Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Norcal Farm Stay

This summer, I had the opportunity to stay with a friend at Pacific Star Gardens, her family-run organic farm in Woodland, California. Having been a customer and worker at farmer's markets for quite some time, I jumped at the chance to have a behind the scenes look at what goes on before produce is ready for sale. Unfortunately, due to recent bad weather, their harvest suffered, but I still enjoyed delicious and juicy tomatoes, watermelon, and cantaloupe. I would love to be able to visit during berry season when they have an abundance of berries such as strawberries and blackberries available for picking.


Pacific Star Gardens has stalls at a number of farmer's markets including Davis, Tahoe, Placerville, and their hometown, Woodland, where I tagged along to help out!

Woodland is just a 10 minute drive to Davis, so we drove down twice to visit the UC Davis campus and explore their farmer's market and other local eats.

Woodstock Pizza is a very popular pizza parlor in the neighborhood directly surrounding the university campus. For lunch we enjoyed a delicious and fresh pesto, tomato, artichoke, and broccoli pizza.

Yolo Berry Yogurt- very popular froyo among UCD students. They serve a handful of interesting yogurt flavors including snickerdoodle, watermelon, dutch chocolate, and tart, but it's the toppings that make this place extra special! Unlike typical frozen yogurt shops carrying a limited amount of toppings such as fruit, cookies, cereal, and chocolate chips, Yolo Berry has classic candy store finds like chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate covered gummy bears, a variety of M&M's, sour gummies, and so much more. 

Hungry for lunch after working the Woodland Market, we decided to head over to the Davis farmer's market because of their wider selection. I decided on a Channa wrap, consisting of fresh, chewy Indian naan bread wrapped around flavorful chickpeas, lettuce, chunky tomato sauce and spicy cilantro sauce. Never have I seen Indian food like this at a farmer's market!

My friend tried an indulgent and oversized puff pastry, bavarian cream, and berry dessert that was oh-so-sweet and luscious. 

This was a trip of firsts! I had never been to a state or county fair before, but I happened to be visiting while the California State Fair in Sacramento was going on, and could not pass up the chance to see and try all of the unique fair foods I've been hearing of. I wasn't able to try everything I wanted (that would have taken days!), but my group and I ate a few very interesting and tasty fair treats.

Foot long corn dog!

Deep fried candy including fried cheese cake, fruity pebbles, peanut butter cups, and brownies.

Exotic meats such as beaver and raccoon on a stick, alligator sandwiches, and kangaroo burgers... delicious?

Deep fried jelly beans, which were more like buttery donuts with a sweet chewy surprise in the center. Not bad!

Funnel Cake. A fair classic that will never get old. Made even better covered with a downpour of powdered sugar and fresh strawberries, this definitely was my favorite of the night. 

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