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Monday, August 31, 2015

CUESA Brentwood Farm Tour: Pears, Olives & Bees

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 4:00 PM

click image Asian organic pears - FROG HOLLOW FARMS
  • Frog Hollow Farms
  • Asian organic pears

If you're trekking to Brentwood, a comfy air-conditioned bus is a fab idea — especially one that's stopping at two well-known farms and providing lunch made with farm produce. The Organic Two Ways Fruit Tour from CUESA ($55) on Friday, Sept. 11 takes folks to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. If you want to understand Bay Area food and its history, visiting farms that grow delectables from honey and peaches to figs, olives and pears should be right up your alley. Organizers say to keep your eyes peeled for possible sightings of “the elusive quince” as well. (I’d add that farm stand fiends will see a lot of exciting eye candy from their bus seat perch.)

Guests will tour the orchards at Frog Hollow Farm and Knoll Farms in Brentwood. Frog Hollow’s Farmer Al is a memorable and knowledgeable character and guests will learn about Frog Hollow’s kitchen, compost operation and beehives.

At Knoll Farms, there is a new herb garden to enjoy from Rick and Kristie Knoll, who have transformed a 10-acre field 
“to become an extremely productive agro-ecosystem that produces over 150 different products. The Knolls, known for their innovative practices, strive to continually increase the biodiversity and ecological stability of their farm. Their primary focus is “growing” more topsoil. They believe that if soil is well tended, it will provide healthy, nutritious food in perpetuity. Composting, cover cropping, low- and no-till, and crop rotation are just a few of the methods they employ to increase soil health. The Knolls describe their farm as “an organism unto itself, with its own rhythm and personality.”
Insider tip: definitely bring a Kleen Kanteen, sunscreen, a big hat, and sturdy but comfy shoes or hiking boots. CUESA also recommends optional but equally important items like clothing layers, reading material, cash for purchases, and a camera. I’ve found that baby wipes come in handy when there is no actual sink with water for hand washing — the wipes are also great when you feel sticky and sweaty, which is to be expected with the customary warm weather for that region. 

CUESA Organic Two Ways Fruit Tour of Brentwood Farms
When: Sept. 11, 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. depending on return traffic
Price: $55
Where: Tour leaves and returns from the Ferry Building's south side

Stone fruit fans, unite: writereadeat (at) gmail and @loquitaladd 
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Mary Ladd

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