Saturday, 4 August 2012

Visiting a biodynamic farm in California

If you get to the Hakone Gardens in my previous post, the Santa Cruz mountains are only a 45 minute drive away along Hwy 17.  Of course, 17 is not an easy drive, clogged with southbound traffic even on a Saturday morning when everyone seems to be heading south for the coast.  But it's very scenic and if you leave early, you may be able to avoid the traffic.

Our destination was Love Apple Farms, a biodynamic farm on the slopes of the Santa Cruz mountains. The terraced farm sits on two acres of land and focuses on organic farming and the holistic relationships between soil, plant and animals.  The star crop is of course tomatoes ("love apple" being an old French term for tomato) and the farm offers more than 100 varieties of heirloom tomatoes.   They also offer tours, workshops and classes in addition to special events catering.  We were there for a post-wedding brunch and the large group ate at picnic tables.  Click here to read a blog post on the food.

You can see below how the farm was situated on a steep mountain slope, maximizing the amount of sun on its crops.  The food was fresh and delicious and the view was breathtaking.  It was worth the drive.  And if you're not in a hurry to get back to town, keep going on 17 and you'll get to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an ocean front amusement park.  If you're not in the mood for amusement, the walk along the seawall is nevertheless gorgeous and there will be natural entertainment from the sea lions.   
View of the farm from the entrance

View from the lunch terrace

View of the farm from the lunch terrace

Santa Cruz beach front and the sea lion rock

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