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Delighted to introduce my book, Farmsteads of the California Coast, from Yellow Pear Press.

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My project partner: The photographer Erin Scott, whose gorgeous images grace this post.

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Farmsteads is a behind-the-scenes tour of a dozen innovative California coastal farms, offering a close up view of these agricultural gems and intimate portraits of the farmers who run them. In the mix: apple growers, shellfish harvesters, dairymen and women, berry producers, water buffalo ranchers and coffee makers–as well as greens growers, too.

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As author and farmer Novella Carpenter notes: “This book will make you want to milk a water buffalo or barbecue some oysters.”

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The stories, struggles and triumphs featured in Farmsteads are unique, but the common thread throughout its pages is the farmers’ environmental stewardship and sincere belief that people should know where their food comes from.

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The book is a celebration of the bounty and beauty of some of the Golden State’s beloved sustainable farms and salutes the innovative, hard-working, and resilient people who produce our food. These trailblazing farmers, who come by their maverick status honestly, have created vibrant community in their own special ways. And they produce delicious food.

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Farmsteads has been well received–more on that later–and we’ve been fortunate that the stories in these pages have been picked up by several media outlets. More on that later, too.

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We’ll be talking about Farmsteads today, Indie Bookstore Day at Omnivore Books in San Francisco at 3PM. Join us.

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 Farmsteads is available at independent booksellers in the Bay Area and via Amazon.

 

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Farmers Mindy Blodgett and Juston Enos didn’t set out to become restaurant suppliers.

But they turned their Yountville, California backyard hobby garden into a thriving produce business, with rare and heirloom varieties that found their way into some of the top professional kitchens in the Wine Country and San Francisco.

These days, they grow exclusively for Bar Tartine in San Francisco. And whey they eat at the restaurant they say they can taste the terroir of their Full Table Farm on the plate.

The food, in the best possible sense, tastes like home.

Blodgett and Enos defy Wine Country farmer stereotypes. They don’t grow grapes or have family roots in the region. They’re not refugees from medicine, law, Hollywood or, more recently, tech. They’re transplants from the Central Valley—where farms are measured in hundreds of acres. They joke that the folks back home in Escalon, near Stockton, think they’re NorCal hippies now and that two acres hardly qualifies for farm status in their minds. The husband-and-wife growers are down-to-earth, humble, hard-working souls.

Find their story in Edible Marin & Wine Country. Photo: Erin Scott

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Yes, Chef

by Sarah Henry on April 6, 2016 · 0 comments

in edible san francisco magazine,restaurants

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In a series of cover stories for Edible San Francisco last year I wrote about independent chefs in the city and their culinary pursuits.

  • The Winter 2015 cover featured Michelin-starred Daniel Patterson who is turning his attention from fine dining to fast casual with a new kind of hamburger chain called Loco’l. Can this MAD man give McDonald’s a run for its money? He thinks so. In partnership with Los Angeles chef Roy Choi, Patterson’s first Loco’l outlet opened recently in Watts. Up next: Oakland. In the works: San Francisco.
  • The Spring 2016 issue featured the preservation palace also known as Bar Tartine. There, chefs Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns, the reigning king and queen of funky fermentation, have taken old-time preservation to new heights in their celebrated restaurant. Post publication came word that the culinary couple had bought the business and will debut a new menu and name, Crescent. Stay tuned.

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  • Come Summer and it was all about the aloha vibe of Liholiho Yacht Club and talking story with chef-owner Ravi Kapur. This is a restaurant that knows how to have a good time as it dishes up good food. Liholiho is the sole San Francisco restaurant nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in the Best New Restaurant Category for 2016.
  • The Fall 2016 issue focused on the recipe for success behind restaurants recently dubbed the best newcomers in the country by Bon Appetit. Aaron London’s vegetable forward Al’s Place took that title in 2015.  The food-cart centric State Bird Provisions, run by dining duo Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, nabbed that honor back in 2012. Their peers weighed in with a James Beard Best Chefs of the West in 2015 for the pair, who recently opened restaurant #2, The Progress, to critical acclaim.

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Photography: Alanna Hale

 

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Truly Farm to Table

March 28, 2016 edible east bay magazine

Edible East Bay four-part series on farmer-restaurant ties.

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Minimum Wage on Menu this November: The Tipping Point

October 28, 2014 edible east bay magazine

  Soon voters will decide whether or not to raise the minimum wage in two Bay Area cities. On the ballot in San Francisco, a measure to bump the minimum wage from $10.74 to $15. Across the bay in Oakland, an initiative that would lift the hourly pay from $9 to $12.25. Who isn’t in […]

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Centerfield of Greens: SF Giants Open Edible Garden

June 24, 2014 community gardens

The game, a new edible garden and athletes who eat their greens.

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Cheapskates: A Case for Paying More for “Ethnic Food”

June 17, 2014 edible san francisco magazine

Why should so-called ethnic food be inexpensive? Chefs serve up an education on the true cost of traditional tastes with a modern twist from Japan, India, Thailand and Mexico.

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