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 […]
What is truly the most local fruit or vegetable grown in our area, one that takes advantage of Northern California’s unique climate? Answer: the Meyer lemon. These citrus trees are so easy to grow here and so useful, they should be in far more yards. We have a 12-foot Meyer lemon tree that puts forth […]
Our son and his wife recently introduced their 6-month-old child to solid food. Sloan had been nursing exclusively. Their pediatrician encouraged this. The notion, we were told, is that a child introduced to a variety of solid foods very early on will be a less picky eater. That can’t be the whole reason, but I’m […]