Tag Archives: farm

Credit cards now accepted at Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market

Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market now accepting debit/credit cards

Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market now accepting debit/credit cards

Starting today, Wednesday, Jan. 7, customers can use credit and debit cards to purchase items at the downtown Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market, which is open every Wednesday from 1:30-5:30 p.m. (winter hours). It’s located at the corner of Lincoln St. & Cedar St.

Here’s how it will work: customers wishing to use this new program need to go to the information table at the downtown location of the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets. Staff will swipe credit/debit cards and provide customers with plastic $1 and $5 tokens valid to buy any product at the market. These tokens never expire.

The reason for this change is because more and more customers have been requesting credit/debit card access over the years. Please remember that farmers/vendors do prefer cash if you have it.

If all goes smooth with this trial program, the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets will expand the credit/debit card service by the end of January to their other markets: Live Oak, Westside, Scotts Valley, and Felton. “We want to make it easy for you to spend as much money as possible with regional farms,” the organization says. Here’s hoping it’s successful!

Other news:

  • Food-inspired art — the art table returns to the Downtown Market each Wednesday in January from 2:30-4:30pm. Customers aged two to 102 are invited to “look for the table piled with construction paper, potato stamps, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, twist ties and egg cartons – all for your enjoyment.”
  • Gift Certificates — Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets gift certificates are now available. You can buy them at the Westside, Live Oak or Downtown locations, and they can be used for fresh produce, edible treats, artisanal soaps, preserves, chocolate and more.

Haven’t been to the market lately? Here are a few words from the web site to remind you that it’s a win-win for all of us:

“Our family of five farmers’ markets showcases the best in regional organic produce, pasture-raised meats, eggs and dairy, sustainably-harvested seafood and artisan-made goods.

Purchasing your food through the area’s farmers’ markets ensures that you are getting the freshest, healthiest and tastiest foods while supporting local jobs, increasing local spending and promoting the region’s strong farming tradition.

What’s good for you is good for your community.”

Read more about the Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets at santacruzfarmersmarket.org.

Charlie Hong Kong restaurant news on soup & veteran-to-farmer benefits

New and improved vegan butternut squash soup at Santa Cruz restaurant Charlie Hong Kong

New and improved vegan butternut squash soup at Santa Cruz restaurant Charlie Hong Kong

Santa Cruz restaurant Charlie Hong Kong has news to share on two topics: soups, and benefits for veterans.

First, the veterans’ benefits news. Restaurant owner Carolyn Rudolph was moved by a documentary viewing/panel discussion event that she attended a couple weeks ago at Santa Cruz’s Vets Hall. The Veteran-to Farmer documentary film is called ‘Ground Operations.’ “It inspired me to offer support for Vets to farmers programs,” says Rudolph. “It’s a positive offering for the suffering of war, to do something related to creating and nourishing after so much destruction.” A few days ago, Rudolph donated a percentage of proceeds from Charlie Hong Kong’s sales that day to The Farmers Veterans Coalition, which offers educational retreats in sustainable agriculture for county veterans. She’s also donating ten percent of sales from today, Nov. 20, and next Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Next is Charlie Hong Kong soup news: if you’ve tried the restaurant’s soups in the past, you already know that Rudolph and her staff brew up delicious creations—like their Vietnamese Chicken Noodle—that are perfect for fall and winter. Now, they’re even better. Rudolph recently transformed the Thai Coconut Mushroom Soup recipe; it now features housemade vegetable stock instead of mushroom-infused water (it uses coconut milk, too). The Thai Butternut Squash Soup still includes delectable, dry-farmed Windmill Farm heritage heirloom squash, but now it uses BOTH vegetable stock and coconut milk instead of all coconut milk. It also features a hint of star anise and cardamom. Trust me, you want to get yourself a bowl of this as soon as possible. I happened to order some at the restaurant a couple weeks ago, and thought, “this tastes even better than I remember!” A few days later, I learned about the soup changes–no wonder it is so wonderfully rich and full of flavor. As is the case every year, the squash soup is available from late fall until January or February, whenever the local squash harvest ends.

If you’re on Twitter, follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Location/Hours: Charlie Hong Kong, 1141 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 426-5664, Open 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily.

