Saturday, February 11, 2012


I bet you have been like....."Emily where have you been? I have been soooo curious what you have been up to these past two months." Well let me give you a little recap:

New Years Eve: Camping with some of my favorite peeps.

This Creeper

Natalie and Allison

The ocean and sunset

Made my first batch of beer:

Boiling the hops and DME

Second fermentation

The fruits of our labor: The Pricey Princess

Natalie enjoying our first beer and being photo-bombed

And partying with this crazy animal:

She's got her party jacket on

Monday, December 5, 2011

Behind the Scenes

One of the programs we run at CAFF is Harvest of the Month. This is a great program that introduces kiddos to new fruits and vegetables once a month in the classroom. Each month participating teachers get a box of one local produce item to sample with kids. Usually there are two varieties of the item. November featured apples and December is featuring beets! What lucky kids. Just over 1 year ago about 120 classrooms were receiving the boxes, this month there are 485! That is alot of produce being distributed to classrooms.
Last month I went to Watsonville which is just south of Salinas to help pack the apples for the tasting kits. This involved folding the boxes, bagging the apples, putting the apples into the boxes along with a packet of information about the apples, closing the boxes and then stacking them.... over 400 times with 3 people.

My supervisor folding boxes
(Yes, she wears her hair like an 80's rockstar)

Putting the different varieties of apples in the bags

Apples and information in the box

Staking the boxes of apples
(Thats alot of apples!)

Even though it took a while it was fun and I got to see more of the production side of the produce world. Kind of like seeing how produce gets in the boxes one buys at Costco, someone puts them in there. Its repetitive and sometimes tedious and I couldn't do it for a living but it made me appreciate just how inexpensive produce is for the amount of work it takes to go from seed to store.

Workin for the Weekend

Actually I was working on the weekend, but that is okay because working was actually hanging out with new friends and learning how to can and pickle. With so many fellow Americorp memebers working on farms and gardens there is often an end of season abundance of vegetables. This time it was tomatoes. Tons and tons of tomatoes. There are also items that aren't "sellable" garlic, turnips, beets, vegetables that don't look good to consumers so they go to the poor Americorp member. This means that we made tons of tomato sauce and apple sauce as well as canned turnips and pickled beets, carrots, cauliflower, and other delicious farm fresh veggies.
Preparing veggies to go into their jars
One of my four friends (Cara) pouring brine into the jars
Brendan looking thrilled as usual when dragged to another event

The pickled items came out very pickley. I think because there were spices in the brine and in the jar it made it a little more flavorful than what I am used to. But they did look beautiful and are still very delicious. I am waiting for Carrie to come visit so we can eat the pickled beets together because I now B won't go near them. Well, another tough day on the job.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Love Affair

Meet my new friend Natalie:
She is pretty rad. She is from Austin and an Americorp member. We had a great day together in San Francisco. A lady date if you will. If man dates are coming back, I am starting lady dates back. Here are a few reasons Natalie and I are friends:

1. Natalie is this excited about the pie we are about to eat2. Natalie loves local beer (at Magnolia Brewery)
3. Natalie is in an ice cream trance
4. Natalie did all this with me in one afternoon while thrift shopping. She doesn't mind eating pie, then french fries, then ice cream and to top it off tacos. Yeah, not many people will eat that many different foods in an afternoon.

Delicious pear and raspberry pie we ate at Mission pie!

I love ice cream, big time.
One scoop salted caramel, one scoop brown sugar ice cream with ginger swirl.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Daily Work

Last week I had a pretty good week at work. I got to go to Davenport, which is just north of Santa Cruz. My boss and I went to talk to a farmer about possibly supplying produce for a school district. Before our meeting we stopped and had lunch at this great bakery called Whale City.

It was a great place and they put leeks on hamburgers. So I love them.

The views were horrible.

What was even better was the farm we visited, Swanton Berry Farms. They are like the farmers I imagine I would be, if I was a farmer. They have a little store where you can buy pies, jams, and fruit. It's all based on the honor system so there is just an open till and you put in money for what you bought and take your change. The farmers were also super nice and told us everything we should do to get more produce into schools. Their advice was to find "one of the young kids who wants to farm" and rent 2 acres out to them to grow produce to just the school. I thought this sounded like a pretty sweet life. Living in Santa Cruz, farming 2 acres, selling to schools. Too bad my boss poo-pooed it as soon as we got in the car. I will keep on dreaming though. Two acres is such a manageable size and I could still have a llama and a goat and Cricket to herd them/eat grass with them. Here are some pictures from their store.
So Cute! Notice the guy laying down on the bench right there? He just biked really far and then ate some pie.
Kids Corner. The whole meeting I just wanted to play with those dinosaurs.
Take your pick!

They also have pick your own kiwi in December. Do you know how a kiwi grows? Tree? Bush?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Crickets Cushy Life

Cricket has the hardest life; 1,000 pets a day, hanging out on a farm all day, two doting parents. And now she gets biked to work in her personal doggie trailer. Yup, she's livin the hard life.

She is still a little nervous in it.
And she is really fat and heavy, at least my legs will look good.