California Heartland Episode 918 Transcript

California Heartland is made possible by The James G. Boswell Foundation, committed to sharing the stories and successes of California growers.  Bank of America, bank of opportunity.  Funding provided in part by, The California Farm Bureau Federation, proud publishers of “California Country” magazine.  More information is available at www.californiacountry.org .  And, by the Almond Board of California; California Almonds, loved around the world, grown in California’s Heartland. 

Coming up on California Heartland-

The next generation of farmers head off to college!

On the north side of the veggie shed, what’s that tree right there?

See how students at UC Santa Cruz are using this 25-acre farm as their very own classroom.

Plus-

I swear to always enjoy wine.

The California Heartland team reports for duty.

Hey that’s a no-no. Drop and give me 50!

We sent our reporter to wine boot camp.  An intense one day training program where your work is all about wine!

And—

We have mild winters here in California.

It’s big, it’s bad—it’s frost! Tips on how to protect your plants before the freeze!

Chris Burrous: From your backyard, to the back country, in a field, or on your family table, it’s all about what keeps California moving and growing, this is California Heartland.

John Lobertini: This is the intersection of farming and higher learning.  A place where the next generation of farmers are rewriting the book on how fruits and vegetables can and will be grown.

Brian Coltrin: Some of these are looking better than others, huh?

John Lobertini: Brian Coltrin says it hit him like a lightning bolt one day while he was working his own garden back home in Ventura.

Brian Coltrin: I realized it was time to learn how to grow food- how to farm.

John Lobertini: For the past 40-years the University of California at Santa Cruz has been refining the art of organic farming.

Christof Bernau: So, can you name any fruits in and around the garden that there on current seasons grow?

John Lobertini: You’ve heard of language emersion, well this is the same thing- only farming. 

John Lobertini: Every year this university hand picks about 40-men and women for this 6-month apprentice program.  Their classroom is this 25-acre farm in the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean; they even live here.

Christof Bernau: We’ve had a huge interest in the last 8-10 years folks coming from urban areas, that want to do, essentially, urban renewal , urban greening.  But purely from a food perspective, so the food is being grown right where the people are.

John Lobertini: The program is all about using the earth and Mother Nature to nurture and protect our crops.

John Lobertini: This is growing in the middle of this broccoli field because this plant attracts other insects that will eat the predatory insects that are on you’re broccoli?

Christof Bernau: You know, it’s a dynamic process & a mysterious process.  Not entirely well understood but researchers are building knowledge about it and that’s one of the reasons it’s being so widely adopted both by conventional and organic growers.

John Lobertini: You know, here on California Heartland we talk to a lot of farmers.   And every one of them has the same worries about the future- who’s going to continue farming, because my children don’t want to be part of the next generation of farmers. 

John Lobertini: Paul Richeson was surrounded by ag land growing up in nearby Pescadero.

Christof Bernau: That’s super abundant this time of year.

John Lobertini: He only gave farming a second look when the farmers who’d always leased his family’s land started cutting back.  Richeson now sees a future in specialty crops for restaurants; but he’s most interested in cultivating a different way of life.

Paul Richeson: There are a lot of things about agriculture especially in the realm of health and lifestyle and community that really aren’t matched by anything contemporary.

John Lobertini: At the farm center in Santa Cruz students cook for each other using fruits and vegetables they’ve grown.  No dorm food here.

John Lobertini: For more than 4-decades now UC Santa Cruz has offered students a different view of farming.

Christof Bernau: This is the amaranth grain from South America.

John Lobertini: Professor Christof Bernau offers the latest on plants and techniques.  These are called dry farm “early girl” tomatoes.  They’re watered only once during the entire growing process.

Brian Coltrin: Dry farmed!

John Lobertini: How’s it taste?

Brian Coltrin: Tomato coursing through the veins, you know healthy, biological soil!

John Lobertini: And this program meets its goal when people like Brian Coltrin graduate—and return to their communities.

Brian Coltrin: The farm I would start, I would go into people’s backyards and help them set up a garden.

