Where Your Winter Fruits and Vegetables Come From: A focus on Imperial Valley!


Disclosure: I was invited out to Imperial Valley and Coachella Valley for a Farm Tour with California Farm Water Coalition. Food and Room were provided.  All Opinions are my own. 

Truthfully, before this trip, I never KNEW how farmers were allocated water, or how regulated they were when it comes to growing their food, but after this tour, I learned a bit more (there’s still so much more to learn!)

Farm-Water-Irrigation

Farm Water Irrigation in Progress: Lakeside Organic Farms

But one thing I truly took away from this TRIP was knowing where most of my Winter Fruits and Vegetables come from!  As California is a HUGE producer of fruits and vegetables, even some that are the main supplier (California produces almost all of the country’s almonds, apricots, dates, figs, kiwi fruit, nectarines, olives, pistachios, prunes, and walnuts.) -netstate.com.  They are also the majority grower for: It leads in the production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches, plums, and strawberries. -netstate.com

We began our Farm Tour in Imperial Valley, which, really, brought us to Holtville, CA, the furthest South we could get in the State of California.  BUT, it is one of the Agricultural Valleys of the South that gives us our Winter Fruits and Vegetables, one of the few places in California that is able to provide year round vegetation and growing conditions.

Lakeside-Organic-Farms

One of my favorite parts of the tour: Looking out and seeing the different greens all lined together!

Starting off at Lakeside Organic Farms with Farmer Scott Howington.  There, he lead us through his farm fields where he grows over 47 different crops from Kale to Chard to Carrots to Cabbage to Lettuce to Celery to Fennel and more.

How-Celery-is-Grown

Celery Straight from the FARM

It was HERE where we could see all the crops growing, but ALSO see, how Farm Irrigation works: Starting off with the Canals.  Every Canal in the Imperial Valley has a name.  The Rosita Canal is what flows by Lakeside Organic Farms, and the canal they request their water from.  Every FARMER in California has a yearly water cap of a little over 5 ACRE Foots of Water (1 Acre Foot is approximately 325,000 Gallons of Water!) From the canal, the farmers have to call ahead (at least 3 days to request the water they need!) They are then told when it will be delivered and will be released into the canal.  They then have their own gate that opens into their Farm reservoir where the water will then be released into, and how they then irrigate the water from!

Rosita-Canal

Imperial Valley is regulated and controlled by the Imperial Valley Irrigation District who manages the water and energy for their area.  The majority of their water supplies comes from the All American Canal, from the Colorado River.  Over 3.1 Million Acre-Feeds Annually.

Imperial Valley supplies the majority of WATER to the Metropolitan Areas of Both San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles Counties.

Salton-Sea

Salton Sea

They are ALSO responsible for feeding water into the Salton Sea, a large size Water Mass that was created due to a levy break by one of the Irrigation Canals in the early 1900’s.  The SEA is 376.1 Square Miles, and the water that creates it comes from Imperial Valley’s agricultural runoff water.  If they do not provide water to Salton Sea, the sea will begin to recede, and will CREATE a huge Health Hazard to the AREA due to the Sulfur that lies below the Water.

Agricultural-Runoff

Agricultural Runoff Which Will Make its Way Towards the Salton Sea

After touring Lakeside Organic Farms, we were then taken over to Holtville’s Annual RibFest:

Holtville-Ribfest

An annual Community Event Fundraiser that helps the entire community the year after! EVERYONE comes out to this event.  The RIBS usually sell out by 11am, but there’s still Corn, Ice Cream and Beers to enjoy the rest of the day.

This was a GREAT way to see the Holtville Community in Action:

Star-Wars-Themed-Ribs

A few even created a Star Wars Themed Ribs Booth at the event.

After taking in the community vibe, we were then taken over to VegCool, the Produce Supplier and Manufacturing Hub of Imperial Valley.  This is where the Farmers bring their Produce to Cool it Down before shipping to their Suppliers and Area Grocery Stores. ALSO, where the produce boxes get packed with Ice: Think Broccoli, etc!

VegCool

Day 1 Was a GREAT Day of Exploring Imperial Valley.  Join Me in Part 2 in a couple of days as we look towards Coachella Valley and all THAT they do!

 

 

 

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Partake in this Year’s BIG Game Across the Bay Area!


As the Bay Area plays host to this year’s “Big Game” Celebration, the first time since January 1985, excitement has already begun to fill the air.

For those flying in for the BIG Game, or even those residing in the BAY AREA, a few things to get AMPED UP for, and also plan for, even if you’re not attending this year’s game.

golden-gate

San Francisco:

The City by the Bay will be playing HOST to a variety of activities in the week up to the Big Game:

  1. Super Bowl City Fan Village

Open Jan.30 – Feb.7, 2016 in San Francisco, Super Bowl City will offer activities for all families and fans of all ages. This fan village will showcase all the milestones leading up to the BIG 50, and its unique place in the Bay Area.

Certain cities will be showcased throughout the Fan Village including San Jose with their San Jose Pavilion:  a cultural space showcasing attractions and activities found only in San José.

