New farm-to-fork service, GrubMarket, lands in Sacramento | The Sacramento Bee

June 1, 2015 in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Featured Story, Food, Front Page Post, Northern California, Northern California Farmers Markets, Sacramento Farm to Fork, Southern California, Southern California Farmers Markets, Taryn Smith

As much as I love the outdoor air shopping experience of going to the farmers market myself, sometimes I’ve found myself wishing for someone to deliver farm fresh goods right to my door.  Little did I know, my magic genie was listening!

Enter Grub Market, a Bay Area start up that has just arrived in Sacramento.  Drivers go to farmers markets to pick up products of all varieties and take them direct to the consumer in refrigerated vans.  It’s always fresh, and orders over $25 pay no delivery charges.  What more can you ask for?

The California Crow

May 7, 2015 in Featured Story, Front Page Post, News Feed, Taryn Smith

Special thanks to our friend Nichole Ziegler at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp for this great online find and worthy read!

A sea change is happening in the way Americans feed themselves and the way they think about food. It’s showing up all around us: on television, in the newspaper, on our dinner tables, in public schools, and especially at the supermarket. Californians in particular are spearheading organizations, programs, and campaigns designed to steer the public in a more food-centric direction. For example, the California Department of Food and Agriculture hosts a robustly developed Farm to Fork Office “committed to helping all Californians access healthy and nutritious California-grown food.” In 2014, several California Unified School Districts adopted a program called “California Thursdays,” which features various farm-to-fork oriented activities, like showing the students how to make fresh almond butter, or sampling in-season foods grown in nearby agricultural communities. The California Thursdays program is funded with grants from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, among other public sources.

Californians Get Creative to Beat the Drought

April 23, 2015 in Farm, Featured Story, Front Page Post, Northern California, Southern California, Taryn Smith

It’s now our fourth spring when we Californians feel guilty enjoying the beautiful sunny days.  If you turn on the news, you may believe that California is headed for dire straights.  Doomsday.  We’ll soon be a vast desert.  And then, of course, we’ll fall into the ocean.

But these grim reporters don’t know Californians!  We may be in a drought, but we’re far from dry when it comes to innovation.  Here are some businesses that are addressing the drought with some California ingenuity.

Coming soon to a restaurant near you… WEEDS!

April 10, 2015 in Cooking, Featured Story, Food, Front Page Post, healthy living, Home Gardening, Northern California, Taryn Smith

Recipe for stinging nettle pasta

Photo Courtesy of Olga Massov at Flickr

Maybe we should call them by a different name to make them sound less like something growing on the side of the road… wild herbs, perhaps?

Regardless of how you might feel about eating weeds, health conscious foodies are working hard to create a buzz about the virtues of wild indigenous plants that inhabit the less tended spaces of earth.  And to their credit, some of these plants that grow wild all around us have incredible health benefits and don’t taste half bad (ATTENTION GARDENERS: DON’T THROW OUT THOSE WEEDS!).

Help Build Roots Kitchen at Gluten Free Specialty | Indiegogo

April 2, 2015 in Featured Story, Food, Front Page Post, healthy living, Northern California, Restaurant & Cafe Listing, Sacramento Farm to Fork, Taryn Smith

Roots Kitchen allergen free cafe in SacramentoYou just have to love all the innovation taking place now in the age of technology and crowd funding.  If you’re not familiar with the term, crowd funding is an internet and social media driven way for people with creative projects or new business ideas to “pitch” their concept to the public and generate financial support online via a handful of sites that offer the crowd funding platform.   The project leader sets a goal and timeline, then creates incentives for people to “vote” by donating to their project.  It’s a popular venue for artists, musicians, non-profits, inventors and budding entrepreneurs.

And now, with the farm to fork movement in full swing, it’s no surprise to find some truly creative farm to table projects on the rise via crowd funding.  One great idea comes out of the heart of the farm to fork movement, in our very own home town of Sacramento, from the owner of California’s first gluten free specialty store, Melanie Weir.  The project is titled “Roots Kitchen” and the goal is to provide a creative hub for foodies centered around allergen free grab and go healthy food options.

National Farmworker Awareness Week

March 27, 2015 in California history, Community Service, Farm, Featured Story, Front Page Post, Taryn Smith, Vineyard

Senior vinedresserDid you know that this week marks the 16th annual National Farmworker Awareness Week?  With 85% of our fruits and vegetables being handpicked around the world, we must know and recognize the hard work farm laborers do to feed us!  In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 2-3 million men, women and children who work in the fields to produce our food supply.   Farmwork is the 3rd most dangerous job in the United States, and even though our nation passed numerous labor protection laws back in the 1930’s, farmworkers were excluded from almost every one of those federal laws!  In 1978, the Fair Labor Standards Act was amended to mandate minimum wage for farmworkers on large farms only, but did not make provisions for overtime, and there is still no minimum wage for medium to smaller size farms.

The Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) began its work building awareness about the rights and contributions of farmworkers back in the 1970’s, and have since made great strides in advocating for migrant farmworkers.

Cooking Farm-to-Table for Passover: A new twist on old favorites

March 27, 2015 in Entertaining, Featured Story, Front Page Post, Holidays, Recipes, Taryn Smith

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Moroccan spiced short ribs – from The New Passover Menu

If you’re looking for something new to liven up your Passover dinner this year, look no further.  We’ve found some great recipes that will spice up your table and freshen up your festivities California farm to table style.

Duck and wild rice salad with orange shallot dressing – from The New Jewish Table

Davis Developer Builds Farm to Fork Community: It’s gonna taste great to live there!

March 25, 2015 in Farm to Home, Featured Story, Front Page Post, healthy living, Northern California, Sacramento Farm to Fork, Taryn Smith

In what we hope will become the next big building trend for California, Davis has embarked upon an ambitious project that’s being called the first “farm to fork community” of its kind.

On 100 acres, where a tomato processing plant once stood, “The Cannery” will hold a diverse array of 550 homes alongside a real working farm complete with a barn house.  The homes will range from 500 square foot flats, lofts, cottages, bungalows, condos, to 3,500 square foot single family homes, and every home site will feature a fruit or nut tree in the yard.  The farm will be fully functioning and they plan to have pop up farm stands where residents can purchase farm fresh goods being produced there, and will possibly be able to volunteer their time to learn valuable farm skills, but it won’t be the sort of community garden where residents can come and take what they need in free for all fashion.

Exotic Fruits in Morro Bay, California

March 19, 2015 in Farm, Featured Story, Food, Front Page Post, Southern California, Taryn Smith

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 12.56.36 PMYou may not have heard of Shanley Farms, but if you’re a Whole Foods shopper, chances are you’ve seen or even tasted a rich, delicious Morro Bay avocado, one of Shanley Farms’ specialties.

Situated in San Luis Obispo, this artisan family farm has a great story and even better lineup of exotic fruits.  Finger limes (pictured at left, this Australian citrus fruit was never before seen on U.S. soil until Jim Shanley started cultivating them), avocados, kiwis and California grown coffee plants round out their offerings.