John Lobertini: Back in Ventura Coltrin has built a business; he calls it the “grow food party crew.”

Brian Coltrin: What I envision is we would have small farms, what we call community supported agriculture.  And we’d be growing all those grains that you need.  We’d be growing the beans, kinwa, and wheat.   We’d be milling that and selling it to the town, all the staples.

John Lobertini: The possibilities are endless and perhaps that’s why students come to this farm school from all over.

Brian Coltrin: People are growing food; they’re finding local sources for their food.  And they’re sharing; they’re building communities around that.  I want to be a part of that. 

Rick Barber: I’m Rick Barber. 

Carole Barber: And I’m Carole Barber and this is our Little Bear Creek Tree Farm. 

Rick Barber: We’re located in Alta, which is about a half hour east of Auburn. 

Carole Barber: The farm was actually established in 1958. 

Rick Barber: We bought the tree farm about 4 years ago, but we’ve been coming here with our families ever since, 1984-85. 

Rick Barber: There we go! 

Carole Barber: Alright!  Good job!

Rick Barber: We grow primarily red fir which is also called silver tip and also white fir.  There more of a classic type of Christmas tree.  The white fir is a little lighter green; it has kind of a golden brown on the bottom of the branches.  And the red fir or the silver tip is more of a dusty blue-green and it kind of looks like a hairbrush the needles go the whole way around the top.

Carole Barber: We have customers that come from all parts of Northern California.  They start down at our little gift shop area, and take their own saw.  They either can hike or they can ride.  We do offer a traditional jeep ride.

Rick Barber: It’s a destination, not just go grab our tree and run home.  Seeing the families here during Christmas time, you know two and three generations, you know that’s what we work all year for. 

Chris Burrous: Endive!  It’s a California favorite; the leafy vegetable can be cooked or served raw on your favorite salad.  And did you know it belongs to the daisy family?  It’s also loaded with vitamins, potassium and minerals.  Food and Lifestyle Expert, Laura McIntosh is bringing it home from the crops to your kitchen!

Laura McIntosh: Well thanks for joining us everyone we’re ready to start our recipe with Michael.  We’re doing an endive; however you pronounce it, salad. 

Michael Fagnoni: So first we’re going to candy the walnuts. 

Laura McIntosh: And, we’ve started that a little bit. 

Michael Fagnoni: Yep.

Laura McIntosh: Ok what we did guys before; we took a little sugar and some water.

Michael Fagnoni: Give ya a little salt.

Laura McIntosh: We put it in the pan; put a little salt in them.  Am I using the- should I move them with the spoon? 

Michael Fagnoni: Yeah-

Laura McIntosh: ‘Cause I know caramelizing can be funny but we need to get them all nice and brown.  Look at that, look at how gorgeous it is.  So all we did was we took water and sugar, and we let it brown or caramelize.  Once we started to see it turn brown, we threw in our walnuts.  And alright it’s as easy as that and of course we already have some done.  So we’ll show you those.

Michael Fagnoni: Yeah, we have that right here.

Laura McIntosh: Yes, look at that.  Did you know that there are over 30 varieties of walnuts?  Different varieties of walnuts…

Michael Fagnoni: I did not know that.

Laura McIntosh: Absolutely, so try and find some unique ones and caramelize them, it’ll be delicious.  This is our endive…

Michael Fagnoni: That’s right.

Laura McIntosh: From the lettuce family, it’s Belgian yep.  And the taste, what are you using in this salad?  You’ve got really heavy nuts, caramelized, nice sugars…

Michael Fagnoni: Well it’s a nice bitterness, it’s a good contrast.  And then we’ll sweeten it out with the orange segments.

Laura McIntosh: Perfect!  Ok-

Michael Fagnoni: So we’re just going to cut these in half and cut them slightly on the biased. 

Laura McIntosh: And, are we throwing it in the bowl?

Michael Fagnoni: Yeah, if you want to throw it in the bowl-

Laura McIntosh: And some shallots!

Michael Fagnoni: A little bit of shallots-

Laura McIntosh: All of them?

