Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lettuce Entertain You and Get to Know a Farmer

This quick and dirty video recipe for grilled romaine hearts was shot on location at Tanimura & Antle, a family-owned lettuce farm we toured as part of the Get to Know a California Farmer field trip Michele and I just returned from in Carmel, CA.

The event was to introduce their website and, as the name implies, help us get to know a farmer, and thats what we did. We got a fascinating look into how lettuce gets from their farm to your table. Brian Antle, the farm’s Harvest Manager, ran the tour, and it was a joy to hear him talk with such pride about what his and the Tanimura family had created from this land. 

After the tour we were treated to a wonderful lunch showing off some of the farm’s famous foliage. The grilled romaine salad you’ll see in the video was a big hit, but we also had some beautiful pizzas, as you can see below. It always feels special to eat produce that was just picked hours before.

You’ll also see a short video I did showing how the lettuce goes from dirt to final packaging on this slow-rolling mobile processing plant. You’ll have to pardon the dirty lens, as I hadn’t planned on filming in the field, and never checked it. I believe the smudge is gumbo, but there’s really no way to tell for sure. Dont let that deter you, or youll miss a cameo by social media guru, Jay Baer, on a bed of lettuce.

After lunch we got to tour Naturipe Farms, one of the largest berry producers in the state. Our guide, Tom, did a great job of explaining all the challenges that go into growing berries, especially strawberries. I learned that organic doesnt mean that no pesticides are used. They just need to be certified pesticides, and are often the same ones used in conventional farming. The highlight for me was his explaining how fish meal is regularly used to fertilize organic strawberries, unbeknownst to most vegans we assumed.

Anyway, it was a really fun trip, and I want to thank Adfarm and Get to Know a California Farmer for inviting us. Also, huge thanks to the farmers who shared their stories and delicious products with us. For more information on Get to Know a California Farmer, please check out their website! Its a fantastic way to connect directly with the people growing the food you put on your tables every day.

They’re also running a sweepstakes on the Facebook page where you could win $10,000 worth of groceries. It’s only open to California residents, and ends soon, so get over there and check it out. Enjoy!

Grilled Romaine Salad

How Lettuce is Harvested

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