Cranky and I dashed up to Davis for a quick overnight visit. On our way we stopped by Full Belly Farm, which has a produce stand open to the public on Friday afternoons, but since we had rolled out of bed unusually early (excited, I suppose), we arrived before they had set up.
Never mind. We were invited to stroll around the farm, and it was an eye opener.
Full Belly Farm sells an enormous variety of produce at the Marin Civic Center farmers market (also Palo Alto and Berkeley), grown on a tidy 200 acres. But at the heart of the farm, where the workers congregate for lunch, where the cars with "agricultura orgánica" bumperstickers park, where the produce would be for sale if we could just dawdle for a couple more hours... well, we saw more than melons and peppers and lavender and onions.
We saw livestock!
What a great place, just north of tiny Guinda in the Capay Valley. You have to drive past the oddly anachronistic, disproportionately huge, entirely unwanted Cache Creek Casino to get there, but as we hummed by, I said to myself, "Just ignore it."
Full Belly is obviously not the only farm around; the entire valley is known for organic produce (and that damned casino).
But I was enchanted by the storybook beauty of the place (leafy shade trees, fragrant aromas, friendly owners and a large crew of workers), by the diversity of crops (flowers, fruit, vegetables, and by the unknown-to-me honeybees, goats, and a big old muddy sow). I understand there are also chickens and cows, but they weren't where I was.
We chose not to wait for two more hours, and instead went to the Davis farmers market this morning. Apparently Full Belly doesn't sell there. I could speculate on the economic reasons for that, but let's just say that the Davis market is beautiful, not too large and not too small. We found lots of produce and meat that, while not "officially" organic, is raised by methods I find quite edible. The heck with certification when you can go "beyond organic." Eggs from cage-free hens. Purebred pork from unmedicated pigs. Nuts. Peaches. Cherries. Cherries. Cherries. (Hurry, season's drawing to a close soon.) We even bought a couple of fresh nopales to roast and tuck into some spanking fresh corn tortillas.
The refrigerator is stuffed to the gills, and now I must go make lunch.
Sadly, I might have too much food in the house to make it worthwhile to visit the Full Belly folks at my local market tomorrow.
Well, maybe I'll just drop by and say hi.