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The One Percent

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By Thomas Nelson, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop Farmers, seed and equipment suppliers, food distributors and retailers, NGOs and community members from across the country, came together last week at the 32nd Annual EcoFarm Conference at Asilomar, Pacific Grove. Located in a stunningly beautiful coastal setting, propagators of a sustainable food and farming system [...]

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Sustainability, Resources, Food Safety are Hot Topics

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Winter Farm Conferences By Heidi Lewis The Monterey Peninsula is one of the most beautiful spots in the world, but it wasn’t just the sparkly ocean breeze dancing through the pines that brought a near sell-out crowd to this year’s Eco Farm Conference held February 1-4.  It was the exchange of important ideas and sharing [...]

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February on a California Farm

citrus farm

By Paul Muller of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop It is a fine Sunday morning. The sun is shining on a windless, cloudless blue sky. The light frost last night kissed crops with the cold they need to be sweet and slow growing. Late December and early January are historically our biggest [...]

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The Lemon Lady

meyer lemons

Karen Morss Traded Silicon and Lemons By Heidi Lewis Karen Morss is called the Lemon Lady. She started her suburban Emerald Hills, CA (San Mateo County), organic citrus farm, Lemon Ladies Orchard, in 2004. She has done her part breaking glass ceilings in boardrooms and the wild blue yonder with careers as a software entrepreneur [...]

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Give Thanks For the Farm Worker

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By Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop Every work day, Road 43, leading to our Full Belly Farm becomes a busy thruway. First, as soon as it is light, our crew arrives, parking their cars under the trees along the sides of the fields. Families and car-pooling neighbors head [...]

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Water and The Farm

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By Jeff Main of Good Humus Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop Sometimes, we come to a moment that is so scary that all we can do is stop, sit down and eat ice cream. The mind is numb, really numb, and it feels like the best protection because we really don’t want to [...]

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In The Nick of Time

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Courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop I’m trying to make sense of time. It is after all, the end of another farm year. If we agree that “time flies” we must concur that time really is all relative. Did every day or week or month clock out at the same pace? Was it a straight [...]

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Donate-A-Crate 2011 Fed Thousands

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By Pia Hinckle During the 2011 holiday season, generous FruitGuys’ customers provided thousands of people fresh fruit at 22 community-based organizations across the country. “The produce donation went over very well this holiday season! We handed out the product in our Grocery Center to our HIV/AIDS clients as an extra special holiday treat,” said Mike Coughlin, [...]

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Fall and Winter Eating for Good Health

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By Nina Andres, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop What I love about eating with the seasons of the Capay Valley is that by this time of year I have had my share of delicious summer fruits and vegetables and can say “I’ll see you next year” to most of them without too many cravings [...]

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Baby, It’s Dark Outside

Warm winter sun

By Heidi Lewis It sure is dark here in winter. But consider how dark it is in the rest of the universe. The universe is estimated to be 95% dark energy and dark matter; only 5% is ordinary matter, things like: us, planets, suns, asteroids, space stations, and galactic gas. NASA posits dark energy as [...]

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The (Edible) Ties That Bind

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By Roxanne Crittenden, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop For those of us that work with farms, food is a lens through which we view the year. We tend to think in terms of which crops did well, what weather each season brought us, and what we were able to put in your boxes each [...]

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FruitGuys Donations are Backbone of Some Food Pantries

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Paying it Forward By Pia Hinckle In a year when more people continued to struggle with less, The FruitGuys GoodWorks program responded to the realities of the continuing hard economy by making micro-loans to farmers; increasing donations of fresh produce to food pantries; and promoting fresh food access for all communities, especially those experiencing hunger. [...]

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The FruitGuys Helps South Philly Refugee Service

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Growing Home Gardens By Kim Jordan Photos courtesy of Nationalities Service Center PHILADELPHIA–Every Monday morning Adam Forbes travels to The FruitGuys’ Philadelphia warehouse to load his pick-up truck. Apples? Check. Bananas? Check. Citrus? Pears? Check. Adam brings the fruit, and any other produce that wasn’t used in customers’ crates that week, back to the Growing [...]

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More than A Meal

st anthonys

St. Anthony’s Dining Room Nourishes the Needy By Pia Hinckle Photos courtesy of St. Anthony’s Dining Room SAN FRANCISCO — Andrew Hudson is holding a pear in his left hand and wearing a big smile. “I love fruit! Oranges, plums, nectarines. Fruit is good for you!” Called Dancer by his friends, the 59-year-old Atlanta native [...]

