Most barns have multiple functions; our redwood barn is no exception. Always abuzz with activity, it is the hub of the farm, where daily harvests are brought in from the fields to be sorted, washed, packed and cooled. It is where all our CSA shares, market loads, webstore and wholesale orders are packed, organized, and loaded for delivery. New this year, the barn now hosts a farmstand where folks in our community can pick up farm fresh produce on weekends. It is a place to store dry goods and farm supplies, where people gather for work, and a point from which visitors embark to explore the farm. And as was the case last Saturday — the barn even transforms into a destination: a host venue for community celebrations. So on Friday after a very busy work week, everyone pitched in to give the barn a thorough cleaning in order to welcome “Edible Monterey” for its 1st year anniversary celebration. Edible Monterey, a locally owned and managed magazine, is part of the Edible Communities Publications found throughout North America, and does a wonderful job of featuring our region’s (San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties) food culture. Each quarterly publication reflects the seasonal highlights of our unique and very diverse Monterey Bay foodshed. Every article is captivatingly informative, with amazing pictures, telling the stories of food artisans, farmers, fishermen, chefs, and community based food producers. The magazine helps raise awareness of where our food comes from, and shares Live Earth Farm’s values of promoting affordable, fresh, healthful food, while building community and nourishing relationships within the region.
Brad Briske, the chef at Carmel’s Casanova Restaurant and an expert on all the locally grown ingredients available here on the Central Coast, had a mouth watering 5 course menu. Brad enjoyed the unique support of four local organizations that offer vocational training in sustainable agriculture and culinary arts to at-risk youth: Food What?!, Lightfoot Industries, Pie Ranch, and the Santa Cruz Regional Occupational Program. They all played an instrumental role helping him. They prepared desserts and appetizers, served guests, and did the cleaning and breaking down after the event was over. Other producers and farms who contributed to the event were Heller Estate Organic Vineyards, Equinox Champagne Cellars, Storrs Winery, 3 of a Kind, Baker’s Bacon, Fogline Farm, Live Earth Farm and Serendipity Farms. And adding a subtle, magical touch to the entire event was the music provided by husband and wife duo Anne and Pete Sibley, winners of the Great American Duet Sing-off on “A Prairie Home Companion,” — they delighted us with their folk and bluegrass tunes accompanied by guitar and banjo.
I love this beautiful barn, a gathering place for honoring the many relationships nurtured by the land we are fortunate to steward. Whenever you visit the farm, be sure to visit our Barn! Maybe a good time would be this Saturday, as we invite you to join us for the last celebration of a busy harvest season.