Michael Fagnoni: Yeah, that’s fine.

Laura McIntosh: Good!  Ok-

Michael Fagnoni: A little orange segment-

Laura McIntosh: This is our sweetness?  We’re bringing in some sweetness now.

Michael Fagnoni: Valencia orange-

Laura McIntosh: All of them and the juice? 

Michael Fagnoni: Yes-

Laura McIntosh: Ok-

Michael Fagnoni: It’ll help sweeten the vinegar a little bit.

Laura McIntosh: Oh and you said Valencia?

Michael Fagnoni: So we have a little Dijon vinaigrette.

Laura McIntosh: Let’s talk about that.  What are the components in the vinaigrette?

Michael Fagnoni: We have a little walnut oil, some extra virgin olive oil, some lemon juice and some Dijon mustard- that’s right.

Laura McIntosh: And any mustard will do?

Michael Fagnoni: …yeah we prefer Dijon just because it’s a little rounder.  But um, yeah any mustard you have will do. 

Laura McIntosh: Ok and we’re just pouring it on?

Michael Fagnoni: Yep just a little bit, about an ounce or so. 

Laura McIntosh: How’s that?

Michael Fagnoni: Perfect.

Laura McIntosh: Alright!

Michael Fagnoni: Ok and just a few thin slices of the red onion.

Laura McIntosh: Ok great.  Now, you are using shallots and onions, both of these flavors of course these red onions right now are so nice and sweet. 

Michael Fagnoni: Yes they are.

Laura McIntosh: And the shallots they have a real nice mild flavor.  So-

Michael Fagnoni: Yep-

Laura McIntosh: Great components together, a little pepper-

Michael Fagnoni: There you go.

Laura McIntosh: How’d we do?

Michael Fagnoni: Very well.

Laura McIntosh: And a little salt!

Michael Fagnoni: A little bit of salt.

Laura McIntosh: I’m going to do it like the chefs do- how’s that?

Michael Fagnoni: Perfect.

Laura McIntosh: Alright good, mix it up.  Ever so gently?

Michael Fagnoni: Yes, ever so gently.

Laura McIntosh: Ok now we’re just plating it?

Michael Fagnoni: Yeah- just arrange it in the middle of the plate. 

Laura McIntosh: Ok now obviously this recipe is on our website.  What we’ve done today is a perfect recipe for the holidays or an entrée.

Michael Fagnoni: And then we’ll just scatter the candied walnuts around.

Laura McIntosh: On the salad or around the plate?

Michael Fagnoni: On the salad. 

Laura McIntosh: On the salad here we go.  How easy was that you guys you saw us do it right here, caramelizing the walnuts is a great way to enjoy them.  That was an easy recipe, Michael I thank you.

Michael Fagnoni: Thank you!

Stephanie O’Neill: As breathtaking as they are, orchids can be pretty intimidating flowers…just remembering the names of your favorite blossoms is often a feat in itself.

David Stanley: You’ve got ensidums, you’ve got pathio pendulums, you’ve got fredmupidiums, phalenopsis, mazavaleeus, simbidiums.

Stephanie O’Neill: And assuming you get past the tongue- tying nomenclature, there’s the other challenge…keeping the darn things alive!  But fear not, help has arrived.

Stephanie O’Neill: David Stanley is “the orchid wrangler,” an award-winning orchid florist from West Hollywood who’s made it his mission to make orchids easy for the rest of us.

David Stanley: People have a real phobia about orchids because they just don’t understand them.
They don’t know how simple they are and a little bit of an understanding of how they grow helps you to better understand how you can take care of them and once you understand that, it’s a piece of cake.

Stephanie O’Neill: Or we can call it Sweet… 

David Stanley: Sweet ears-

Stephanie O’Neill: I like sweet ears. I think I’ll stick to that. (laughter)

David Stanley: There’s a great endsium out there if you want to ask for it called Sharry Baby.  It’s spelled s-h-a-r-r-y b-a-b-y, Sharry Baby.  And it looks like this but it’s kind of a purple crimson color but it smells like chocolate!