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GoodWorks

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By Chris Mittelstaedt The college application process was not an easy one for me. I didn’t know where I wanted to go to school, and I had no idea what to say to encapsulate myself in an essay. I finally settled on telling the story of the summer I spent rehabbing houses in the Appalachian Mountain towns [...]

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What Does a Farmer Do in December?

tractor

By Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop Each season on the farm has its own tempo. The harvest overwhelms everyone’s attention for most of the year. The lambing season in February is another high point. Paperwork and regulatory reports flood through the door at year’s end. Animal chores are [...]

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Bear Track Farm

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By Heidi Lewis Betty Hui is powered by fruit. She has to be, she has a busy life. As The FruitGuys Retentions Specialist, she zips up, down, and around the San Francisco Bay Area visiting customers and keeping everybody happy. When she gets home to her farm in Gold Country, she unplugs the blue tooth [...]

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HeartBeets

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By Denise Goitia, Nutrition Educator at HeartBeets, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop This last year Farm Shop has attended two lively health festivals sponsored by San Francisco HeartBeets at San Francisco General Hospital. Following these fabulous events, we invited Denise Goitia, HeartBeets’ Nutrition Educator, to share more about our partnership and their inspiring work! HeartBeets [...]

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Why I Love FarmShares

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By Thomas Nelson, president and co-founder of Capay Valley Farm Shop For over a decade, farmers in the Capay Valley have participated in a community dialogue that grows out of a love of place and people. We have worked from the premise that one way to keep this region agriculturally vital is to get as close to our customers as possible. [...]

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Reflecting on Summer…

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By Jeff Main of Good Humus Produce, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop It seems like a long time since I’ve had a chance to touch bases with all of you, as a matter of fact, it has been a long time. So much has changed on the farm and so much has stayed the [...]

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Steamboat Acres Historic Pear Farm

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Gold Rush Farm By Pia Hinckle The Sacramento River Delta was at the center of the California Gold Rush. The northern California town that would be the future state’s capital was the gateway to the gold fields in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Delta land was rich and fertile — perfect for farming — and [...]

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The Rhythm of Fall

Fig jam

By Paul Muller of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop The farm is sliding into the rhythm of a welcome fall. Last week’s rain was a signal to slow down, breathe deeply, and remember crisp, clean October color. Damp air permeated even the driest of spaces and the moisture washed everything clean. The [...]

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The Four Most Important Letters

2012FarmBill

By Cassidy Campbell Mueller of Riverdog Farm in Guinda, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop I bet you’ve heard it before, the big 4 letters so important to farmers, food processors, and eaters: USDA, or the United States Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for the federal government’s policies on agriculture and food. You would [...]

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Tips for Busy Cooks

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By Nina Andres, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop It’s not always easy to fix a healthy meal, but with a little experience and know-how, it becomes much easier! I’ve learned a thing or two over the years while juggling farming and raising two young children. We’ve put together some tips for finishing the fruits and [...]

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A Day in The Country

capay valley day in the country event

A Yolo County Land Trust Event By Judith Redmond, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop Top chefs and food purveyors, representing 27 of northern California’s most innovative and creative restaurants, 13 wineries and 8 farms with tastings of their summer produce gathered in Winters on September 11th, each to showcase their best, created from products [...]

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Hoes Down Festival is Almost Here!

24th Annual Hoes Down Festival

By Hallie Muller & Judith Redmond, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop The 24th annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival falls on Saturday October 1st this year. This is a fabulous opportunity to visit the Capay Valley. We invite you to celebrate rural living, great live music, wonderful people and sustainable farming, while eating great, local [...]

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Coco Ranch

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Sweet Little Farm Grows it All By Pia Hinckle Coco Ranch in Davis, California is a labor of love for the House Family. Jennifer and Greg House met at the University of California Davis where they were both studying agriculture. Their certified organic farm grows apples, cherries, apricots, peaches, and other delights such as flowers [...]

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True Story From the Farm

Red Barn with Tractor

By Cole Baker, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop Back in the day, my Uncle and Grandpa got up early to tend to the morning chores. The horses and dairy cows needed feed in the early morning dark. This was a constant in their lives. Every morning the two of them and a hired hand [...]

