locavores!  It’s that time of year again, when the wonderful folks at Riverdance Farms, host their annual “Pick and Gather”, it’s always a wonderful time rain or shine!

We’ll see you there with our bee~luscious lemonade!  Find the up to date info on facebook @ Hey Honey! Artisanals & Riverdance Farms Pick & Gather!

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Lavender Hollow Farms Boutique in Escalon

will be open & offering new items for your enjoyment!

December 3rd ~ 12th

10am – 4pm

find more details @ Lavenderhollowfarm.com

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Visit LHF website to see their beautiful farm at….

www.lavenderhollowfam.com

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Saturday August 7, 2010

9:00 am ~ 1:00 pm

California State University Fresno

Ag ~ East Lawn

Fig Fest 2010 arrives on the California State University, Fresno campus, offering tastes of figs and a variety of other foods, plus entertainment while raising money for Fresno State’s Ag One Foundation, Slow Foods Madera and the Bulldog Pantry.

The annual event, sponsored by the California Fig Advisory Board, is on the west lawn of the Satellite Student Union (Maple and San Ramon avenues, south of Barstow Avenue).

More than 1,000 foodies from throughout the state are expected to attend the festival, which features 16 Fresno, Visalia, Clovis and Madera restaurants and 11 food purveyors of everything from artisanal cheese and bread to biscotti and olives!

Among the vendors will be the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market at Fresno State.

Fig Fest 2010 is an opportunity to sample fig dishes prepared by restaurants, sample fig products and learn what other foods go with figs. The ancient fruit is enjoying something of a renaissance as a trendy food.

Tickets:

$6.00 in advance   (available at www.californiafigs.com.)

$8.00 at the gate

Children younger than 12 are admitted at no charge.

The beneficiaries of Fig Fest are:

  • Ag One Foundation, which provides scholarships and other support for students and programs in Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
  • Bulldog Pantry, a student-organized and run off-campus food bank serving Fresno State-area neighbors in need.
  • Slow Foods Madera is part of a worldwide movement promoting thoughtful, sustainable food practices.

There will also be a Fig Feast at the Vineyard Restaurant in Madera, that evening at 6:00 pm, 605 S.T st.  The cost is $90-per-person to benefit Slow Foods Madera.

For more information, contact Rebecca Hall at 559.243.8600 or rhall@californiafigs.com.

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There is a local jewel in Clovis we want to share with you….

Trelio Restaurant, owned by brothers Chris and Michael Shackelford. The brothers work brilliantly together, Mike the talented chef and Chris the passionate Sommelier. A visit to Trelio is sure to heighten all of your senses!Trelio's brothers, Michael and Chris

The smells of wine and delicate dishes are inviting and relaxing, you can hear the sounds of wine corks popping and happy customers engaged with their Sommelier. The candlelight presents the best ambiance of the dishes and you are always sure to have Chef Michael ask how your meal was.

The real beauty of this place rests in the knowledge knowing your food comes from a hard working farmer close by, and ‘local‘ doesn’t even hint on the passion the brothers have for supporting those in the Central Valley. Their menu is seasonal, meaning what is grown in the season. It is tasty and fresh, and they are often avid shoppers at the Vineyard Farmers Market in Fresno.

Dinner at TrelioWe had the pleasure of spending some time with Chris and Michael after the restaurant closed and really came to know these gentlemen. They are genuine, funny, and very knowledgeable about what they do and what is going on around them, especially when it comes to online technologies. With a very active following on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, they remain very transparent about what happens inside their restaurant.

Have a question of your own?

Just go ahead and ask them next time you visit Trelio & tell them Anna n’ Alex sent you!

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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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DEADLINE EXTENDED!

There have been a lot of you interested in submitting a logo for the Turlock Farmers Market so we’ve decided to extend it until this FRIDAY, February 5th!

~ Lets be simply delicious & modern with a hometown feeling ~

Logo will be voted on by a very excited Turlock Farmers Market board, winner will receive $200 and much deserved recognition for their design!

Turlock Farmers Market is coming this May, the board and committee are working diligently to bring this town a healthy, locally sourced and supported market venue for our community!

Check out Local Choices on facebook to see more market action, and while your there become a fan & add your ideas!

Please send your questions & submissions to

AnnaRiedinger@gmail.com

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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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My farmer friend Anne Piccirillo is a delightful person with a witty sense of humor, a passion for her family and a love for her olive trees. Anne, her husband and daughter live on their family olive orchard in Gustine, CA. Their orchard is simple, natural, maintained and harvested by the family, a few employees and friends who volunteer.

Friends have always asked if they could come help with harvest wanting to enjoy some good old fashion farm work, so she took them up on their offer and an annual harvest day with friends and family begun. They start early picking olives, catching up on each others lives, laughing, sharing some wine and eating. This year I was invited to volunteer and gladly accepted, knowing this would be another learning experience for me in the world of farming. I had a wonderful time and look forward to next years harvest!

Enjoy my photos and if you make it to the Merced Farmers Market stop and say “Hi” to Anne, ask her about her olive orchard & treat yourself to best tasting olive oil in the valley….Athena’s Gift!

Athena’s Olive Oil Harvest ’09

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