Stephanie O’Neill: Oh!

David Stanley: It’s sort of like a cross between vanilla and chocolate and it will perfume an entire room.

Stephanie O’Neill: Orchids first took root in Stanley’s life with this now thriving plant that he found 15 years ago on a friend’s porch shriveled and nearly dead.

David Stanley: Took it home and I watered it and I put it under a tree and about two weeks later it just completely inflated.  It lifted up its leaves. It started growing new roots. It looked beautiful and three months later it bloomed so gloriously and it was like Easter Sunday and that was it! From that moment I was completely transfixed and I had to learn everything about orchids and that’s when I started my collection.

Stephanie O’Neill: And as his orchid collection grew…so too did his near-encyclopedic knowledge of the flower.

David Stanley: That’s how an orchid grows in the wild.

Stephanie O’Neill: Very interesting, it looks like an alien.

David Stanley: Well people thought they were parasites.  It’s very ominous looking, It looks like it’s sucking the life out of a tree but it actually isn’t. It actually attaches itself. They’re very clever.

David Stanley: This Flower mimics a moth that lives where this plant lives out in the wild and the flower looks exactly like the moth.

Stephanie O’Neill: It does look like a moth doesn’t it?

David Stanley: So what happens is, a moth lands on and tries to mate with it and that’s how they pollinate themselves and continue their species.

Stephanie O’Neill: Now this one behind me here, this is an orchid?

David Stanley: This is great. I love it. This is vanilla plentifolia. It’s a long vine that grows along with these beautiful variegated leaves.

Stephanie O’Neill: They’re gorgeous.

David Stanley: I have them growing along a manzanita branch, just one long continuous vine that snakes around. It produces a flower that lasts for only one day, it has to be pollinated that day and if it does, the seed pod that forms afterward is what we know as the vanilla bean.

Stephanie O’Neill: It’s this enthusiasm that has grown Stanley’s business steadily for eight years…earning him two best-florist-in-Los Angeles awards.

David Stanley: Someone said to me once do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life. And I was like, wow! I think that makes a big difference.

Stephanie O’Neill: These fragile flowers also made a big difference in the lives of Dennis and Laura Keany

Stephanie O’Neill: Their four-acre orchid farm in Northern San Diego County is where Stanley buys many of his orchids.

Dennis Keany: Actually they show better when they have 3 or 4 flowers open.

David Stanley: The leaves on these are impeccable.

Dennis Keany: We spend a lot of time on the leaves. They only grow three or four leaves a year so the employees know their golden.

Stephanie O’Neill: For Dennis Keany as well, all of this sprouted from a backyard collection 25 years ago.

Dennis Keany: It was just a hobby that got out of control.

Stephanie O’Neill: I can see!

Stephanie O’Neill: Today Keany ships more than five thousand orchid plants a month —sharing his colorful passion with the rest of the country.

Stephanie O’Neill: These I just think are delicious, these colors are magnificent. 

Dennis Keany: Yeah, these are really vibrant.  These smaller flowers are a phalenopsis, they call it a novelty.

Stephanie O’Neill: While Dennis Keany tends the greenhouse, Laura Keany arranges the orchids and captures their colors on camera for their retail website. For them and for Stanley, orchids represent far more than a livelihood.

Stephanie O’Neill: What’s the draw? Why do people love them so much?

Dennis Keany: Well, they’ve always been exotic and hard to come by.

Laura Keany: And they’re understated but very stately and the same time.  They’re just a universal flower.

David Stanley: I think they just take people away to another place. I think you look at them and you see how unbelievably beautiful they are and most people don’t grow up with them. You grow up with roses. You grow up with dandelions.

David Stanley: But it really is kind of like an adult thing to discover and understand and appreciate an orchid and that fascination about them and these faraway places that they come from really compels people.

Chris Burrous: Pack your bags and grab your boots.  It’s time to hit the road with the Ag Traveler.

Melanie Kim: You may have spent time in California wine country before, but you’ve probably never experienced it like this.

