Hey there. Long time no talk. I apologize for the sporadic posting schedule lately. The past few months have been all over the place. I've mentioned things here and there having to do with our move, renovations, etc. but it's stretched beyond that. There have been too many days to count where life took priority over work. The ups + downs have gotten the best of me at times. Last night was no different when my mom and I spent half the night in the ER because of freak medical issue my mom was experiencing. She was released around 3am with a specialist follow up today and probable surgery. Nothing like a late-night scare when your mom is in town visiting, right? Thankfully, after quite a long day today everything turned out to be okay. Phew. I can breathe again.
Trying to stay focused on life's ups has been key for me lately. For instance, the Earthbound Farm trip I started telling you about last week. It was such a great experience to travel to California to meet and learn about such a well-run, quality-focused company. I tried to let go and relax while I was away and soak up all of the learning + adventure [and wine] that I possibly could.
Bright and early the morning after our Farm Stand dinner we headed to the fields to see where some of their produce is grown and to hear about their growing practices and strategies.
Stan led our group who has been with EBF since nearly the beginning. He is part owner of EBF and spends most of his days in the fields monitoring all that is taking place. He talked about the differences between conventional and organic farming, like how the two vary when it comes to problem solving as issues [pests, etc.] arise.
Even though I knew the basics it was so interesting to hear about how conventional farming [mostly] tackles issues after they arise, ie: applying pesticides. Whereas with organic farming they try to act more preventively, starting with the process of building healthy soil because using harsh chemicals just isn't an option. EBF practices composting, crop rotating, and tilling of cover crops right back into the soil. Stan told us about different methods used to keep bugs away, like planting host crops around the perimeter of the fields to draw the bugs away from the crop that is actually trying to be harvested. I've heard about this being done in backyard gardens, so it was really interesting to see that it can work at such a large scale.
We also learned about the intense, 3-year process of turning conventional land into organic land and how they must maintain specific distances away from conventional farms to avoid wind drift picking up conventional seeds and contaminating the organic fields. Keeping a buffer also helps prevent water runoff filled with pesticides and other chemicals from finding their way to the organic fields.
When it comes to food safety EBF goes above and beyond what is mandatory to ensure their customers are receiving the best and safest products possible.
We traveled around to at least a half-dozen different farms. I would have to say the one that stands out the most in my mind was the field of arugula. The peppery scent hit me like wave as I stepped off the bus.You wouldn't believe how much more intense the flavor is when picked fresh from the ground. I'm sure many of you with home gardens know just what I mean!
Kale wins for cutest vegetable. They're like mini trees! Of kale! Way too excited about vegetables over here...
Interesting fact: Did you know Earthbound Farm supplies half of Chipotle's cilantro? True story.
Another fact: Romaine picked straight from the ground is delicious + the heart is the best part. I think we each consumed an entire head of romaine lettuce while in this field. It was juicy and kind of sweet! I never imagined chomping on plain lettuce leaves and actually enjoying it.
After a fun day touring the fields and production facility we all got cleaned up and headed to The Lodge, at Pebble Beach.
My dad was majorly jealous [golf f.a.n.a.t.i.c.]!
The evening light was beautiful and the scenery was breathtaking. I couldn't help myself from walking along the cart path, snapping, photos, and taking it all in. Two day trips can be somewhat of a blur, but I tried to make this one last.
The food was thoroughly enjoyed but the company made the night. Big thanks to Earthbound Farm for hosting this memorable event and to the wonderful bloggers I got to know while there.
Time to catch up on sleep...
This post is part of an ongoing Sponsorship with Earthbound Farm. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Your support is appreciated!