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A Press Democrat Blog

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Fresh From Our Farmers: Let’s Go Farm

A conversation with Joey Smith, founder of Let’s Go Farm in east Santa Rosa, is inspiring, in a very focused way. The young man–he is just 30–is passionate about both farming and gardening. “One of my goals,” he explains, “is to show people that they can grow a lot of food on a very small piece of land.” He makes you want to go outside and start digging. Smith’s primary mission is providing his community with good food, which he… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Strawberry Stand in West Santa Rosa

I didn’t expect the aroma of onions as I stepped out of my car at Lao Saetern’s strawberry stand on Highway 12 between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol but that is just what enveloped me as I breathed in the cool spring air. At that moment, there were nothing but bright red strawberries on the stand’s counter but within a minute or two, a young woman began piling bunches of glistening red onions, peeled and trimmed, on one side of the… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Hector’s Honey Farm

Hector Alvarez of Hector’s Honey Farm just may be the James Brown of local agriculture. Granted, he doesn’t sport a satin cape or fall to his knees in faux heartbreak. But when you look at his schedule–nine farmers markets a week at the height of the season–it’s hard to argue that he’s not the hardest working man in farming. Although Alvarez is best known for his award-winning honeys, honeycomb and bees wax candles, he has been growing produce, as well,… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Redwood Empire Farm

For eight years, Jeff Russell has farmed in east Santa Rosa, on Rincon Valley land purchased decades ago by his great aunt. Today, fruit trees–including French prune plums–planted more than a hundred years ago and likely purchased directly from Luther Burbank are still productive. Russell chose Redwood Empire Farm as a name that embraced this region’s history. In 2007 Ariel Dillon, who grew up on a farm west of Petaluma, joined Russell in his farming endeavor. Dillon and Russell married… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Tierra Vegetables

Although you wouldn’t realize it by looking at the wooden boxes and bins filled with colorful chiles, cucumbers and eggplant, Tierra Vegetables hasn’t yet hit its 2012 stride. The peak of its harvest is still about three weeks away. “This is due to colder than normal night temperatures about a month ago,” Evie Truxaw, wife of farmer Wayne James, explains. Even with the delay, the current harvest is bountiful: There are Sungold cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos, Globe and Japanese… Read More »

Chosen Spot Dinner #3 Menu Announced

Chef John Lyle’s menu for Chosen Spot Dinner #3, which takes place on August 11, was announced this morning, after plenty of teasing by Hardcore  Farm To Face. Things begin with a sweet corn and peach popsicle, which will be followed by blackened Ling Cod with a crispy cheese-stuffed squash blossom and a zesty orange pepper and tomato coulis. After a summer herb salad dressed with verjus and local olive oil, you’ll enjoy slow-roasted Berkshire porchetta with potatoes, green beans… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Harvest Season Is In Full Swing

The season of abundance, which arcs over summer and fall, is in full swing, with all sixteen of our farmers markets open, offering twenty-three market days each week. Markets take place everyday but Monday and on certain days–Wednesdays, for example–you have a choice of three or four markets. If you’ve been wanting to shift your shopping habits from supermarket-based to farmers-market-based, now is the best time. With nearly everything we need to stock our pantries, larders and refrigerators available, it… Read More »

More Changes: McCoy’s Cookware Closing

After 25 years in the retail cookware business, Louise McCoy is closing her sweet little shop, McCoy’s Cookware. She first opened the store in 1986 in Railroad Square, near where Hot Couture is located. In 1990, she moved to the current location at 2759 Fourth St., next to what is now Safeway but was then Petrini’s, a well-loved market still missed by many long-time residents. McCoy’s shares the space with Pearson & Co., which will take over the retail space… Read More »