In the Taste of Sonoma Lounge, wine will greet you, as over 50 wines will be available for pouring on behalf of Sonoma County (the official wine of the SuperBowl!)

Centered in Justin Herman Plaza, on the Embarcadero at the foot of San Francisco’s famed Market Street, Super Bowl City will feature family-friendly activities for fans of all ages. It will offer a fun – and free – way for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the extravaganza that is the sporting world’s biggest annual event.

Hours of Operation:

  • Saturday, January 30: 11AM – 10PM
  • Sunday, January 31: 11AM – 9PM
  • Monday, February 1: 11AM – 9PM
  • Tuesday, February 2: 11AM – 9PM
  • Wednesday, February 3: 11AM – 9PM

 

  • Thursday, February 4: 11AM – 9PM
  • Friday, February 5: 11AM – 10PM
  • Saturday, February 6: 11AM – 10PM
  • Super Bowl Sunday (February 7): 11AM – 3PM

A variety of events will be happening throughout the 1 week event including Opening Day: January 30, where the official re-lighting of the Bay Bridge Lights will help KICK OFF the festivities.

Including GREAT performances by many headliner artists:  Matt Nathanson, Chris Isaak, OneRepublic, Alicia Keys, and more.  A full Schedule of ARTISTS are showcased on SFBaySuperBowl.Com

 

2) NFL Experience

Over at the Moscone Center, the San Francisco’s conference center hub, plays host to the NFL Experience: Driven by Hyundai.
This interactive theme park will offer a variety of activities with the focus on the history of the game, and the fun atmosphere of the Big Game.
Some highlights include:
  • Interactive games so you can pass like a pro or take a shot at kicking a game winning field goal
  • The NFL PLAY 60 Zone for the youngest of NFL Fans
  • The opportunity for fans to meet some of their favorite NFL players of the past and present, including autograph sessions
  • The history of the game on display including the opportunity to get an up-close look at all past Super Bowl championship rings and a photo opportunity with the one and only Vince Lombardi Trophy
  • The NFL SHOP at Super Bowl, complete with the largest offering of official NFL limited-edition Super Bowl 50 merchandise and the latest in authentic NFL products

Hours of Operation:

  • Saturday, January 30:     10AM – 10PM
  • Sunday, January 31:       10AM – 8PM
  • Monday, February 1:       3PM – 10PM
  • Tuesday, February 2:       3PM – 10PM
  • Wednesday, February 3:  3PM – 10PM
  • Thursday, February 4:      3PM – 10PM
  • Friday, February 5:           3PM – 10PM
  • Saturday, February 6:       10AM – 10PM
  • Super Bowl Sunday (February 7):     10AM – 2PM

NFL Experience tickets will go on sale Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

  • Ticket prices will be $35.00 for Adults and $25.00 for Children 12 years of age and younger.
  • Tickets will be available for purchase in advance on SuperBowl.com and through Ticketmaster.
  • A variety of discounts including Family Packs, Military, Group, Senior Citizen, and Fan Appreciation Day will be offered.
  • NFLXtra, which provides an expedited line to several of the NFL Experience elements, will also be available for purchase.
  • Keep checking back for more information and get ready to “Release Your Inner Football” at the NFL Experience!

For more information about ALL OF the Events Leading Up to the Big Game on Sunday, February 7 please visit: SFBaySuperBowl.Com

 

Categories: Travel | 1 Comment

Quirky, Fun Wine Gift!


Disclosure: I received a Capabunga Gift Package for Review Purposes.  All opinions are my own.

As a wine lover, I love a great wine gift  (related to wine) that makes me smile, makes me laugh, or ones that completely understand my wine humor.

So, when I received this amazing Capabunga Gift Set, it was SPOT ON PERFECT: The Capabunga Service & Storage Kit.

Gift Set Slogan Sm.jpg

It makes for a GREAT hostest gift, thinking about YOU gift, or a birthday gift!

But as a wine lover, I want to tell you the reasons why I love it:

  1. Brings FUN to Entertaining

wine-markers

They’re not just your typical wine markers.  They bring personality, and let your guests SHINE front and center.  As they come to you, let them choose the marker that represents them.  As they mingle around the party, their marker will EVEN make a great conversation starter.

 

2) Keeps my WINE Covered when Outdoors! or, if I ever have a bottle left over (hah!)

capabunga

I’ll be honest.  Those bugs sure love their wine (who doesn’t!) So, when indoors, outdoors, these caps come so in handy.  No need to worry as you savor your wine throughout the afternoon, put a cap on, and it’ll stay protected.

3) Keeps The Glassware Memorable

4) INCLUDES a CAP for SPARKLING (my favorite!!)

So many wine markers forget about the Sparkling wine, and for me, as a huge fan, is not acceptable.  I was so happy to SEE that Capabunga made sure to include it!  And it FITS over perfectly.

5) Blends RIGHT in with my other Wine Decor

Wine-Decor

It really does.  As I divulge more into my love of wine, it begins to filter into other parts of my life including how I decorate my home.  Having those perfect wine accessories to pair with my wine, and home are what make it so fun!

Retail: 29.95

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment