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 Freepeople.com )
Two poseys in front of Prickly Pair pokeys.
Strolling to the Reservoir, whispering to the Tule Reeds.
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