Tag Archives: sustainable

Holiday gift ideas from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

The Holiday Connoisseur Coffee Collection from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

The Holiday Connoisseur Coffee Collection from Peet’s Coffee and Tea

Are you behind on Christmas shopping? Buying for folks who are tea or coffee lovers? Peet’s has some fun options including special holiday packages.

I had the opportunity to receive a wonderful gift package from Peet’s, and I’ve already enjoyed all of the coffees enclosed in the beautiful box (see photo above). The Holiday Connoisseur Coffee Collection ($32.95) includes a half-pound each of four ground coffees: Holiday Blend, Major Dickason’s Blend, Garuda Blend and Uzuri African Blend. Below are details on each of these; the tasting notes in parentheses are directly from Peet’s:
1. Holiday Blend (Exquisite, Complex, Celebratory, Dark Roast): Each season, Peet’s seeks the year’s best beans to create a unique, celebratory blend. The 2014 blend is elegant, smooth, and refined with hints of dark chocolate and brown sugar, with beans from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sumatra.
2. Major Dickason’s Blend (Rich, Complex, Full Bodied, Deep Roast): One of the first Peet’s blends, it’s the company’s all-time bestseller (and one of my favorites).
3. Garuda Blend (Gutsy, Earthy, Full Bodied, Deep Roast): A blend of first-rate single-origin Indo-Pacific coffees that celebrate the diverse flavors of the islands.
4. Uzuri African Blend (Beautiful, Dark Berry Notes, Deep Roast): A fully sustainable coffee that you can drink while knowing you’re helping small-scale farmers improve their lives.

If you’re not interested in the exact package listed above, the 2014 Holiday Blend ($16.95/lb.) makes a great gift on its own, or as part of a gift package you design yourself. It’s also part of a few other Peet’s holiday gift packs like the Holiday Blend & Gold Stainless Logo Tumbler Gift ($35.95).

Holiday teas include Holiday Breakfast Blend ($11.95/4-ounce tin, $9.95/25 tea bags), a strong black tea that features Darjeeling and other varieties, and the new Vanilla Keemun ($9.95/4-ounce tin). Peet’s is offering a special “Holiday Breakfast Blend Tea Bags Gift” ($25.95) with tea, a red holiday mug, and chocolate-covered cherries.

Interested in a very decadent gift for a coffee & tea-loving friend or family member? The Peet’s Ultimate Holiday Gift ($149.95) includes one pound each of Holiday Blend coffee and Major Dickason’s Blend, Holiday Breakfast Blend Tea, an 8-cup Bodum Young press pot, a Bodum Assam teapot, two red holiday mugs, Jo’s Peppermint Bark, and Semifreddi’s Almond biscotti.

Happy Holidays and Bon Appetit!

Follow me on Twitter @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.

Whole Foods Market Dungeness crab, Wellshire ham, & Capitola holiday tastings

Wellshire spiral ham at Whole Foods Market

Wellshire spiral ham at Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market in Northern California, including stores in Santa Cruz and Capitola, has lots of tasty offerings for the 2013 holiday season including Dungeness crab and Wellshire Spiral Sliced Hams. I’ve had the great fortune to eat both in the last couple weeks, and highly recommend them. More details are below.

Also, Whole Foods Market (WFM) in Capitola is offering holiday tastings on Saturday, Dec. 21 from 12 -2 p.m. Each department will be handing out samples of at least one product; rumor has it that the crab and/or ham will be available to taste!

Wellshire Spiral Sliced Cooked Half Hams are sold exclusively at WFM, not in any other grocery stores. Because they are spiral sliced, it’s easy to just pull off however much or little you want at a time instead of taking the time and energy to carve. The hams have no preservatives, nitrates or antibiotics; the animals are fed very wholesome grains. The cost is $3.99/lb. for semi-boneless, cooked, seasoned uncured ham and the meat is moist, flavorful, and wonderfully addicting! I brought home an 8-pound ham, and I can’t believe how many meals I ate. These included:
• Split pea soup with ham
• Ham sandwiches
• Ham, cheese & avocado omelettes
• Ham & pineapple pops (really easy recipe from the Whole Foods collection)
The Dungeness crab at WFM Capitola is delivered fresh from San Francisco fisherman six days a week, specifically from Pezzolo’s Seafood at Pier 45. You can taste the freshness, and the WFM Seafood Department staff members do a fantastic job of cracking and cleaning your whole, cooked crabs (free if you ask). The crab is really meaty and delicious; my family ate ours cold and dipped various bites into lemon, butter, or both. Some nice seeded baguettes and a side dish of brussels sprouts were the perfect accompaniment; of course, some people will choose to heat their crab and everyone has their own preferences for what to eat with crab! Bon Appetit.