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Cucumbers by the Truckload

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By Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop The Armenian cucumber is actually a variety of muskmelon and like other types of muskmelon, it is native to Armenia (a former republic of the Soviet Union.) We have several small plantings of these exuberant cucumbers (also called Painted Serpents) and the [...]

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The Rural Measuring Stick

Wheat Field

By Paul Muller of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop The measuring sticks that gauge the success and survival of a farm have been whittled upon and brandished both as tools and as blunt cudgels. For many years, those sticks have prioritized and shifted investments for success by measuring the efficiency of [...]

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The Hoes Down Festival!!

hoes down festival

By Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop The 24th annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival falls on Saturday October 1st this year. Folks up and down the Capay Valley organize this extravaganza as a way of showcasing and celebrating all the elements that make our rural Capay Valley extra special. [...]

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Microloans to Family Farms

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Loans give a leg up to farms in need By Pia Hinckle Microloans were pioneered in India and other countries to help farmers and small businesses have working capital to be successful or to expand their businesses and then slowly re-pay the money. As part of The FruitGuys’ Farm Steward program, we recently financed a [...]

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The Mother of All Fickle

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By Paul Muller of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop For Old Timers around here, their world of memory and recollections about oddball weather events embodies a skill that is part genius and part B.S. When I say that this has been a most unusual year, they can point to the floods of [...]

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Slicing into Farms

capitol hill

House cuts will hurt farmers By Judith Redmond, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop On June 17th, the House of Representatives passed its proposal for fiscal year 2012 agriculture spending. In the agricultural ‘discretionary’ budget, the House voted to cut nearly $3 billion from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the FDA. Combined with [...]

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Hartland Cherries: Kauffman’s Fruit Farm

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By Heidi Lewis How many people say “worth two in the bush!” when they enter the town limits of Bird-in-Hand in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania? We don’t know, but FruitGuys buyer Jessica says it when she heads to Bird-in-Hand to talk with Kauffman’s Fruit Farm about their summer fruit. Kauffman’s Fruit Farm was started in 1911 by Amos Kauffman [...]

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Whole Earth CSA—Waddell, Arizona

whole earth farm

By Heidi Lewis “In the hierarchy of healthy vegetables, heirlooms are at the top,” says Shyryn Joy. She explains this statement by adding that “they’re closest to their natural order and have the most integrity.” Vegetables from heirloom plants are true to their seed, as opposed to hybrids—when planted, an heirloom seed will give the same results every time. They’re [...]

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Investing Like Food Matters

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By Roxanne Crittenden, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop If oven-roasted new potatoes are the antidote to fast food French-fries, what is the antidote to our global (and local) economic woes? On Sunday June 12th, twelve businesses and non-profits gathered at Fort Mason with the hope that there may be a simple solution: invest in [...]

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Health Per Acre

capay valley full belly farm

By Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop Despite heavy rain, a surprisingly large group of people turned out for the Full Belly Open Farm Day. While we couldn’t sample the strawberries as in years past, we were able to walk around and enjoy the muddy farm. Several families showed [...]

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Setting Up an Owl Box at E & M Farm

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By Karla Milosevich & Rebecca North Rodents, such as gophers and voles, eat the roots of the fruit trees which can damage or kill the trees, so rodent control is a big issue for farmers. Owls are predators that can control rodent populations in orchards naturally without the use of pesticides and chemicals.  So how [...]

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Old Style Custom Meat Market

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By Reed Adam, Capay Valley Farm Shop At first glance, the almost-completed Manas Ranch Old Style Custom Meat Market, located on Highway 16 just east of Esparto, appears identical to the packing houses and storage sheds that dot this rich agricultural landscape near Yolo County’s Capay Valley. Only the sign, which adorns the front of [...]

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Q & A with Far West Fungi

far west fungi

Mythical Mycologists Bare All By Heidi Lewis, photos by Rebecca North The Garrone family has been growing specialty mushrooms for more than 25 years. They chose the cool, fog-dampened central California coast to locate the massive mushroom lab for their company Far West Fungi. The 60,000 square foot facility at Moss Landing (Monterey County) uses [...]