Pop-up dinner at Everett Family Farm in Soquel with chef Uncie Ro

Padrons stuffed with local cheese and pasture raised pork, accompanied by house made mozzarella & organic heirloom tomatoes

Padrons stuffed with local cheese and pasture raised pork, accompanied by house made mozzarella & organic heirloom tomatoes

It’s the third season of the Soquel Supper Club, a pop-up eatery at Everett Family Farm with food by chef Roland Konicke of Uncie Ro’s, and the next event is Sunday, Sept. 21. The goal of these dinners is to bring the local community together for a delicious meal that nourishes not only the participants, but also chefs, organic food producers, and small businesses.

Konicke really enjoys these events. “What I love most about supper club is that I can really showcase all the local ingredients from the area and prepare them right in front of everyone at the supper in our wood fired  oven,” he says. The oven method enables him to get very creative with the food.

A farm tour led by Rich Everett starts at 5:30 p.m. and a multi-course dinner begins at 6 p.m. – see menu below. Tickets are $75 (dinner only) or $100 (with wine pairings from Odonata Winery). Buy tickets online for the Sept. 21 event at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/725726.

During the 2014 season, there were dinners in June and August. After this September dinner, there will be one more in October.

For more information, call (831) 419-8191 or email roland@uncie-ros.com

Location:
Everett Family Farm, 2119 Old San Jose Road, Soquel

September 21 Menu

LITTLE GEM & SUMMER SQUASH SALAD
with roasted walnuts & pecorino

GAZPACHO
with Everett Family Farm tomatoes

BRAISED PORK RIBS
with wood-oven baked beans & organic coleslaw

STUFFED PADRON PEPPERS

CREAM PUFFS
with mixed summer berries

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz’s Chaminade: food, wine, and beer events during September

A selection by Chef Kirsten from Chaminade’s July 2014 Farm to Table dinner, courtesy of Chaminade Facebook page

A selection by Chef Kirsten from Chaminade’s July 2014 Farm to Table dinner, courtesy of Chaminade Facebook page

Santa Cruz’s Chaminade Resort & Spa is offering several opportunities to feast and indulge during the month of September.

Saturday, Sept. 6: Beer, Brats & Blues
At the 2nd annual Beer, Brats & Blues, from 5-8 p.m., reps from local breweries including Discretion Brewing and Santa Cruz Aleworks will be pouring brews. The food will include sausages (such as kielbasa and bratwurst), a variety of housemade mustards, Farmhouse Culture sauerkraut, coleslaw, cucumber dill salad, warm pretzels, German potato salad, and apple strudel bites. Carie & the SoulShakers will provide live music.
Cost: $40 adults, $18 kids 6-12, free for kids under 6

Friday, Sept. 12: Farm to Table Wine Dinner Series
At this month’s Farm to Table Dinner, Route 1 Farms and Morgan Winery will be featured during a five-course meal. The annual series, which began in June and ends Oct. 10, showcases local wineries and local farms through dishes prepared by skilled Executive Chef Kirsten Ponza. Diners also get the chance to meet farmers and winemakers. Read about my memorable experience at the June Farm to Table Wine Dinner, which includes food details.

Want to make it a complete Chaminade experience and stay overnight? Visit this link; the hotel offers special packages with accommodations plus the Farm to Table dinner for two and breakfast for two.
Cost for dinner (no accommodations): $80, includes five-course dinner and endless wine, excludes tax and gratuity

All month long: California Wine Month
September is officially California Wine Month, and Chaminade is celebrating with three special offers.

  • The Grape Escape Package: Enjoy wine tasting at one of Chaminade’s preferred wineries, 10% savings on overnight accommodations, breakfast for two and waived corkage fee when you have dinner at Linwood’s Bar & Grill.
  • California Wine-down at The Spa at Chaminade: The Spa at Chaminade has packaged their 80-minute Aromatherapy Massage (your choice of aromatherapy blend) with an afternoon of tasting at one of Santa Cruz County’s premier vineyards. The package is available for the entire month of September for $189, which includes a 15% savings. For this package, call 831-465-3465 to schedule appointment—make sure to mention the special offer.
  • Price “Crushing” Bottles of Wine All September Long: Linwood’s Bar & Grill at the Chaminade, open 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily, serves a variety of California wines alongside their all-day-fare menu. Select bottles of wine will be half-off their normal price during the entire month of September.

