CAFF Members featured in our recent e-newsletters:
Dry Creek Peach & Produce
An interview by Vivian Dang, CAFF Membership and Communications Assistant [CAFF] and new CAFF member, Gayle of Dry Creek Peach & Produce [Gayle].
Dry Creek Peach and Produce is a family-run farm that grows and hand picks organic peaches. Located in Dry Creek Valley of Healdsburg, California.
Gayle: Our mission at Dry Creek Peach and Produce is to grow and market the best organic peaches, and be devoted, sustainable stewards of the land in our care.
CAFF: How did you get involved with farming?
Gayle: Brian and I always wanted to work with land, and in 2000, we became owners of our peach farm. Prior to our ownership, the farm was successfully growing organic peaches. We continued this and expanded the peach orchards by 25%. Our son, Patrick, also helps out with all operations going on in the farm.
CAFF: What makes your peaches stand out?
Gayle: They’re organically grown and picked at their ripest. Therefore, our peaches are at the juiciest and sweetest they can be. Everything is done by hand – hand picked, hand sorted, and hand packaged.
CAFF: Who comes up with the peach recipes on your website?
Gayle: I do, but you know, most recipes are handed down. Some of the recipes we have posted include peach Galettes, fresh peach pie, and Dry Creek Peach Bellini.
CAFF: On your Facebook page, there’s a variety of peach pairing photos. What is your favorite pairing?
Gayle: That’s a difficult one. I really enjoy a peach by itself in the summer. But I also enjoy eating peach in my salad because it’s so refreshing. There are a variety of peaches as well so it really depends on what I want to make. For example, if I’m making a fresh peach pie, I use predominately yellow peaches. Peach and pork is a good one.
CAFF: Do you only grow peaches?
Gayle: We grow 30 varieties of peaches, but we also grow persimmons and lemons.
CAFF: Do you have a favorite type of peach?
Gayle: I prefer the peach that’s in season. The first and last peach of the season is also my favorite because of the sentiment that goes along with it.
Gayle: Every season is exciting! We also have dinners in the orchard where we partner up with a winery. The chef, John Ashe, incorporates peaches in every dish. He knows food and every dish he makes is absolutely beautiful.
For more information on Dry Creek Peach & Produce, check out their website and social media!
An interview by Vivian Dang, CAFF Membership and Communications Assistant [CAFF], with new CAFF member Mary from BRU Broth [Mary].
Located in San Anselmo, CA, BRU Broth is a company founded by Soo-Ah and Mary. Their company produces bone broth in a selection of flavors to provide people with a delicious warm drink packed with healing and health benefits.
CAFF: How did BRU Broth start and why bone broth?
Mary: My business partner, Soo-ah, wanted to find a warm alternative to juicing since it can be difficult to stomach cold, sugary juices when its chilly outside. At the same time, I was recovering from knee surgery and found that bone broth had healing properties. Soo-ah and I decided to experiment with bone broth for its healing and health properties. We tried many different recipes and added fresh pressed vegetable and root juices and seasonings to enhance the taste. Our friends asked us for bone broth so often that we decided to see if we could market it, thus the start of BRU Broth.
CAFF: What is your favorite aspect of BRU Broth?
Mary: I enjoy the creativity and flexibility as a co-founder of BRU Broth. Since both Sooah and I are big foodies, BRU Broth allows us to work on what we are most passionate about: healthy food that tastes good and sources ingredients from organic farms and ranches.
CAFF: How often do you drink BRU Broth?
Mary: I drink BRU daily. Since bone broth contains gelatin, many nutritionists and sports doctors recommend drinking 6 to 8 ounces a day for maximum health benefits.
CAFF: What is your favorite BRU Broth flavor?
Mary: Depending on the day, my flavor choice changes.
CAFF: What is the most popular flavor?
Mary: While Hug in a Mug, Cayenne Zen Turmeric Ginger, and Hot Green are tied for being most popular, unique flavors such as Beet Blush and Broffee (beef broth, coffee and cocoa) are also well liked.
CAFF: How do you come up with flavors such as Broffee?
Mary: It takes a lot of trial and error. Many cross fit athletes enjoy bone broth, but are also avid coffee drinkers, since you can only drink so many liquids at once, we thought why not mix the coffee with bone broth? We added cocoa powder as a complementary flavor and refined coconut oil, which was an inspiration from bulletproof coffee. That’s when the magic happened. By adding coconut oil, consumers can froth it up and create a creamy texture similar to milk but without dairy or sugar.