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Water and the Farm

capay valley cache creek

By Jeff Main of Good Humus Produce Oh, my, and what a week it has been. Sometimes, we come to a moment that is so scary that all we can do is stop, sit down and eat ice cream. The mind is numb, really numb, and it feels like the best protection because we really [...]

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News From Good Humus Produce

capay valley good humus wheat

By Annie Main of Good Humus Produce   I went for a bicycle ride to Esparto on Sunday, Jeff and I had breakfast at Zach and Nicole’s house. I took my camera and stopped for some photos. I took one just down our road a bit from us looking at the hills, and a field [...]

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Spring Planting at Baia Nicchia Farm

heirloom tomatoes

By Karla Milosevich On a sunny Northern California morning in April, volunteers gathered at picturesque Baia Nicchia Farm in Alameda County to plant heirloom tomato seedlings. When the tomatoes are ready to eat, we’ll enjoy knowing that we had a hand in the process, as well as eating them. Baia Nicchia is a small farm and nursery [...]

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Bees: Medicine from the Hive

Bees working on honeycomb

By Heidi Lewis Definition: hive [haiv] n. A large group of people buzzing about everything bee related, swapping hints and tips, rubbing elbows and listening to expert entomologists with great reverence, concern and interest for the world’s bee population. The Fifth Annual Bee Symposium, held in March in Sebastopol, CA (Sonoma County), was a hive [...]

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The Asparagus Files

capay durst organic asparagus

By Nina Andres Why so much asparagus these days? There’s been asparagus in the boxes for the last month and we’ve all had asparagus recipes on the brain. The answer lies in this particular little plant’s growing season. The asparagus season in the Capay Valley area generally runs from early March through late May, depending [...]

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Springtime

Apple blossom

by Paul Muller of Full Belly Farm There is an infusion of springtime powering the life force of bees, goats, people and plants intent upon being fully alive in spring-moment. Full Belly Farm this week is alive with color and bursting with flowers everywhere. There are fields of bright yellow mustard, white sprays of arugula [...]

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Asparagus and Alliums Mark Spring

capay valley spring

By Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm Visitors to Capay Valley farms often get a lesson in the advantages of crop diversity: there are dozens of vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs and flowers growing in the valley, not to mention the conservation plantings where one native shrub or another is in bloom almost any time of [...]

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Popcorn You Can Dance To

tiny but mighty popcorn

By Heidi Lewis In 1961 Robert Moog invented a voltage-controlled synthesizer keyboard that would change our auditory landscape forever. The Beach Boys played with it in 1966, two years later Wendy Carlos transposed Bach for it, and by 1972 the electronic song “Popcorn” became a global hit. “Popcorn” stayed on the charts in Europe indelibly leaving a fingerprint on EuroPop [...]

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The Importance of Pollinators

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The FruitGuys in the Dirt: A Farm Steward Story By Amanda Pineault On Saturday, March 12, 2011 a small contingent of FruitGuys joined Cub Scouts from Santa Rosa and participants from the Volunteer Center for Sonoma County at Gabriel Farm in Sebastopol, CA (Sonoma County). The theme for the day was pollinators! Before we could [...]

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How Broccoli Will Save Strawberries: Organic Farming Practices Leave Pesticides Aside

organic strawberries

By Heidi Lewis Broccoli Shortcake. Mmmm, can you picture it? Golden cake, florets of green broccoli, and a cloud of sweet whipped cream… What? Doesn’t sound appealing? Do you prefer Strawberry Shortcake? But broccoli is what’s going to save strawberries from fungicides and other creepy chemicals. Organic farming practices produce luscious, great tasting berries—without the [...]

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Spring Happenings

asparagus

By Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm With a little warm weather, the fields are drying out and plants have all started growing remarkably suddenly as if a switch just turned over to ‘ON’. Now they’re in a race to catch up with the spring. In one week we saw more growth in the asparagus [...]

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¡Que Vida La Vida!

By Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm This morning, the weather makes it feel more like winter than spring, even though it’s the end of March. It’s pouring down rain, it’s cold and there’s a howling wind on the loose. Cache Creek is raging. Wet fingers are numb in just a few minutes of bunching beets or digging carrots. No one relishes [...]

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Almond Queen: Visioning Capay’s Future

almond tree

By Hallie Muller of Full Belly Farm Last weekend, our small community celebrated a 96-year old tradition: the official crowning of the Almond Queen. In a valley rich with history, this is a standing room only event because it gives our community the chance to celebrate the talented and successful young women living among us. This year, six seniors at Esparto High School vied [...]