Make reservations for any or all events (except the spa promotion, see separate number above) at 831-475-5600, and visit chaminade.com for more information.

Location: Chaminade Resort, One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Manresa fire, & Love Apple Farms repercussions such as produce available to public

Produce at Love Apple Farms

Produce at Love Apple Farms

There was a serious fire at the Michelin-star-winning Los Gatos restaurant Manresa on Monday, and it will be closed for a few months. The restaurant’s closure strongly affects Love Apple Farms, as Cynthia Sandberg and her biodynamic farm have served as Manresa’s exclusive kitchen garden for the last few years. Sandberg wishes Manresa a speedy recovery. “We look forward to working with them through this difficult period and beyond,” she commented.

With the restaurant and and chef/owner David Kinch unable to use Love Apple’s extraordinary produce for the time being, Sandberg is offering the local community a couple rare opportunities.

For years, fans of Love Apple have been asking Sandberg to offer a CSA (also known as Community Supported Agriculture, or in layman’s terms, a weekly farm-fresh produce box). Now, due to unexpected circumstances, some actually have that chance. If you’re reading this and you haven’t ordered one yet, it’s too late—the original four-week CSA offer was posted on Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday and sold out within hours. Two more sets of dates were added, and sold out just as fast. But you can still partake of Love Apple produce another way during Manresa’s closure: the farm has opened an on-site produce stand. Although Love Apple became famous for its dozens of varieties of heirloom tomatoes, the farm actually grows many vegetables and fruits, plus herbs and edible flowers.

The stand is now open Wednesdays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays & Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  There will be rotating items like flower bouquets, herb and veggie starts, tomatoes when they come ripe, sorrel, chard, mustards, beans, eggplant, melons, radishes, carrots, turnips, squash, basil, micro-greens, peppers, tomatillos, and cape gooseberries. Plus farm-made jams and pickles, and gardening items like soils, fertilizers, and supplies.

Another way you can support the farm—and simultaneously learn and have fun—is to participate in this Sunday’s HOW-Days Garden Skills event, which costs $89.  On July 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the farm will have 3 classrooms going, with rotating classes all day long. Sandberg encourages people to pre-register, but individuals can also show up and register on Sunday morning.

Participants can choose to attend up to seven workshops. Each is 45 minutes long, to give folks the chance to try out “mini-classes” and see if they want to take a longer version of certain ones in the future (they’re all part of the farm’s standard curriculum).

HOW stands for Homestead Options Workshop; visit this url for more information: http://www.growbetterveggies.com/growbetterveggies/2014/04/howw2012.html.

Classes include:
• Intro to Organic Gardening
• Tomato Masters
• Drip Irrigation
• Container Vegetable Gardening
• Propagating Perennials
• Compost
• Growing Berries
• Fruit Trees
• Gopher Trapping
• Bee Keeping
• Chicken Keeping
• Urban Rabbit Keeping
• Vegetable Garden Design
• Winter Vegetable Gardening
• Micro-Greens

August 24 is the second of this year’s HOW-Days. The August workshop also costs $89 and centers on kitchen skills.

Topics include:
• Canning
• Pickling
• Cheese Making
• Bread Making
• Pasta Making
• Home Brewing
• Sprouting
• Ice Cream Making
• Jam Making
• Sauerkraut
• Gluten-Free Cooking
• Kimchi
• Kombucha

Click here for all upcoming classes that Love Apple offers.

If you’re on Twitter, follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz’s Chaminade launches 2014 Farm to Table Wine Dinners

Ravioli from Chaminade’s June 6 Farm to Table Dinner. Photo credit: Fereshteh Fatemi

Ravioli from Chaminade’s June 6 Farm to Table Dinner. Photo credit: Fereshteh Fatemi

It’s officially summertime, and here in Santa Cruz we have one more reason to celebrate: Chaminade Resort’s annual Farm to Table Dinner series has begun! The always-enjoyable series showcases local farms and local wineries.

