Archive for the ‘food blogs’ Category

Happy October my Locavores,  how will you eat this month and beyond?

As a true believer in eating local and trying to do my part I am spreading the word…..

The task really is not that difficult and can actually be fun finding what fabulous family farms are in your back yard, especially if you live here in the Central Valley surrounded by loads of farms big & small.

The challenge is about eating within a hundred miles and making conscious food choices. I have already done the leg work for you, just browse through my blog and find farms, farmers & farmers markets close to you and connect with them….trust me, you will wish you had done this sooner!

Your First tip:

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.

More reasons why & how @
www.eatlocalchallenge.com & www.familyfarmfresh.com

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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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We have shown you gardens growing in garbage bags, growing in kiddie pools, container gardening, gardens on city roof tops and now another resourceful tool…the tire!!

This just proves how simple growing your own can be & how ideas don’t seem to end for many creative people that want to be close to their food!

More from our favorite earth loving friends at earthfirst.com 🙂

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Just as Athena, goddess of wisdom, provided the olive tree to the Greeks, the Piccirillo family provides all natural virgin olive oil to California’s San Joaquin Central Valley!

Fascination for Greek mythology and Athena’s divine creation of the olive tree is what started Anne Piccirillo’s dream and hobby, now nine and a half years latter it is a successful thriving olive orchard with 417 Spanish and Italian olive trees. The reward for persistence and hard work for Anne, her husband Paul and daughter Eleanor is now living in the middle of this beautiful olive orchard here in the small community of Gustine, Ca.

The Piccirillo family grows 4 different varieties of trees – Ascolano, Leccino, Frantoio and Mission, unlike many other olive oils their varieties are separated, offering 4 different types of oil – each with its own unique warm and roasted flavors. This specialty olive oil is extra virgin, first cold pressed (considered the best), meaning the olive is processed once & using as little heat as possible insuring the highest quality oil from the olive.

As we taste test a buffet of her oils with fresh french bread we learn from Anne just a few of the many health benefits of this Mediterranean fruit, it has a high content of antioxidative substances suppling vitamin E, healing fats supporting good cholesterol levels, lowering risk of colon cancer and the most common, heart disease.

When the harvest and time allows, Anne will also offer hand made soaps of lavender, honey/oatmeal and goat milk.

Harvest begins in the middle of October to beginning of November, while the olives are 1/2 green and 1/2 dark for quality flavor.

  • If you would like to try your hand at harvesting there is a volunteer day the third week in October, give them a call at 209.631.1137 … we’ll be there!

Athena’s Gift, Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be found locally at :

Beekman and Beekman in Hughson, Ca

Wolfsen’s Meats & Sausage in Gustine, Ca

Merced Farmers Market

Los Banos Farmers Market

Hops & Bangers event in Gustine, Ca

To order online and learn more about the people in your neighborhood visit Athena’s Gift!

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This Thanksgiving was the best yet!


Setting the standard with last years first organic Thanksgiving, there was high expectation from all who joined our feast, I am proud to say my daughters and I not only prepared a fabulous organic meal but also followed the 100 Mile diet Challenge!!

Our dinner was 95% local for us cooks, thanks to my two CSA box’s from my favorite farm Rancho Piccolo, a Local Mong farm stand and my daughters favorite farmers market in Santa Monica.

We selected most of our recipe’s from Williams-Sonoma ” A Farmstead Thanksgiving”, a right fit for our goal to celebrate our traditional feast with easy-to-find locally grown and produced ingredients.

We started our day with mimosa’s, Christmas tunes and cooking with a passion to bring forth this outstanding menu….

  • Blue Cheese spread on crostini with a pear topping appetizer
  • Natural Free Range Turkey (no additives)
  • Sausage, Apple and chestnut Dressing
  • Butternut Squash Mashed Potatoes
  • Maple Glazed Carrots with Garlic
  • Snap Beans with Caramelized Shallot and Roasted Mushrooms
  • Maple Tarragon Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato and Persimmon bake
  • Pumpkin-Brulee Pie

100_38272 100_3810 100_3828 100_3806

I am thankful for the many blessings in my life, but spending the day in the kitchen with my fun loving girls and my lively family and friends gathered around the table are one’s I am most greatful for!

Stay tuned for Christmas Dinner…

Just Anna!

We would love to hear your Holiday traditions!

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We want to help our Central Vallians take this challenge!

100 Mile Thanksgiving

The goal according to 100milediet.org kicks off on Thanksgiving day and challenges us to eat foods that have been grown within a 100 mile radius for 1 year….

What could be more healthier than starting a new year by being part of a sustainable local movement that is good for the body, soul & environment!

This challenge will be fun and not that difficult considering we live in the food basket of the world, not only surrounded by big ag but our favorites…the small family farms!

Where ever you live, a good place to start is with your local family farmers, most are already looking for new members wanting to supply you with their abundant harvest through their CSA’s. Give them a call, take your family and go visit these farms, you wont be disappointed.

And lets not forget the awesome foods that can be found at your local farmers markets, most markets will have more than just fruits and veggies, you can find breads, butter, raw milk, sweets, nuts, soaps, honey and even flowers.

For staples like flours, beans, rice, granolas and spices visit your local health food store, you can buy these needs in bulk and they are usually less expensive than individual boxes or cans.

And if you are really serious and are blessed with a green thumb…plant your own garden. Our friends from “Botanical Interests” can help you with your seed selections and all the information you will need to get going!

There is no better time than now to bring your family to the table and teach your children how to appreciate real food grown from the earth by local farmers who care about what we eat!

So…let’s support or local economy and join us in celebrating good local foods this year and discover who & what is growing in our communities!

We are here to help make this commitment by keeping current information on your Central Valley Local Farmers & Farmers Markets, also listing other sites with great information that will help you take on this “farm to table pledge”.

Please share with us how you will take the challenge!

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By Barbara L. Minton

Victory gardens are popping up all over. Last seen during World War II, these gardens now represent our fight to regain control of our lives and our health. They are the first battlefields against the increasing corporate tyranny, a battle that may end with us throwing off the philosophy of every man for himself and a realization that we are all together in this thing called life.

World War II united people and allowed them to reach into the depths of themselves and pull up a resourcefulness they didn’t know they had. During this time of horror and hope people realized that they were living out a great saga in their lives, and in this saga they all had a part to play. The world was a violent and dramatic place, yet also an awakening happened, a vision of unity and understanding. The victory garden has come to symbolize this unity and vision.

What’s a victory garden?


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