CAFF: What are your goals for 2017?
Mary: BRU Broth just launched into 75 stores in the Bay Area including Whole Foods Markets and Sprouts. By the end of 2017, we would like to see BRU Broth in grocery stores across California.
For more information about BRU Broth, please visit http://www.brubroth.com/.
An interview by Vivian Dang, CAFF Membership Assistant [CAFF] with new CAFF member Sal Captain of Captain Vineyards [Sal C]. From CAFF’s January/February e-news • February 24, 2017
CAFF: Tell me about your farm and how it got started.
Sal C.: In anticipation of my retirement in 2008, Susan, my wife, was very eager to start a challenging new phase in our lives that involved using the five acres of land we live on. So in 2005, she commissioned a vineyard management company from Napa to plant 2.5 acres with six varieties of grape vines, thus beginning what has become Captain Vineyard. The other, approximately two acres remaining are native trees and a protected creek that runs during the rainy season. The winery followed in 2008 when we actually started having a product from the vineyard.
CAFF: How much experience did you have with working in vineyards at the time you started?
Sal C.: While I did not have direct vineyard experience, I am a mechanical engineer. The adage that the ‘first farmers were engineers by practice’ helped me tremendously in both the vineyard and winery.
CAFF: What is your favorite part about vineyards?
Sal C.: Through visits to vineyards during my time in Europe, I noticed that work and life balance comes naturally to these people. Working in a vineyard has a different social structure than working in a company. It’s collaborative, family- and community-oriented; furthermore, it’s the best physio-psychological therapy!
CAFF: What is your favorite wine to drink?
Sal C.: I prefer red wine more than white wine; it’s healthier and doesn’t need as much sulfite.
Due to the low sulfite content, in 2017, Captain Vineyards’ wine will no longer need a “contains sulfite” warning.
CAFF: What is the reason behind dry farming?
Sal C.: Being GREEN and SUSTAINABLE, we always focused on reduction of energy consumption. Captain Vineyard is on a steep hill and it costs much energy pumping it up. So, we turned to dry farming. Besides reducing energy consumption, the quality of grapes is improved with less water, which is an added bonus.
CAFF: Are there any events at your farm?
Sal C.: We offer many classes about what we have learned throughout the years that we have spent working with vines. Internships are also provided at no cost for students in local schools/colleges. Providing internships and classes to young people, helps our future leaders in caring about humanity. We find teaching to be the most satisfying aspect of our vineyard and winery.
For more information about the Captain Vineyards, visit their website.
Capella Grazing Project
An interview by Vivian Dang [CAFF] with new CAFF member Marie Hoff of Capella Grazing Project.
Marie Hoff is a rancher and member of Fibershed, California Woolgrowers Association, and the California Grange, in addition to CAFF. She started Capella Grazing Project in 2013, which is currently based in Bodega Bay at Chanslor Ranch.
CAFF: You started with a degree in Dance from University of California, Berkeley. How did you develop your passion for holistic grazing management?
Marie Hoff: I don’t come from a farming background. I wanted to move from the city and so began volunteering at different farms. I ended up working with sheep and wool, because my interests lie in land management, livestock, and fiber.
CAFF: How do you manage both the Capella Grazing Project and working for Fibershed?
Marie Hoff: I’m really dedicated to what I do. It’s a good balance of work, working on a landscape and working for an organization.
CAFF: Your sheep not only graze vineyards, orchards, and grassland, but also leave manure with a healthy ratio of NPK. Is there a certain diet that you need to maintain for your sheep to ensure this ratio?
Marie Hoff: No, it’s based on what pasture or forage is available.
CAFF: How do you transport your sheep to local vineyards, orchards, and grassland?
Marie Hoff: It depends on the number of sheep. Often in a pickup truck!
CAFF: People have the opportunity to sponsor and name a sheep as part of Capella Grazing Project. Do you have a favorite sheep?
Marie Hoff: No, I like them all for their different roles. They’re all my favorites.
CAFF: What are some of your hobbies?
Marie Hoff: I don’t know if I have hobbies, but I still dance. And I like spinning yarn, which is movement.
For more information about Capella Grazing Project, visit their website http://www.capellagrazing.com/