Bonus: if you buy 3 crabs or more, you get $1.00/off per pound (the initial cost varies depending on market price that day).

The crab is “Super Green Rated” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. What does that mean, you wonder? As stated on WFM’s site: It’s “good for the environment and good for health… the Monterey Bay Aquarium has identified seafood that’s ‘Super Green,’ meaning that it’s excellent for human health and is caught or farmed responsibly. The Super Green list highlights products that are currently on the Seafood Watch ‘Best Choices’ (green) list, are low in mercury and are good sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.”


WFM Santa Cruz Area Location Details:

Both stores open 8am-9pm daily


Whole Foods in Capitola
:
1710 41st Ave, Capitola 95010 (831) 464-2900
Whole Foods in Santa Cruz:
911 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz 95062 (831) 426-9901
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Silicon Valley Restaurant Week Oct. 16-23, 2013 offers discount prix fixe 3-course dinners

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week offers discount prix fixe 3-course dinners

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week offers discount prix fixe 3-course dinners

Need a good excuse to try a restaurant you’ve never been to, or are you yearning to visit an old favorite but don’t want to spend as much as you usually do? Silicon Valley Restaurant Week started today: more than 50 local restaurants – from Los Gatos, Downtown San Jose and San Jose’s Santana Row to Mountain View, Saratoga, and Palo Alto – are serving three-course gourmet dinners for $35-65 per person. And you can win a $50 gift certificate from one of these restaurants through my site! Read end of article for details.

Special menus are offered Oct. 16-23, 2013 (or whatever days of that week the various restaurants are open), and typically include three options for each course: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Customers choose one selection for each course. Some way wonder why the SVRW menu prices vary so greatly. This is because selected restaurants choose to serve larger portions, use more expensive ingredients, and/or want to showcase signature dishes.

Silicon Valley Restaurant Week began in 2009 as an annual event. It’s become so popular that it’s now held twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. Restaurant reservations are recommended but not required.
For more information, and to see menus and prices for selected restaurants, visit the event web site. Remember that the prix fixe cost of $35-65 doesn’t include tax or gratuity.

A few highlights:
One participating restaurant is Mountain View’s Bushido, known for delicious Japanese izakaya dining, sustainable seafood, and sushi created by Executive Chef Isamu Kanai. Bushido’s SVRW $40 menu is actually four courses with two choices for each course. First-course choices include steamed buns with soy-braised pork belly; second-course choices include sushi (vegan or standard).

Italian-American Bistro il Postale, based in Sunnyvale, is serving a $35 three-course menu with three choices for each. Choose appetizers such as steamed clams and mussels with garlic, olive oil, and white wine; entrees such as blackened salmon with fresh avocado shrimp salsa and lemon-white wine-cream sauce, accompanied by risotto and vegetables; desserts such as tiramisu.

LB Steak is offering different menus at its Santana Row and Menlo Park locations. Menlo Park costs $45, and Santana Row costs $65. The Santana Row menu sounds intriguing, with albacore tuna carpaccio and steak tartare included in the appetizer choices. Entrée selections such as potato-wrapped Mount Lassen trout and sweet dumpling squash ravioli and dessert selections such as pumpkin bread pudding and salted caramel crème brulee round out the special offerings.

A couple more tidbits to whet your appetite:

  • Persian restaurant Arya in Cupertino and Redwood City has a “dinner for two” for $39; this includes one appetizer (from seven choices), two entrees (from ten choices), and one dessert (from two choices).
  • Mexican restaurant Mezcal in downtown San Jose has a $30 three-course menu.
  • Palacio in Los Gatos is doing a three-course Peruvian tasting menu for $45 (add $15 for wine pairings).

****
THE CONTEST:
This contest is open to readers of examiner.com and santacruzfoodie.com, but employees of Examiner.com are not eligible to enter. Anyone who has won a prize from my site during the last 30 days is also ineligible.

