I am so lucky to have so many good friends in the local organic farming community, and tomorrow I am sure to see a lot of them in one place. My friends Amy, Darryl and Kirsten are throwing the annual bash at their farm, Freewheelin. http://www.freewheelinfarm.com/Harvest_Party.html It is an especially beautiful farm, perched on the edge of the marine terrace a few miles north of Santa Cruz. It is a chance for members of their CSA, old friends and future friends to share in the bounty of the harvest as well as the bounty of creativity that abounds around here–art, music and food. Oh, and food of course. It’s a special farm; the location, the fact that they deliver their goods by bike, the amazing quality of their crops, their work with the youth empowerment group “Food What?!” and the energy they put into organizing this event so people can share their beautiful space.
I had a hard time figuring out a menu that made sense for this event–mostly because of how busy i have been. It just would not become clear to me. But, like so many things over the course of this whole truck adventure, the answers and the produce appeared magically. Orin Martin dropped off some perfect Warren and Anjou Pears from the Chadwick Garden. They are so beautiful to look at that I get emotional about it…and the experience of eating them is one of those perfect experiences that makes you feel complete, like “ok, I can keel over right now and know that I have tasted juicy perfection. I’m good.” Judy from Yellow Wall Farm dropped by on her way out of town for a much needed and deserved getaway and dropped off some sweet red peppers. Ahhhhh, Indian Summer in SC. Then David from Everett Family farm texted me and offered some late season Padron Peppers. It all just sort of happened, and it all became clear. Come see what I do with it!
This is cooking in the only way that makes sense to me and the only way I want to…Let the harvest dictate the ingredients. Forget calling up a produce distributor and ordering anything you can imagine from just about anywhere. How did I get so lucky as to be in a position where my farmer pals just show up with what there is lots of? I am so grateful to them all for helping me find a way to do this food business in a way that resonates with who I am and in a natural and un-contrived way. None of it would be happening if not for the UCSC Farm and Garden’s Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. Nearly 20 years ago I arrived there and the weaving of this beautiful web commenced. The steadfast friendship and support of the staff, and the ever-growing community of current and past apprentices who are so truly devoted; mind, body and soul to creating a healthy and just food production and distribution system. Lucky to be a part of it all. thanks farmer friends. see you tommorrow.