Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hwy 1, Slow Coast style.

Windows rolled down,wind whipping thru the car, doggies anxious to jump free, and blasting Neil Youngs new record 'Le Noise'
Saying our goodbyes from our camping trip this weekend, I still had an agenda the day we left Santa Cruz.
1. Hit up one of 2 organic farms : Swanton Berry Farm or Two Dog Farm
2. Drive up to La Honda to secretly hide in the bushes at Neil Youngs ranch.
3. Locate a restaurant that is covered in Neil Young paraphernalia & take lots of pictures, cry , cheers a beer and giggle.

Dipping down off of Highway 1, just a few miles north of SC, we landed on Swanton Berry Farms.
Oh man, this place is so cool!!

Entering the Farm Stand , I knew in my knees I never wanted to leave.
Before any berries caught my eye, I saw the walls covered with proud memories and future statements. This is the first Organic Strawberry Farm in California and was the first organic farm in the US to sign a contract with the United Farmworkers of America AFL-CIO .
This can get lengthy but what it means is that farm workers are being treated 'fairly'.
What a concept to be treated fairly! Quite so. This means they are getting paid vacation pay, hourly rate (rather than by the job.) medical and retirement.
Also, Swanton Berry is a year round farm. Rotating crops will guarantee the farm workers that they will always have a place of employment. Most of the time , it is seasonal and the farm worker has to uproot his/her family and frantically find another job for the season.
Swanton Berry wants to offer us the best food possible under the best working conditions for all.

I see and hear alot of organic produce consumers not understanding why the price is so high for their food. So many factors come into this . Fighting weeds, deer, slugs, birds and other pests organically is not easy. It might be more simple on small scale gardening, but when a family farm is trying to feed multiple markets it can be very tricky. I think we all forget who is harvesting our food for us. These hard working men and woman that work 12 hour shifts , no medical for their family , lousy pay , shaky job security and just no damn respect. We want to pay for clean food , but how about fair trade ? Ill pay good money for someone to pick my organic produce and know that if their back aches after a hard day , they have the choice and funds to go see a doctor . Also, I know its strange, but I think its just nostalgia and tradition for me. I want everyone to have a Merry Christmas too. I think about the people more often to during the holidays. And I hope my dollar from the pumpkins, butternut squash and potatoes I purchase, will help give assurance that everyone will have a happy holiday!

This is one of 5 farms that Swanton Berry has around HWY 1.

All To-go containers and flatware biodegradable !

Old School games enjoyed by kids of all ages :)

Tummy full of Rhubarb jam. Sipping on Olallieberry Lemonade.
Bringn' home strawberries for some friends.

10% discount if you ride in with your helmet on yo' head!

Cesar says "Rise up, and eat Strawberries!!"

Shop girl . Eggs, books, hand made pillows ,
lotions, jewelry, soaps and much more. All local and lovingly made along HWY 1.

Dress: Crimson and Clover. Belt: Thrift Town.
Boots: Thrift Town (Which you can find the same pair right now on )

Two poseys in front of Prickly Pair pokeys.

Strolling to the Reservoir, whispering to the Tule Reeds.

Thanks fellas!

Well , I didn't make it to Neil Youngs , or Two Dog Farm.
But we spent a wonderful day lounging around Swanton Berry.
Such a friendly staff, laid back environment. You feel like you just walked into you own club house .
Next time you down HWY 1 , stop by , pick some berries, play some games, read a book and take a sweet little walk around Swanton Berry Farms.
Maybe a ' hello' and a high five to some of those guys out in the fields.
I'm sure they would appreciate it, or think your just weird.

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Photo Creds: Kerry Dolan
Swanton Berry Facebook


Anonymous said...

What a rad day! Next time I'm down that way, I've got to check them out. Love your fotos & story.

I remember once I got to hear Cesar Chavez speak--I was only 14 but it left an impression. The food system in this nation would come to a grinding halt if it weren't for farm workers doing the jobs that no one else would even deign to. They deserve doctor's wages for that!

Forevermelody said...

I'm so jealous of your outing! And your dress, belt and boots! Too cute. Great post.

fashionfarmsandfreedome said...

Hey gals ! Thanks so much for the encouragement and experiences. RQ spanked me hard core into running this blog correctly and making it sizzle!!
So keep an eye out for awesomeness :)

the Citizen Rosebud said...

; )