Every few months, as the seasons change, we like to send out an email to our staff to let them know what has changed, what has come and gone and what they have to look forward to. Since Nopalize is from the inside of our place, we’ll share it here with you too.
OLIVES- Good Faith Farms: Flournoy
Olives- Olives are coming from Good Faith Farms in Flournoy, CA. You can read Xandres article about Good Faith and learn what makes them awesome. Flournoy is tiny. The 2010 Census credited it with 101 residents. It is 180 miles due north of San Francisco in the Southwestern corner of Tehama County. If you check out this old school mining map, you’ll see it is right on Tomes Creek, just north of Glenn.
BEANS & PEAS
Iacopi (English Peas, Snap Peas, Gigante Beans, Favas): Half Moon Bay
Iacopi is located in Half Moon Bay, very close to us-only 35 miles south. I recently into Mrs. Iocopi at the Ferry Building Farmers Market and at a trade tasting. She’s really funny. Wild blue eyes and the intense energy of a farmer. At the time, she was really excited about their favas. That was in April. My hands were full at the time, but she insisted on loading me up with a brown bag of favas. I was glad she did. They were sweet and the beans good enough to eat raw, though I opted to puree them with olive oil, garlic and parmesan.
The Gigante Beans that we use for our baked white beans are a mainstay, but we’re also getting English Peas from them at the moment. I’ve grown a whole new appreciation for peas after our garden project at Ida B. Unlike our failed experiment up there with growing beans (not nearly enough sun), peas love cool temperate weather, and have been happily trellising on the overcast Ida B. perch. They are incredibly sweet and their pods really tender; and though we don’t typically go in the direction here, they are certainly edible and could be served whole.
I found this awesome picture of the gigantes growing at Mariquita.
Also a cool graphic done by a local blogger showing the gigantic quality of gigantes.
I like this map because you can see the city where so many of our purveyors are located. We can easily spot Half Moon Bay: (Iacopi), Watsonville: (Tomatero, Maraquita) Santa Cruz: (Dirty Girl) Hollister: (Catalan), Salinas: (Martin) and Stockton: (Zuckerman’s).
Star Route (Favas): Bolinas
Favas are coming from Star Route. Star Route is in beautiful Bolinas, just 30 miles northwest of us in Marin County. Star Route has been farming organically there since 1974.
Tomatero (Strawberries, Red Butter Lettuce, Basil): Watsonville
Hopefully know them well. We are the pick-up for their CSA, so if you work on then, you’ve probably had the good fortune of delicious Albions that have been left behind from the occasion. The stunningly beautiful (and undersold) Red Butter Lettuces are also from Tomatero. For more info on Tomatero, you should also listen to the podcast if you haven’t.
*We’re also get delicious strawberries from Dirty Girl in Santa Cruz.
Riverdog (Porchetta, Fennel, Snap Peas): Guinda
In addition to being our Porchetta headquarters, we’re getting Snap Peas from Riverdog. Check the old school mineral map below. Guinda is in Yolo County, just about 2 hours drive northeast of us.
Riverdog is located just below Colusa, the third town listed on Cache Creek. If you follow the creek down to the heart of Yolo County (just below the O) you’ll find Madison, where our cucumbers come from.
Triple Delight (Blueberries): Fresno
This blueberry farm is an exciting new addition to the season, and a sure sign that the shift is on. Triple Delight is operated by the Sorenson family. I ran into Laurence at the market on Tuesday and had a chance to meet the Sorensons. I’ve been really impressed with how good their berries have been especially for such an early stage of the season. They had this adorable blue and white checkered table cloth (‘cuz they sell blueberries!), so my first inclination was not to eat the blueberries, rather to take a picture of this precious homeyness. I was immediately reminded of what a circus the farmers probably consider these markets to be. The Sorensons have been farming blueberries for 6 generations and based on Kimberly Sorenson’s reaction of my cell phone as camera, she could never refute this. Anyway, CUESA did a fantastic blueberry profile this week
http://www.cuesa.org/article/true-blue and reiterated the important role of Triple Delight in the surprisingly infant industry of California blueberries.
Martin Bournhonesque (Arugula, Tangelo): Salinas
At this point, hopefully we’re are all familiar with Martin. Alejandro will never mention arugula from Martin Bournhonesque without interjecting some comment about it being the best/his favorite, ‘so frikkin good’, or whatever other phrase of adoration comes to mind. Martin is based in Salinas. In addition to providing us with pristine greenhouse greens, he has become a aggregate for phenomenal produce, bringing us jewels from his neighbors as well. He also recently contributed potatoes to our garden at Ida B. Wells.
Kashiwase (Almonds) Winston: Kashiwase is a massive nearly 200 acre organic farm in Winton, CA in the Central valley. Winton is in the northeastern part of the county. Steven Kashiwase’s family has been involved in California ag going back to the 1920’s, when his grandfather planted a 20-acre vineyard in the Central Valley. Most of the current property was purchased in 1948 by his parents, and his mother still resides on the farmhouse that they built then. Even the vineyard his grandfather started is part of the estate. Very cool multi-generational farm that will soon have peaches too.
Will Brokaw (Avocados, Blood Orange, Mandarins, Kumquats): Soledad
Did you guys know that Will is a second generation avocado farmer? His parents Hank and Ellen started a backyard avocado and citrus nursery in the 1950’s. They’ve been farming a ranch in Ventura County and the smaller one in Soledad for over 30 years. You’ll recall that near the end of March we profiled his Golden Nugget mandarins for our Farm Fresh. They are still going strong and therefore I still maintain they are the best around. The kumquats are featured in the Goat Cheese right now. Soledad is 130 miles south in Monterey County.
Madison Growers (Cucumbers): Madison
Nick Atallah, the Patriarch, has an interesting route to farming. He studied agriculture at a University in Beirut, but didn’t purchase the current 20 acre plot that houses Madison Growers, until his “retirement” in 1986. Check the CUESA profile where they share a fun fact about Madison shipping insects from Holland to manage pest control in the greenhouses.
Frog Hollow (Cherries): Brentwood
On Tuesday, I got some insane cherries (and apriums) from Frog Hollow. They are so good at this. Frog Hollow is in Brentwood, about an hours drive due east of San Francisco. I have to admit a special affinity for them because, unlike most farmers, they are really web savvy people. Or at least have hired someone to be. They have a great website and maintain a cool blog. The farm itself is all organic and on a 133 acre piece of property. Their soil, very soft from the Sacramento River Delta, is home to many, many stone fruit trees. We are at the very beginning of their harvest season, which will probably run another 4 months. They are also unique in that one of the owners, Becky, is a chef. They have an amazing assortment of pastries, which can be enjoyed at the shop in the Ferry Building.