I had the pleasure of attending 2014’s debut event on June 6, and it lived up to my high expectations. I’ll provide some details below; meanwhile, I would go check your calendars right now for the rest of the season and make reservations—which are required—for one of the dinners.
2014 Chaminade remaining dinner dates are:

  • July 11
  • August 15
  • September 12
  • October 10

The cost is $80 per person and that includes hors d’oeuvres (served at the 6 p.m. reception), family style dinner (starts at 6:30 p.m.), dessert, and wine (served at reception AND dinner). Tax and gratuity are excluded. Call (831) 475-5600 or visit web site for details, including specific wineries/farmers for particular nights. The specific menu is posted as each event draws near.

Back to the June 6 dinner, created by the talented Kirsten Ponza. Chef Kirsten, who was promoted to Executive Chef in September 2013, is a delightful person to talk to about food and cooking. She knows a lot, and is excited when you ask her questions or make specific comments about a dish. Many people, including myself, relished our conversations the other night. When I asked her about the event, she said, “I love the Farm to Table series for many reasons.  I get to talk to my guests attending and really get a feel for how they want their food…I also love the interaction with the local farms and wineries…The farmers can explain much better than I how much love and effort it takes to make something grow!” She also adds that it allows her to be very creative and “…hopefully change some minds out there on food people would like to eat.”

Throughout the evening, selections from Pelican Ranch Winery were poured including Gewurtztraminer, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. The wines were thoughtfully paired with various courses. Winery owner Phil and Peggy Crews were in attendance, and Phil shared a few facts about his Capitola winery and wines.

The produce featured in many dishes was from Santa Cruz’s Yellow Wall Farm, and owners Allen and Judy Rose Hasty were also at the event. Allen engaged the crowd with a couple anecdotes, and told attendees that although the farm mainly sells to restaurants and New Leaf Market, they do run a Saturday morning farm stand when the season really gets going later in the summer. Based on the freshness and flavors of the produce I tasted, I’ll be sure to seek that stand out. Chef Kirsten is a big fan: “Judy and Allen are true farmers in the sense that they care about everything that goes into the food they grow.  The earth, the plant, the product.  They are a great team that always has a smile and you can really tell that they love what they do!  We here at Chaminade have had a solid relationship with them for several years now and I always look forward to the time when they email to say what’s available.”

At the reception, there were four appetizers including strawberries stuffed with smoked blue cheese and pancetta. I’m going to try making this at home, knowing I won’t get a version quite like the one I tasted, but I was absolutely inspired by the blend of flavors and textures. And it’s perfect for right now when fresh organic strawberries abound in Santa Cruz. Chef Kirsten said it was actually Yellow Wall Farm’s current delectable crop of strawberries that helped inspire the stuffed strawberries, in addition to the gazpacho (which I’ll discuss soon). My other favorite appetizer at the reception was stuffed tempura squash blossoms. Absolutely perfect, these included goat cheese, basil, lemon zest and juice, and a light fritter batter.

At the sit-down dinner, our starter was a generous bowl of strawberry hazelnut gazpacho. It was incredible: creamy, and not too sweet. The Belle Farms olive oil and chive garnish complemented the soup beautifully, in terms of both taste and aesthetics. The first course of baby romaine with citrus avocado relish and third course of duck confit with Mediterranean cous cous were very pleasing, but I was even more taken with the second course. The baked ravioli (see photo at beginning of article) were served with a rich, wonderful medley of gourmet mushrooms – oyster, trumpet, shiitake, portabella, and cremini – and a savory tomato/herb Aurora Crème sauce. Dessert was the perfect finish, a honey mousse atop jasmine-scented cake, served with delicious raspberry dessert wine from Pelican Ranch.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.
The Details
Farm to Table Dinner Series
Monthly through October 2014: Selected Fridays at 6 p.m.

Courtyard Terrace at Chaminade Resort, One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz 95065
(831) 475-5600
$80 per person

Santa Cruz and Monterey County food & wine events this weekend

Dolmas are one of the delicious foods at Eat Like A Greek! this weekend

Dolmas are one of the delicious foods at Eat Like A Greek! this weekend

There are many food and wine events occurring this weekend in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, from May 16-18, 2014. Here are a few highlights.