“Major” Barbara Drady: I swear…to always enjoy wine…share it with those who care.

Melanie Kim: Wine boot camp is an intensive one-day training program where the focus is learning about wine from start…to finish.

“Major” Barbara Drady: It’s the only experience where you get to spend the entire day and see it from vineyard through to bottle.

Melanie Kim: And it’s the perfect day trip for friends, family or work teams- including our own team, the producers of California Heartland!

“Major” Barbara Drady: People who come to wine boot camp are the people who would take the rafting trip not the bus trip.  They are people who want to hands on experience.

Melanie Kim: This intoxicating basic training starts at a rendezvous point in Santa Rosa and from there, there’s no going back.

Melanie Kim: You know if you are hard core into wine this is definitely an experience for you...we're off to a winery.

“Major” Barbara Drady: Attention!

Melanie Kim: Our first maneuver- harvesting grapes at the Valdez Family’s Silver Eagle Vineyard in Sonoma County. 

“General” Ulises Valdez: We got these 4 rows for you guys to pick.

Recruit: We’re wasting time we got to get to work.

“General” Ulises Valdez: Okay!  Ondalay!  Ondalay!  Ondalay!

Melanie Kim: After receiving our orders and getting some special equipment for our mission the troops fallout and get down and dirty.

Recruit Michelle Byrd: We took out at least a row all by our selves you know the three of us.  Oh thank you it was a lot of fun.

Melanie Kim: Company Cal Heart was ready for battle…

Melanie Kim: Just right there, just right there where it’s green?

“General” Ulises Valdez: Yep-

Melanie Kim: You want to get where it’s nice and green.

“General” Ulises Valdez: Yep-

Melanie Kim: For Valdez, who produces some 3,000 cases of wine a year, this boot camp is a chance for him to show recruits what it takes to be a leader in the wine industry. 

“General” Ulises Valdez: What you add is love and passion that's what I got. And you got everything.

Recruit: We did the work now we get the fruits of our labor.

Melanie Kim: So onward we marched…okay more like rode to the winery.  And the next step in winemaking! 

Lynn Margherita:
These are our grapes. We picked these grapes.

“Major” Barbara Drady: Five volunteers... you're going to work with Jeff.

Recruit: Let’s do it!

Melanie Kim: Some recruits learned the skill of sorting although, most of the platoon seemed more interested in “inspecting” the wine.

Kelly Peterson: Ah that's good stuff!

Lynn Margherita: Very nice!

Kelly Peterson: Cheers!

Recruit Patti Young: After a hot day working in the vineyard this was the best part of the whole thing.

Recruit: You said hot day it's only 10:30!

Recruit Patti Young: (laughs) That's even better!

Melanie Kim: Next, recruits put their noses and taste buds to the test learning about the many different flavors used in blending. 

“Major” Barbara Drady: You only have 4 flavors that you get on your tongue; you get sweet sour bitter and salty.  You have over 10 thousand aromas that you can smell.

Melanie Kim: Which is why Major Barbara Drady, the creator of Wine Boot Camp put us through the paces in an aromatic challenge.

“Major” Barbara Drady: You have in front of you a pallet of 21 aromas.

“Major” Barbara Drady: Go through and try to put all those into your smell memory.

Recruit Shelly Neal: I really taste the honey and it just might be because I'm that sweet.  (laughter)

Melanie Kim: At this point the recruits were in need of a daily ration, hot gourmet meals are part of the deal.

Melanie Kim: Time to re-load and then on to the next training exercise at Benovia Winery.

Melanie Kim: The next stage is one serious workout for our campers and the grapes as the colors and flavors are extracted from the skins, the final job for the platoon- wine blending where you get to make your own private blend.  A little cab, a little pinot, a lot of tasting! 

Melanie Kim: Recruits take away a custom label and a great sense of pride.  Which is something more lasting than even a great bottle of wine…or is it? 

Lynn Margherita: Wine…please…wine.

Rob Stewart: Good!

Kelly Peterson: Good!  You know what my mixture is? 

