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RestaurantsSanta Cruz
10.01.08

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Phaedra

Grills Gone Wild : Blue Moon Organics' rustic farm dinner

Dish

Meet Serendipity Farms, the new CSA on the block.

By Amber Turpin


I Spy
A group known as the Wine Spies has recently infiltrated our AVA. Don't panic, this is a good thing. The Los Angeles-based company involves four mysterious individuals known as Agent Red, Agent White, Agent Blush and Agent Sparkle cruising various wine regions in search of interesting and delicious specimens. The website www.thewinespies.com features one bottle each day for sale at a ridiculous discount for 24 hours only. On Saturday, Sept. 20, apparently after a visit by one Agent Red, the Martin Alfaro 2006 Sleepy Hollow Pinot Noir was spotlighted for all to admire. Wine Spies also offers tasting profiles, reviewing opportunities and a comprehensive wine directory. This is just further proof that our hills and valleys are the source of some world-class wine. Visit the Alfaro tasting room in Corralitos to get a taste for yourself. (www.martinalfaro.com)

Juggling Act
Bonny Doon Vineyard's winemaker Randall Grahm has a lot on his plate, in every sense of the phrase. Not only did he partake, pour and educate at an extraordinary farm dinner at Blue Moon Organics on Sept. 20, where guests feasted under the stars on chef Gabriel Cole's thoughtful preparations (created under laughable circumstances using a couple of Weber grills and a single-burner camping stove), but Grahm is in the midst of overseeing some major Bonny Doon Vineyard changes. After the company's dramatic downsizing several years ago, major focus is now on creating the new tasting room on the Westside that will include a wine-centric bistro with Gabriella Café chef Sean Baker leading the way (don't miss the unveiling at Day of the Doon VI, Nov. 8). The Ca del Solo label, made from grapes near Soledad, is another blooming venture that is now Demeter-certified biodynamic. Presence at various wine events around the nation is also part of the job, including the popular Wine & Chile Festival in Santa Fe and the Carnival du Vin in New Orleans Nov. 14. And the man is a full-time dad to boot. (www.bonnydoonvineyard.com)

Serendipitous
There's no doubt that our global food system is in need of some serious reformatting. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is one relocalizing method that is gaining attention across the country. CSAs make it easy to eat local by supplying a weekly box of varied produce and farm products to those who pre-purchase a share. Customers get field-fresh produce every week and the farmer is ensured enough support to keep farming. Our little bubble of progressive bliss here on the Central Coast is already in the know. CSAs have taken off here, as evidenced by the local farms (namely Live Earth Farm and Two Small Farms) that have hundreds of names on their CSA waiting lists. If you're desperate to join but frustrated by the shut out, one Carmel farm is now expanding CSA opportunities from Monterey County and into Santa Cruz. Serendipity Farms, owned and operated by Jamie Collins and Roberto Romero, is one of the few small organic farms in agribusiness-heavy Monterey County. Serendipity grows a multitude of beautiful products, including heirloom tomatoes, chard, artichokes and strawberries, that can be part of your weekly routine for about $25 a week; farm-fresh eggs, flowers and Cloverdale raw dairy products are a little more. Sign up at www.serendipity-organic-farm.com.


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