Greek food fair in Santa Cruz May 16-18
The 8th annual Eat Like A Greek! Food Faire is in the downtown area next to the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church. The free festival features live Greek music plus a food including moussaka, dolmas, spanakopita, grilled marinated lamb souvlaki and handmade pastries like kataifi (shredded wheat pastries saturated with honey and spices).

New foods this year include gluten-free options plus two Greek yogurt parfaits: one is made with a sour cherry mixture that comes from Greece, another has organic blueberries, walnuts and local honey. In addition, organizers have added “a bevy of premium Greek white and red wines to the Taverna.” Athena Wolfe, who does marketing for the fair, says that Greece’s agro tourism business–and in particular the wine business–is booming.  “Many of them are winning medals in wine competitions, so we thought we’d offer a sampling to the public at the Food Fair,” shares Wolfe. Other beverages available will include American and Greek beer, traditional Greek spirits, and coffee.
Hours: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, & noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Location: 223 Church St. at the corner of Center.
Call 334-4400 or visit https://www.facebook.com/EatLikeAGreek.

Sustainable seafood festival in Monterey May 16-18
The 13th annual “Cooking For Solutions” is at the Monterey Bay Aquarium May 16-18. There will be “sustainable and organic food from land and sea” plus public presentations and cooking demos by chefs including Alton Brown, all included with aquarium admission. Many additional “food and wine adventures” and culinary salons can be purchased online; some events are sold out. The three-day celebration features more than 90 chefs and 70 wineries and breweries.
Location: Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row.
For details go to at cookingforsolutions.org or call 648-4800.

Dare to Pair Food & Wine Challenge May 18

Surf City Vintners is hosting the 5th annual “Dare to Pair” food & wine challenge. Cabrillo College is joining with Surf City Vintners to hold the event, as the competition is a benefit for Cabrillo College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program. Teams of Cabrillo culinary students prepare appetizers, and these are paired with wine from each Surf City Vintners winery. Attendees walk from winery to winery (all located within a couple blocks of each other) to taste the food and wine. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to showcase their skills, and for the public to enjoy their culinary creations paired with our great local wines,” said Eric Carter, director of the Cabrillo Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program.

The event takes place Sunday from 12-3:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 in advance (buy from any Surf City winery — see web site  — or at Pino Alto Restaurant on the Cabrillo campus. Call (831) 435-3000 for more information. If tickets do not sell out, they will be available the day of the event for $70.

Participants vote on their favorite pairings for the People’s Choice awards, and a panel of chefs and restaurateurs also judge the competition including Kirsten Ponza (Executive Chef of The Chaminade) and Sheri Moise (owner of Johnny’s Harborside), and Ted Burke (owner of Shadowbrook). There is an after-party at Equinox Champagne Cellar from 3-5 p.m., and the awards ceremony takes place at 4:30 p.m.
Location: Surf City Vintners wineries, Swift Street Courtyard, Swift & Ingalls Streets in Westside
 Santa Cruz

Staff of Life Anniversary Party May 17
The local grocery store is having a 45th anniversary party from noon-4 p.m. Saturday. There will be live music, dancing, BBQ, wine tastings, raffle prizes, product demos, and free samples.
Visit www.staffoflifemarket.com or call 831-423-8632.
Location: 1266 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz

Homeless Garden Project Farm Fest May 18
HGP is hosting Farmfest 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It’s free and there will be kids’ activities (games, face painting, and more), food, live music, and a beer garden operated by Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Company. Local radio station KUSP is co-sponsoring the festival, which aims to highlight the tangible benefits of community involvement at HGP to encourage those taking a new direction in their lives. “Many people who are homeless and come to participate in our programs tell me that the community at the farm makes a difference in their outlook on the world and in building self-confidence and self-esteem,” says Darrie Ganzhorn, HGP Executive Director. “Farmfest is an invitation to the wider community to join in.”

