Set atop the rolling hills near a slough in Watsonville, beautiful High Ground Organics farm is a vision within a vision. I'm having trouble finding words to describe it, so here are some photos from a visit a couple of years ago.
High Ground Organics partners with Mariquita Farm in a robust CSA, and one of the charming things High Ground brings to the table (so to speak) are all the varieties of flowers they grow, which make the farm itself exceptionally beautiful.
On August 17, you can have the chance to dine on the farm: Open Space Alliance is hosting a farm dinner with Chef Jozseph Schultz (formerly of India Joze). About Jozseph's food: he catered the sit-down dinner at my best friend's wedding a couple of weeks ago for 150 people. The food, with all its Pan-Asian influences, was fantastic. See his menu below, and read the press release from Open Space Alliance: one of my favorite groups and causes in the county.
Join us for this rare chance to enjoy Jozseph's cooking, as he prepares his extraordinary cuisine using only locally grown, organic food. We'll dine outside at High Ground Organics Farm, get a private tour of the natural-resource easement along Harkins Slough, and see the latest progress on the habitat restoration projects. Ticket price is $125 per person for a 5-course meal including wine. A portion of the cost will be tax deductable. This event is a fundraiser for the Open Space Alliance and Slow Food Monterey. Reserve soon; we expect to sell out! For reservations, contact OSA: (831)423-0700 or [email protected]
The Open Space Alliance Open Space Alliance of Santa Cruz protects lands with significant natural and scenic qualities, including rare wildlife habitat, watershed protection features, sustainable agriculture use and wildlife linkages between protected lands. This is accomplished through education, outreach and broad-based participation in the local community and the national land trust network. For more information, contact: [email protected].
Open Space Alliance Sustainable, Small Farm Protection Program:
To celebrate our 10th anniversary, OSA has launched a new program of land conservation, the Sustainable, Small Farm Protection Program. Building on the success of High Ground Organic Farm, this program focuses on protecting smaller, sustainable family farms in Santa Cruz County through the use of natural resource and agricultural conservation easements. OSA will work with farmers to permanently protect their land by using an agricultural easement restricted to organic or sustainable agriculture to ensure the stewardship of that agricultural land.
This program encourages farmer ownership of agricultural land. Currently, many of the organic farms in Santa Cruz County are leased by farmers. Ownership of land tends to promote even greater stewardship and long term investment. OSA would like to assist farmers who would like to purchase land by providing expertise in the development of conservation easements that could make the property more affordable.
The existence of small sustainable/organic farms promotes sound stewardship of agricultural lands and natural resources; supports local, community agriculture; reduces dependence and consumption of food produced and shipped from around the globe; and provides fresh, healthful, high quality food to the local community.
Tentative menu for the meal:
Kolokythokefedes--Greek Zucchini-Local Feta Fritters
Chaat---Spice Crusted Potato-Cucumber Salad, Strawberry-Tamarind Dressing,
Wheat Balloon Garnish
Lamajoon Turkish WoodFired Oven "Pizza" w/local goat cheese (and goat)
Adana Salata---Pepper Pate ate
Kalamarakia Tighanita--Local Calamari, Gilded Greek Style
Laap--Free Range Beef Wok-Seared w/Mint-Cilantro-Chili Lime Glaze
Moussaka--Turkish Bechamel Cloaked Eggplant Layers, Local Mushrooms Torshi--Fresh Pickles
Guvec (this may be hot or cold depending upon the weather) WokBraised Fresh Vegetables
Sabzi Polo--Persian Style Basmati Rice, Local Butter-Purslane-Herb Crust
Turkish Python Bread, On Site Wood-Fired Oven
Fattousch--Artichoke Dressed Romaine PitaPoint Salad
Skordalia Walnut Garlic Sauce
Pudeena Chatni--Very Spicy Mint Relish
Chogondar Borani--Beet-Local Kefir Cheese Borani
Torshi--Fresh Flower and Vegetable Pickles
Yahk dar Behesht "Ice in Heaven" Persian Panna
Zabaglione--Local Eau de Vie Fluff
Hand Imported Balinese Chocolate Nib Brittle
Sell my clothes, I'm goin' to heaven.
You couldn't have a better meal in a prettier place, or for a more worthy cause.
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That's all for now.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY (and perhaps for my lifetime): "No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen." — Minor White (photographer after my own heart)
Thanks for visiting.