Rob Stewart: Here’s my mixture! (laughs)

Lynn Margherita: That’s what I’m talking about!

Melanie Kim: Hey!  That’s a no-no, drop and give me 50!  (applause)  That’s what I’m talking about! 

Chris Burrous: Everyone’s a farmer when it comes to their own backyard, try these tips for doin’ it Home Grown.

Kristine Hanson: It’s big, it’s brutal and it has the potential of killing everything in your backyard in one failed swoop.  Well, what is it?  Its frost and it’s inevitable, but I’ve got some tried and true tips on how you can prevent frost from killing all of your plants.

Kristine Hanson: Let’s start with the basics.  First of all, you need one of these.  It’s a thermometer; don’t trust radio and television reports, you need to know the temperature in your own backyard.  Check it out before you go to bed, if it’s clear, cold, no wind, the temperatures are in the 30’s, you may need some frost protection for sensitive plants.

Kristine Hanson: Even though we have mild winters here in California, frost can injure sensitive plants like basil, geraniums, fuchsias and even citrus.  When it gets really cold frost turns the water inside you plant leaf to ice.  That ice then expands and breaks apart plant cells, no more moisture moves up and down these plant cells and the leaves die.  So, what can we do about it?

Kristine Hanson: These are a few items to have on hand before frost strikes.  I love burlap sacks.  As you can see, I’ve just opened one up and slipped it over a smaller citrus tree.  If you have larger citrus trees in the yard and temperatures are starting to drop, pound in some stakes around the citrus tree and drape the burlap bag over the tree just like this.  You can also use this roll out burlap netting.  All of this works by trapping the heat that comes up during the day and will keep your plants a little higher than those frost temperatures. 

Kristine Hanson: You can also use sheeting; I normally don’t like it because it can freeze to a leaf.  But what a great idea to reuse these tomato cages once tomato season is done over sensitive plants like this hibiscus, you can just drape this over the top of this and as you can see the sheet doesn’t touch the leaves. 

Kristine Hanson: Now potted plants, the pots get very cold like cemented terracotta pots.  So, bubbly wrap- have this on hand and you can just wrap the bubble wrap which has air pockets that can pack packages but it can also keep your pot, and your roots and the soil warmer.  And just drape it over just the base of the plant.  This works great. 

Kristine Hanson: As far as smaller plants are concerned, if you’ve got some cardboard boxes, keep those handy they can be folded flat and put together and put over something like this geranium.  Now if you don’t want your garden to look like the local garage sale, you might want to use one of these insulating blankets that are for sale in garden shops or there is a cloud cover that is also misted on the plant and that will protect the plant by keeping the moisture in and keeping the frost out.

Kristine Hanson: Well two of my favorite tips, always use roll arounds under potted plants.  I use these all season long, they’re great in the extreme summer heat, you can move your plant in undercover if it gets too hot and if it gets too cold of course you can move them undercover and that will keep them warmer during the real cold winter months.  There are different ones you can use; either wood or metal and a lot of these are just at your local nursery.  And then one other last tip, pick up these at the dollar store.  They’re just umbrellas, you can use them but you can also use them for your plant, this is covering a succulent.  When it gets really cold it will protect your plant from freezing and it looks kind of nice in the garden too.

Kristine Hanson: Make sure to move frost protection blankets once the sun comes out.  Your plants will love the natural warmth from the winter sun.  So being prepared now for frost will help your plants get ready when that really cold weather hits.

Chris Burrous: That’s California Heartland, for more information on any of these stories go to Californiaheartland.org I’m Chris Burrous see you next time.

To order a copy of this show, visit us online or call 1-888-814-3923 the cost is $14.95 plus shipping

California Heartland is made possible by The James G. Boswell Foundation, committed to sharing the stories and successes of California growers.  Bank of America, bank of opportunity.  Funding provided in part by, The California Farm Bureau Federation, proud publishers of “California Country” magazine.  More information is available at www.californiacountry.org .  And, by the Almond Board of California; California Almonds, loved around the world, grown in California’s Heartland.