There will be cooking demos by local chef volunteers including Oai Phan, who is preparing an Asian dumpling with kale. Phan moved to Santa Cruz from Vietnam about 30 years ago, and has volunteered at the farm almost every week for the last five years. Phan says, “Food always brings people closer and nothing makes me happier than to see a big smile on people’s faces when they eat my ‘rabbit food.’
Visit www.homelessgardenproject.org or call 831-423-1020.
Location: Shaffer Road and Delaware Ave. in Westside Santa Cruz

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Tickets available for Friday’s debut Pino Alto Farm to Table Dinner in Aptos

Kabocha harvest at Santa Cruz's Yellow Wall Farm, featured at Nov. 1 Farm to Table dinner at Pino Alto

Kabocha harvest at Santa Cruz’s Yellow Wall Farm, featured at Nov. 1 Farm to Table dinner at Pino Alto

As of Tuesday Oct. 29, there were still tickets available for the Nov. 1, 2013 Farm to Table Dinner at Pino Alto at Cabrillo College.

Executive Chef Beverlie Terra, who was with Santa Cruz’s Chaminade Resort for more than 20 years, has moved to Cabrillo College where she is an instructor. She’s kicking off a series of Farm to Table dinners at Pino Alto Restaurant, much like the ones she founded at Chaminade. I was a guest at a 2012 Chaminade Farm to Table dinner and greatly enjoyed it. Terra is a talented, creative chef who knows how to utilize farm-fresh products.

The dinners will be on Friday evenings at Pino Alto, located at Sesnon House on the Cabrillo campus. The first one, November 1, features Guglielmo Wines and Santa Cruz’s Yellow Wall Farm. The second event on November 8 features wine from Burrell School and highlights Fiesta Farms. For reservations, call (831) 479-6524.

The cost is $65 per person plus tax and gratuity, and this includes a four-course gourmet dinner with wine pairings. A reception prior to dinner features wine and appetizers.

NOVEMBER 1 MENU
6-6:30 p.m. Reception
Appetizers

• Slow roast pork belly bites on sugared Apple
• Deviled Eggs with Sweet Pepper
• Fig and proscuito Canapes
• Wontons with pumpkin and sage
• Crab cakes with pepper aioli
• Pork rilettes with crostini

Wines: 2012 Guglielmo Pinot Grigio and 2010 Guglielmo Sangiovese

6:30 p.m. Dinner

First Course: Kabocha gnocchi with porcini cream

Wine: 2012 Guglielmo TRE Chardonnay

Second: Little gem lettuce with beets, squash, feta and pomegranate vinaigrette

Wine: 2012 Guglielmo TRE Pinot Noir

Third: Lamb chops with pumpkin risotto

Wine: 2008 Guglielmo TRE Syrah

Fourth: Warm apple crumble with persimmon ice cream

Wine: Guglielmo Sparkling Almond Champagne

Location: Sesnon House: 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos 95003

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Kid-friendly UCSC Harvest Festival boasts organic food, farm tours, live music

Scene from a previous Harvest Festival

Scene from a previous Harvest Festival

The 19th annual UCSC Harvest Festival, held at the campus’ 30-acre organic farm on Sunday, Sept 29 from 11a.m.-5 p.m., is fun for the whole family. It features live music—from bluegrass to reggae—plus organic food, kids’ crafts, rides, tours, produce and pumpkin sales, and an apple pie contest.

Admission varies between free and $5; general public adult admission is $5 but it’s free for UCSC students with ID, kids 12 and under, and members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

Visitors of all ages are invited to sample more than two dozen apple varieties, savor roasted peppers, enter the pie baking contest, try their hand at pressing cider, scale the climbing wall, and enjoy locally sourced, tasty treats. Also available: workshops on making salsa, growing and using peppers, saving seeds, creating popcorn treats, and understanding permaculture design, along with farm tours and an herb walk through the garden. Plus, there will be campus and community group information tables.

The event is co-sponsored by the UCSC’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), UCSC’s Food Systems Working Group, UCSC’s Measure 43 (Sustainable Health & Wellness), and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden. People Power is providing free valet parking for bicycles.

For those unfamiliar with CASFS, its research and education programs include the UCSC Farm, the Alan Chadwick Garden, and the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. The apprenticeship program is a 6-month, full-time organic training program. Upwards of 1,300 people have graduated from the apprenticeship.

For more info, visit the CASFS web site and/or see schedule below. Free parking will be available at the Campus Facilities and Barn Theater parking lots, and a free shuttle will be running.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.


