Clif Notes

Bzz Bzz

Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There has been a lot of buzz going on around the farm and it might have something to do with the honey bees that made their home there this weekend. Two new hives were established on the farm last weekend near the fruit orchard. They are going to be happy bees. The rainy spring has brought about an abundance of clover in the fields by the orchard.

The wet weather we had this spring is good for bees everywhere. After three years of scarce natural forage sources for honeybees, beekeepers are looking forward to an abundant year with lots of spring flowers that will also help kick start the summer and fall flower seasons.

We are excited to have bees on the farm. Kit has wanted to do this for some time both to help with the pollination required for our fruit and vegetable production and to someday offer Clif Family Farm honey to the local community.

Here are some interesting facts about honey bees:

  • Honey bees are responsible for pollinating approx 80% of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the U.S.
  • Honey bees fly at 15 miles per hour and stroke their wings 11,400 times per minute (that's where the bzz comes from)
  • A single honey bee will only produce approximately 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
  • Honey bees are the only insect that produce food from humans.
  • Honey bees never sleep!

(Facts from www.utahcountybeekeepers.org)

While these new bees are wonderful for the farm, the wild bees that already live on the farm are just as important for pollination. We have also planted a bee garden with an abundance of nectar and pollen-rich plants that is available to the bees year round. There is sure to be a lot more bzz bzz on the farm this summer!

Clif Family Farm Veggie Boxes

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Monday, May 3, 2010

Do you live in the Napa Valley?  If so, you may want to check out our Clif Family Farm CSA boxes.  We are thrilled to announce our CSA Farm Box program.  There is a lot going on at our farm this year including honey bees, getting our first harvest off of our new olive orchard and the planting of an extensive vegetable garden.  Now we're ready to share some of the bounty from the farm with our local neighbors.

You may be wondering...what is a CSA box?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  In recent years , CSA boxes have  become a great way for consumers to buy local and seasonal foods directly from a farm. Local consumers purchase a weekly subscription from the farm, in turn receiving a weekly box of fresh produce. It’s a great way to connect directly with a farm and build a relationship with local farmers.

So what's our box all about?

The offerings in the Clif Family Farm CSA box will vary from week to week. A sample box may include a selection of Santa Rosa Plums, flavored king pluot, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, nectarines, and chard. Each week will bring a new assortment of fruits and vegetables, all grown right on Clif Family Farm.  And since we became CCOF certified last year, you can be assured that all of the fruits and veggies are grown organically.

The Details...

Our Clif Family Farm CSA box will cost $25 for each week. Your box can be picked up every Friday starting on June 25th at our winery offices located at 1312 Vidovich Avenue in downtown St. Helena.  Pickup times are from 8am to 5pm on Fridays.  The summer program will run through October 15th. 

If you are intersted in signing up or have questions, send us an email at farm@clifbar.com or give us a call at 707.968.0625. 

There are only 20 spots available, so don't delay!

Recipe from the Farm

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We have an in-house culinary expert (Jamie) who keeps us well fed.  When we made our first batch of Gary & Kit's Gourmet Mountain Mix she created unique, seasonal recipes using each of the Mountain Mix flavors as an ingredient in the recipe.  This is one of our favorites.  There are plenty of perfectly ripe and tasty avocados available right now at your grocery store. 

Warm Scallop Salad with Avocado and Smoked Paprika Almonds

Ingredients:  

1 pound sea scallops

1 TBSP butter + 2 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP flour

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp paprika

6-8 cups baby spinach or mixed greens

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup coarsely chopped Smoked Paprika Almonds

1 TBSP lemon juice

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Preparation:

Combine flour, cumin, cayenne, paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Lightly coat top and bottom of each scallop.  Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Pan sear scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side.  Add Smoked Paprika Almonds and a pinch of salt.  Coat almonds completely and pour onto a sheet of aluminum foil and let cool completely.  Chop finely.  Slowly wisk olive oil into lemon juice and almonds.  Salt and pepper to taste (white pepper works best!).  To serve, toss greens with desired amount of vinaigrette.  Top with warm scallops, avocado and Smoked Paprika Almonds.

Pair with a glass of 2006 The Climber Red - the bold spice of the Smoked Paprika Almonds stands up to the intense flavor of the Zinfandel in this blend while the meatiness of the nuts cultivates and enhances the long, smooth finish.

Recipe by Jamie Foley

Green House Starts

Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring has arrived on the farm. Below are some photos Edie took of our green house starts and the buds that are starting to break on the fruit trees. Is summer here yet?

Greenhouse Starts-Cucumber

Spring Has Sprung

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring is here and Edie is busy getting the seeds planted on the Farm.  We're planting beans, potatoes, corn, melons, tomatoes and peppers in the garden this spring/summer and we'll be sharing the bounty of our harvest with our local community through CSA boxes.  More to come on this soon!  We'll also post some photos of the garden later this week. 

Edie is trying out some new sustainable farming techniques in the garden.  This week she's getting started on sheet mulching.  This is a great technique for improving nutrient and water retention in the soil and surpressing weed growth (one of our favorite benefits!).

Basically she'll cover the ground with a layer of compost and cover that layer with sheets of cardboard and an inch of recycled forest bark.  The irrigation gets laid down on top of this and is covered with about four inches of forest bark. 

Can't wait to see those seeds sprout!

New Release: Gary's Improv 2007 Zinfandel

Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We are thrilled about the release of our 2007 Gary's Improv Napa Valley Zinfandel. 2007 was a great vintage for Zinfandel and it shows in the quality of the fruit. Our 2007 vintage comes from a 15-year old dry-farmed vineyard located on an alluvial fan just north of St. Helena.

Sarah aged the wine in French Oak barrels for 18 months. The result...enticing aromas of brambly blackberry and cherry with hints of that Zinfandel spice. This wine is only available in our tasting room and online. Friend of Clif Farm wine club members will be receiving it in their next shipment. Cheers!

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