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The King’s Food: Stehly Farms Organics Grow Sleek Avocados

stehly organic avocado farm

By Heidi Lewis Recently we asked avocado farmer Noel Stehly of Stehly Farms Organics in Valley Center, CA: Q: If an avocado were an animal, what would it be? A: It would be a jaguar because it is sleek and beautiful. That’s quite fitting for an avocado, as it is an ancient fruit of the [...]

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Capay Valley FarmShares: Collaboration Brings Small Farms to City Tables

capay valley farmshares

From a satellite view, Northern California’s Capay Valley looks like a green quilt caught between the folds of the Coast Range. This makes it good for farming with plenty of clean water from Cache Creek running through its protected crèche shape. The valley floor is ideal for row crops and the canyon hills for grazing [...]

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Pedal Power

freewheelin' farm

Have you ever seen a carrot on a bicycle? We have. As proponents of healthy workplaces, The FruitGuys is thrilled to be working with FreeWheelin’ Farm in Santa Cruz, CA. They are a bike-powered farm operation that supplies delicious vegetables for our TakeHome case. FreeWheelin’ Farm is a Community Supported Agriculture farm, or CSA. CSAs [...]

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Three Sisters Garden: Out of the Frying Pan and into the Farm

three sisters garden

Farmers Tracey Vowell and Kathe Roybal came to farming after careers in the restaurant world. Tracey was managing chef at Frontera, a Rick Bayless restaurant in downtown Chicago, where she helped shape the cuisine and find local sources for produce, including her garden. But after 18 years inside of kitchens, she and Kathe decided to [...]

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Winter Work: How Farmers Finish up the Year

winter on the farm

What does winter weather mean for you? A change in work wardrobe from grey to black? From seersucker to faux fur? Maybe a change in your bike commute? We contacted two of the farmers we work with to find out how the approaching winter affects their work. On the west coast, we spoke with Torrey [...]

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A Fruitful Partnership Grows Roots to Educate Philly Youth

FruitGuys Fruit Buyer Jessica gets ready to plant raspberries.

The FruitGuys Philadelphia team helped green urban West Philadelphia by sponsoring a fall planting at the Walnut Hill Community Farm through POP (Philadelphia Orchard Project). The farm was reclaimed from the urban landscape this past spring through a partnership between The Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation (TEC-CDC) and Philly Rooted, led by farm managers/directors Nic [...]

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Capay Valley Collaborative Seeks Patron: Support the Legendary Capay Valley Farm Community

capay valley

The FruitGuys Farm Steward mission is to promote sustainable farming practices that have no negative impact on the environment and add long-term social and economic value to the farm and farming community. To this end, we wanted to let you know about a once in a lifetime fund raiser for Capay Farmshop at Full Belly Farm. [...]

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Honor Thy Farmer: Harvest Time Brings Nature’s Bounty

rushton farm

In foodie author Michael Pollan’s first book Second Nature, he rethinks our relationship with nature. He tries to keep up with his lawn, battles a contrary woodchuck, and, upon discovering an abandoned town covered in forest growth, observes with great poignancy how nature abhors a vacuum. Thankfully Mr. Pollan became a writer and not a [...]

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How Do I Love Bee?

honey

Farmer-Beekeepers Count the Ways Honey from bees is quite the miracle. Why does it taste so good? And why does it have so many healing properties? Many scientists have studied the organization of beehives and the behavior of bees, but it is philosophers such as Rudolf Steiner who give us a clue to the answer: [...]

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Asian Pears: East-West Farms Raise Profile of “Apple Pear”

asian pears

Only two out of ten Americans have ever tasted Asian pears, those round apple-looking pears, according to Tom Sacks, the general manager of Subarashii Kudamono Farms in Coopersburg, PA, the east coast’s premier Asian pear farm. That may change thanks to the efforts of Mr & Mrs Joel Spira, the visioneers behind Subarashii Kudamono, and West coast [...]

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Savers of the Seed: Baia Nicchia Preserves the Old Ways—And Eats Them

svalbard seed vault

The seed packet instructions say, “Store in a cool dry place.” How about the North Pole? The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway’s Arctic Svalbard archipelago is one of the world’s largest depositories of our planet’s genetic plant record in the form of seeds. There copies of seeds from other seeds banks around the globe [...]

