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Growing Up with Gardens: Becoming an avid kitchen gardener & locavore

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Edible Berkeley: Residential garden blog

 

sharon@edibleplaces.com 

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Our Trip to the Source

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fall weather has moved in for good now, I think.  Recently, our days have been in the low-60s to low-70s and we have had several light fall rainstorms already, breaking our spring/summer dry season a bit earlier than in most years.  The cool weather snow peas I planted a few weeks ago are starting to come up and our warm weather loving tomato plants are visibly slowing down.  Our massive passion vine still has all of its tantalizing green orbs on it, but most have not yet started to turn purple--despite our best efforts to encourage them with loving words and tender care.  Oh well, we'll just have to wait until they are ready in another month or two.  Last week I sold the last 20 pounds of our big Meyer lemon crop to a local restaurant, saving just enough on the tree to get us through to the beginning of the next big lemon season that starts in December.

This is a fairly slow time of year for our home garden, but in other places around the Bay Area and elsewhere, it's the middle of the hectic harvest season.  To celebrate the fall harvest bounty in our region, we traveled 90 miles last weekend to participate in Full Belly Farm's "Hoes Down" festival. 

We have been happy members of the Full Belly Farm CSA for the last four years, and enjoy taking the family to see the source of their delicious vegetables and fruits. We had a great time walking through their farm, working on farm-related craft projects, petting farm animals, climbing the haybale fort, and dining on tasty, freshly picked almonds at their onsite farmer's market stand.  Our kids also got to grind wheat, make bread and cook it in a stone oven, and hand-crank some delicious ice cream.

After camping in Full Belly's walnut orchard with several hundred other festival goers, we paid a visit to nearby Wind Dancer Ranch.  We have been buying most of our meats (lamb, pork, turkey and some rabbit and chicken) from them for the past year but had never been to the site to see the farm and the animals.  Lisa, the ranch owner, gave us a wonderful tour and let the kids feed and pet many animals.  She has beautiful horses as well as pigs, sheep, turkeys, chickens, and other animals.  My daughters were entranced and didn't want to go home!  We even got introduced to "our" pig... who will be finding his way to our plate later this fall.  My children took this news in stride--and now have a greater appreciation for where their food comes from.

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend trip to the source of (most of) our food.  I found that it reaffirmed my commitment to eating locally and organically, and to supporting the dedicated, talented farmers who make this possible for those of us who live in the city.

 
All opinions expressed are my own.
Copyright 2007 Sharon Danks