2013 Harvest Festival Schedule

Music

Feed Me Jack 11a.m. – noon

The Downbeets 12:15 – 1:30p.m.

Live Elk   1:45 – 2:45p.m.

Kinetic Poetics   3 – 3:25p.m.

Ancestree Reggae 3:30 – 5p.m.

Activities, Tours, Workshops

Apple and Pepper Variety Tasting                                         11:30 – 4:00
Apple Pie Contest Bake-Off (entry deadline)                          12:30
Salsa It Up!                                                                                     12:00 – 1:00
Crystal Owings, Food Systems Working Group
Guided Tours of the UCSC Farm                                                12:30 & 4 pm
Popcorn Palooza                                                                            1:15 – 2:15
Austin Lewis, Food Systems Working Group
Herb Talk & Walk through the Garden                                         2:00 – 3:00
Darren Huckle, Western/Chinese herbalist & licensed acupuncturist
Introduction to Permaculture Design                                            3:00 – 3:45
David Shaw, UCSC Common Ground Center
Pepper Talk: Varieties and How to Use Them                            3:30 – 4:00
Orin Martin, manager of the Alan Chadwick Garden
Seed Saving and Cleaning Workshop                                        4:00 – 5:00
Cole Thomas and Connor Spears, Demeter Seed Project

Official Rules for the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden Apple Pie Contest

Pie entries accepted 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Official judging begins at 12:45 p.m.

Winners will be announced at between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

1. The Friends of Farm and Garden Apple Pie Bake-Off is a nonprofessional baking competition open to Harvest Festival attendees (entry to the Harvest Festival is $5; free admission for UCSC students, Friends of the Farm & Garden members and for children 12 and under).

2. Contestants are responsible for submitting a written (preferably typed) recipe with their pie.

3. Contestants are responsible for supplying all ingredients and baking the pie prior to bringing it to the contest.

4. All entries in this contest must be homemade.

5. A representative of the Friends of the Farm & Garden will assign each contestant a number. Contestants should verify that the number on the bottom of their container is the same number assigned by the representative.

6. Contestants’ entries are judged on taste, presentation, and creativity.

7. The decision of the judges shall be final. Pie not consumed during judging will be returned to the contestant.

All pies must be entered by 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 29, at the Fall Harvest Festival, UCSC Farm. For questions or additional copies of the rules, call (831) 459-3240 or e-mail casfs@ucsc.edu.

Two Santa Cruz food events this weekend: Truck Stop tacos & Sausagefest

Fran Grayson at Branch Out Farm

Fran Grayson at Branch Out Farm

I want to share the news about two food events occurring this weekend: The Truck Stop’s farm taco dinner Friday night and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing’s Sausagefest Saturday afternoon. More details are below; remember Saturday morning and/or afternoon you can head to the festival “A Taste of Soquel.” Read details in this article.

The Truck Stop’s Fish Taco Friday
The absolutely delicious and innovative Santa Cruz mobile food truck The Truck Stop now gets produce fresh from a local farm in Soquel called Branch Out Farm. Owner and chef Fran Grayson is throwing a fun picnic dinner this Friday at the farm; advance tickets are required. Buy tickets and get address of farm here. Grayson promises “legendary fish tacos with seasonal sweet and savory salsas straight from the garden.” For $25, you get lots of tacos, some snacks to start, and lemon-basil cooler to drink. Kids are charged $5 for “kidsadillas” (veggie quesadillas). You’re encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs for seating.

Saturday Sausagefest from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is hosting the seventh annual Sausagefest which includes sausage from vendors including el Salchichero, Freedom Meats and Corralitos Market, and homemade sauerkrauts, relishes, pickles, and mustards. There will also be Bavarian pretzels, caramel apples, ice cream from The Penny Ice Creamery, and lots of organic ale. San Francisco punk/polka band Polkacide is performing.

The festival, from 4-7pm, has an admission fee of $5 for adults (includes souvenir glass) and it’s free for kids. Beer and sausages will be for sale; event proceeds will benefit Friends of Santa Cruz Parks. Doors open at 3:30pm and the event is at the location of the Westside Farmers Market at the corner of Mission Street Extension and Western Drive.

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