Eating meat — is it moral to do so? Or does it not rise to the level of being a moral issue, given everything else we’re exhorted to care about? Two months ago, a catalog from Oxford University Press, devoted entirely to books by philosophers, arrived in our mailbox. As I teach critical thinking to […]
I want to create something akin to one of those hourlong video documentaries that take us behind the scenes at, say, a “Nutcracker” ballet in New York City, a NASCAR race or a traveling circus. Only I haven’t got a camera and you don’t have an hour’s reading time for this. And it’s hard to […]
The big news for organic local apple growers this year is doing without. When I tell you what they’re doing without, you’ll be surprised. Until this year, they were able to use an antibiotic to treat fire blight in apple orchards and still be labeled “organic.” But tetracycline and streptomycin were ruled out last year […]
With the pope coming to my country last week, I began to feel a little guilty. I was born Irish Catholic. However, over the decades I’ve moved away from the back half of that descriptive. Then this moment happened when I was in my garden and the pope was in Washington. It was a hot […]
It’s fig season. This means Dianne Madison is spending hours at an old range, stirring the fresh figs, with a bit of sugar as a preservative, to make jam. There’s a touch of lemon and orange juice so the jam keeps its color, and filtered water to adjust consistency. Around and around the ladle goes […]
I got out of Dodge last month, and missed my regular end-of-month column. In truth, it was hard to get focused locally when, for instance, I was picking Saskatoon berries with Hutterites in southern Alberta. Chances are you’ve heard of neither. I hadn’t. Saskatoon berries grow on the Canadian prairie, the bushes rising to 12 […]
The Collins Farm on the western outskirts of Davis is not like other farms.
On their 195 acres just north of the Kidwell Road exchange at Interstate 80, Rich and Shelly Collins have rented or made other arrangements with a number of growers.
A young brewer grows hops for his Ruhstaller label. A UC Davis expert tends the fruit orchards. A global corporate leader in asparagus seed occupies some other acreage. And two other farmers grow fresh produce and run the Collins farm stand right off the exchange itself, which is open only on weekends to tap into the heavy traffic on I-80.
A friend from Winters called an hour ago to ask if I wanted to come over for dinner, joining three others. Diane is out of town. “Sure,” I said. About 10 minutes later it occurred to me that I should bring something. A bottle of wine didn’t seem appropriate, since they have their own vineyard. So […]
On a recent trip to Los Angeles, it threw me when I encountered the word “curated” applied to food and drink. Previously, curators functioned only in cultural institutions. They are content specialists who put on cultural exhibitions, experts with extraordinary knowledge of dinosaurs or Pop Art. At Ray’s, a restaurant in the Los Angeles County […]
Forty thousand pounds of honey sounds like a lot, but Doneice Woody of Winters tells me it’s actually “tiny,” compared to other producers. OK, if you say so. But when I visited the family farm and saw the stainless-steel equipment in the USDA-inspected production room, and the centrifuge, tanks, boxes of jars and other necessities, […]
In your view, fresh taste matters most for which fruits and vegetables? In other words, when does “fresh-picked” or “picked ripe” really translate into a far superior taste, enough so that you’re willing to pay a premium? Most Davisites would surely put corn and tomatoes on that list. We can’t wait for them to come […]