PRIZE – One winner receives $50 in gift certificates for il Postale. Note: because the restaurant is already offering discounted meals Oct 16-23, these certificates are NOT VALID during Silicon Valley Restaurant Week 2013. To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Silicon Valley Restaurant Week.” Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page and include “Silicon Valley Restaurant Week.”

Either way, the entry deadline is Sat. Oct. 19 at 5 p.m. I will pull a name from all entries and notify the winner by email.

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.

Slow Food Santa Cruz hosts Edible Gardens Tour

The second annual Santa Cruz Edible Gardens Tour is Aug 24, 2013

The second annual Santa Cruz Edible Gardens Tour

The second annual Santa Cruz Edible Gardens Tour is happening this Saturday, August 24; if it’s anything like last year’s debut, it will be a very enjoyable event. It’s only $10 and it includes 15 gardens across town. Once you buy a ticket, you receive a map showing each garden. The Westside gardens are open from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. while the Eastside and Midtown gardens are available to visit from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Buy tickets online.

Some of the gardens are at private residences, while others are at public vegetable gardens. Event organizers have announced that different residence gardens will feature unique experiences such as kids’ activities, book readings, advice on chickens, organic tips and plant giveaways.  The public gardens will “explore the nourishing side of gardening, highlighting restaurants that grow food and also nonprofits using gardens for healing.”

The tour is organized by Slow Food Santa Cruz, an active chapter of Slow Food USA. According to its web site, Slow Food SC is “a diverse group of food enthusiasts with a curiosity about food traditions and heritage and local artisanal products.” For more information contact info@slowfoodsantacruz.com.

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

Santa Cruz celebrates Food Day: events at farmers market and Charlie Hong Kong

Pledge to “eat real” for Food Day 2012

Wednesday, Oct. 24 is Food Day in Santa Cruz, and there are a couple local events occurring.

Food Day is simultaneously an annual nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food. People are urged to “eat real;” the goal is to build a movement of Americans who want “healthy, affordable, and delicious food produced in a sustainable and humane way. Last year was the inaugural Food Day, and included more than 2,300 events in all 50 states. Read more at the Food Day website and the Food Day Facebook page.

At 5 p.m. at the Wednesday Downtown Farmers Market (Cedar and Lincoln Streets), Mayor Don Lane is reading a proclamation declaring Oct. 24, 2012 as “Food Day Santa Cruz.” Right before his reading there will be a press conference about Proposition 37 (regarding the labeling of GMOs) with several farmers from the market. The conference was organized by Pesticide Watch. The proclamation’s highlights include mentions of the town’s natural food grocery stores (and the fact that they accept SNAP/food stamps), our many handcrafted artisan food purveyors committed to using local products from organic farms, UCSC’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) and CASFS’ farm apprentice program, and many restaurants being awarded “The Golden Carrot” for serving healthy options.

At the Santa Cruz restaurant Charlie Hong Kong (1141 Soquel Ave at Seabright), on Oct. 24 at lunchtime customers can get their photos taken holding a flyer that says “I EAT REAL” (after signing the flyer). Owner Carolyn Rudolph is sending these photos to folks who will attach them to the petition that the Real Food Movement will present to Congress.  Also, CHK is handing out free samples of coconut rice pudding all day (until they run out), as a gift to customers for eating healthy, sustainable, affordable, fair food.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie

Menu announced for benefit dinner with Alice Waters & Homeless Garden Project

Homeless Garden Project’s Natural Bridges Farm, the site of a benefit dinner with Alice Waters on Oct. 13

The menu for tomorrow’s benefit dinner for Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz, with special guest Alice Waters, has been announced.
Attendees will dine on delicious food created by four prominent local chefs, and the menu features produce from HGP’s farm plus other local treats (Companion Bakery bread, Fogline Farm sausage, etc.)

See below for details, and buy tickets for $200 — includes all food and local wine pairings — at www.alicewaters.homelessgardenproject.org. Online tickets will be sold until 2 p.m. on Oct. 13, unless the event sells out before then. Read more about the event in my preview article.

The event starts at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 with three separate passed appetizers:

1) Dinner Bell Chicken Liver Mousse on Companion Bakery Crostini
2) Oven-Dried Molino Creek Tomatoes with Thyme and Fresh Ricotta
3) Tart with Natural Bridges Farm Chard and Seasonal Herbs

The food continues with a sit-down three-course meal.

