Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Visiting Suzie's Farm

Catt White, a wonderful Farmers Market manager in San Diego posted a great question on face book a few weeks ago "Do your kids think vegetables come from the farmers market? Do you?". I had to laugh, of course my kids and I know that vegetables don't come from there!!! But it did bring up a very good point and that was although we shop at the farmers markets and know the farmers, we have not seen the farms, we don't see the food in the ground and the kids probably don't know as much about their food as I think. So I decided to sign up for Suzie's Farm tour, that they hold every second saturday of the month and go see where exactly our food DOES come from. There has been lots of events that go on at the farms that we regularly purchase from, but those farms are all in North County which is a significant drive for our unreliable vehicle that we have. Suzie's Farm is a SAN DIEGO farm, that is closer to us than any others and is actually in town. Suzie's is newer on the radar for us than the others, but that has made no difference, from the first time we purchased from them at the farmers market I was impressed with the quality and selection of their produce.
The tour is open to all and lasts about 2 hours, you pay $10 and you can harvest whatever you'd like while you're there. So Saturday morning we woke up and drove about 15 minutes down to the farm. Lucila (the owner) and two off her farm hands, Ellie and Misha were there to lead us through the forty acres we were visiting called "Kiki Town". Lucila gave us a brief introduction of how the farm came to be, how it got its name and where exactly we were in regards to the Mexico border and San Diego land marks. Then we grabbed our bags and started walking. She talked at different points about what the organic certification process is, how they have grown in the past year, what their future plans are for being Bio Dynamic and of course she spoke a lot about their crops and what the different foods were, etc. Lucila, Misha and Ellie would cut you something you wanted or pull it up for you, but I think most people got in there and got dirty for themselves....isn't that the point?

The kids had a blast running all around and pulling up their own food. When we first arrived my son said he didn't care about the vegetables, he just wanted to look for bugs and by the end I think he could've cared less about the bugs! They had a great time pulling up beets on their own and eating peas. They also tried hard at digging up carrots, it took three little sets of hands to get one carrot out of the ground! My daughter loves carrots and at one point I turned around and she was eating them straight out of the dirt. They sampled everything there was to sample and felt what it was like to get stung by stinging nettles! I didn't bring any home to cook up, but maybe one day because Lucila told us all about how good they are for you. They are a weed and there are PLENTY all over (especially in the pea vines where the kids were shielding their eyes) but they are 40% protein and chock full of vitamins. What we did bring home was a bag full of goodies: cabbage, lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, chois, broccoli, carrots, beets, radishes, peas, celery, dill, cilantro, and my new favorite fennel. I had never had fennel and did not know what I was missing, it tastes like black licorice and is crunchy like celery! I am in heaven! At the end of the day, after two tours, the farm had welcomed 100 visitors!! Hopefully good business for the farm and a great opportunity for our local community to learn about their food. I will not only continue to shop from Suzie's at the market, but we will definitely be returning to the farm again soon...and now I can say without a doubt that my kids know vegetables don't come from farmers market. Do your kids know where vegetables come from?

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