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It Takes a Village: California Town Saves Heirloom Apple

slowfood gravenstein apple presidia

The Gravenstein Apple is dear to many apple lovers for its tart taste and superior juice, sauce, and pie abilities, but it is especially dear to the residents of Sebastopol, CA (Sonoma County) where the apple is grown in the U.S. The Gravenstein was the main apple crop for decades in this corner of Sonoma [...]

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July Victory Garden Crate

heirloom tomatoes

West Coast customers – enjoy locally produced heirloom fruit, farm crafted specialty foods and a special “Do It Yourself” Slow Food project in this unique monthly offering. SlowFood Victory Garden Crate Learn more and order at www.fruitguys.com/slowfood. The FruitGuys have partnered with Slow Food San Francisco in a fundraising project to benefit the Schoolyard Gardens [...]

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Preservation Harvest plums now available on West Coast

preservation harvest plum

Introducing Preservation Harvest – produce that makes a difference. Buying plums can help save a farm and make healthier land. Learn more at www.preservationharvest.com. West Coast customers, get a box of 25 refreshing Black Amber Plums from our crop farmed in Exeter, California. They have a smooth, crème colored inner flesh and tart purple skin. Put [...]

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Introducing the SlowFood Victory Garden Crate

Slow Food San Francisco

A limited time offer for California residents brought to you by The FruitGuys and Slow Food San Francisco. This unique box includes a selection of very special heirloom and Ark of Taste produce, locally-sourced artisan food items, and an easy “do it yourself” kitchen project kit. June’s box features honey from Torrey Olson’s Gabriel Farm. made by the [...]

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Bike Love: A Commute that’s Good for You

bike to work

PHILADELPHIA—My commute: therapeutic, thought provoking, calming, and centering. Is such a commute possible?  You bet!  I am one of the estimated 10,000 Philadelphia residents who bikes to work each day—weather permitting.  My time in the saddle provides me with the fresh air that I need to feel energized for the day.  Biking was not always [...]

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I’ll Meet You on the Farm

veggies

Warm spring weather is waking up the farmer in me. I suddenly have the urge to sink my hands into the soil and grow greens, tomatoes, potatoes – you name it. A new resident of Philadelphia, I was not sure how to go about finding a way to satisfy my urge to farm. I turned [...]

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Owl Update

owl

You can tell from the photos that the owls are feeling very much at home in the owl boxes that The FruitGuys installed at Kauffman’s Fruit Farm in Bird-in-Hand, PA. We hope that we will soon be sharing pics of little owlets. Stay tuned. Read more about our donation of owl boxes to Kauffman’s and [...]

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Hungry Owls

barn owl

Alex Godbe started The Hungry Owl Project in 2002 to raise awareness of the danger that rodent poison poses to owls. Alex had been an intern for Wildcare, a Bay Area wildlife rehabilitation and education center, and was struck by the number of sick raptors and other hunting birds that ended up in the facility [...]

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Swords into Ploughs

farmer veteran coalition

It’s quiet at Kokopelli organic berry farm except for the occasional proud exultation of a laying hen. Farmer Dr. Shepherd Bliss loves it that way; the quiet gives him peace after his own post-traumatic stress disorder from joining the army during the Vietnam era. Dr. Bliss grew up in a famous military family (the same [...]

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Hoot hoot!

barn owl

Look who’s on candid owl camera! Picture of Northern Barn Owl taken this week on The FruitGuys Owl Cam at Kauffman’s Fruit Farm in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. Read more about our owl box installations here.

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Native Bees

bee

The Bee Beat: an occasional series on our friendly pollinators “Go native.” That was the position taken at a recent Bee Symposium in Sebastopol, CA hosted by BeeKind and The Partners for Sustainable Pollination. The symposium hall was filled to capacity with beekeepers and wanna-bees. Lectures by apiary luminaries Dr. Robbin Thorp, Randy Oliver, Serge [...]

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Eye on Owls

owl box

By Bridget Meigs Owls can play a crucial role in rodent control on organic farms. Instead of traps or poison, owls are natural predators that can help control populations of rodents like meadow voles that can girdle and kill the fruit trees. Many owl species reside in forested habitat, but the North American Barn Owl [...]