First Course: Endless Summer Salad of Natural Bridges mixed greens, roasted carrots and beets, fried padron peppers, fresh chevre

Second Course (vegetarian option available): Dinner Bell Heritage Grilled Chicken on a Sourdough Crouton topped with Fogline Farm Sausage, Mushroom Duxelles and Dry-Farmed Tomato-Basil Sauce with Natural Bridges Sautéed Greens

Third Course: Strawberry, lavender and almond trifle featuring Swanton Berry Farm strawberries and Natural Bridges Farm lavender

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie

UCSC Harvest Festival with organic food, farm tours, and apple pie contest

Demonstrations of apple pressing to make cider is one of the activities at the Harvest Festival (Photo by Weston Monroe)

The 18th annual UCSC Harvest Festival, held at the campus’ 25-acre organic farm, is fun for the whole family and includes an apple pie contest, organic food, farm tours, and kids’ activities. 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.

The event is on Sunday, September 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s simultaneously a celebration, an opportunity to eat lots of locally sourced food including organic corn, and a chance to learn about a range of food and environmental issues. It’s co-sponsored by the UCSC’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), UCSC’s Food Systems Working Group, UCSC Measure 43: Sustainable Health & Wellness, and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

In addition to the apple pie bake-off (see rules below) and farm tours, activities include hay rides, face painting and kids’ crafts, garden talks, food and organic produce for sale, and live music. And you can sample more than 30 different apple varieties! There will be workshops on saving seeds, planting the fall garden, making kombucha and vegan wraps and burritos, and “cupping” the perfect cup of coffee. Life Lab’s “Food, What?” youth empowerment group will hold a sunflower-picking fundraiser in the Farm’s fields.

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, call (831) 459-3240 or visit the CASFS web site. If you drive, free parking will be available at the Campus Facilities and Barn Theater parking lots, and a free shuttle will be running. If you bike to the event, your bike will be “valet parked” by local organization People Power.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie

2012 Harvest Festival Schedule

Music

The Ashley Lloyd Experience 11 a.m. – noon

Ancestree Reggae 12:15 – 1:30 p.m.

Bean Creek 1:45 – 3 p.m.

Singing Wood Marimba 3:15 – 5 p.m.

Workshops and Activities

Apple Tasting: Varieties grown at the UCSC Farm and Alan Chadwick Garden 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Apple Pie Contest entry deadline 12:30 p.m.; winners announced between 2 and 3 p.m.

Kombucha Making 12:00 p.m.

Tours of the UCSC Farm 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Grubbin’ It Raw Vegan Style: Wraps and Collard Green Burritos 1:15 – 2:15

Seed Stewardship: The Art of Cultivating, Breeding, and Saving Locally Adapted and Open-Pollinated Seeds 2:30 – 3:30

Coffee Cupping for the Perfect Cup 3:30 – 4:00

Planting the Fall Garden, with Trish Hildinger 3:45 – 4:45

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 30, 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.

Organic farm dinner benefits Watsonville’s Live Earth Farm’s education program

Food from a previous Dig! dinner at Live Earth Farm


Live Earth Farm is hosting its fourth annual Dig! farm dinner in the fields to benefit LEFDP (Live Earth Farm Discovery Programs). The event features local chefs including Jonathan Miller (a popular chef at local school Let’s Cook! as well as a private chef and caterer), plus several farmers and artisans. The program is from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, September 22. Tickets are $150 and include food and wine. Purchase tickets online or make a donation of any amount to LEFDP, even if you can’t make the event.

The evening starts with appetizers and a tour of Live Earth Farm given by Tom Broz, the head of the family that operates the farm. Then there will be a four-course dinner — which includes wine from Storrs Winery, Birichino, Pleasant Valley Vineyards, Zayante Winery, and Cima Collina –followed by dessert which takes place in a renovated redwood barn. Another fun component of the event is a silent auction with lots of locally themed prizes such as a gift certificate for a workshop by fabulous food preservationists Happy Girl Kitchen Co.

The nonprofit education organization LEFDP teaches local youth about sustainability, organic agriculture, community, and the environment through farm visits, summer programs, workshops, and other hands-on activities. Over the course of 2012, LEFDP will support a diverse group of approximately 1,500 students, including low-income individuals from Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey counties.

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