Bloomfield Organics Farm

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This past Sunday was one of the best days I’ve had in awhile. Eric and I planned a North Bay day, with intentions to stop by a highly-recommended bakery, U-Pick farm, and do a coastal hike. We ended up only tackling 2 of those locales, but we had the best experience. We’re already planning our return trip…

We left the city around 8am and had no trouble getting to Marin. We first headed to Wild Flour Bread to see what their selection was like. In a word, amazing. They offer samples of everything so you can try a few, but all we learned from our tasting was that each bread was better than the previous one. We ended up buying 4(!) loaves – a rye, the Egyptian (fig, pear, and ginger with a sugar coating), a sticky bun, and the fougasse (a cheese-filled savory bread with bell peppers). They were all still warm from the brick oven and managed to hold onto their heat until well after our return home late in the day. Talk about thermal mass!

From Wild Flour, we headed to Bloomfield Organics, about a 10 minute drive through beautiful Sonoma countryside. The farm is all organic and the farmers are very familiar and welcoming. After a quick introduction of harvesting basics, we settled in picking carrots.

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The final haul included baby carrots, chioggia beets, red lettuce, chard (swiss, red, and yellow), dry-framed red potatoes, garlic, strawberries, summer squash, squash blossoms, and blueberries (purchased from a neighboring farm). We passed up fennel and enviously eyed the baby tomatoes that will hopefully be ready for picking in July.

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The colors were unreal – particularly the fuchsia beets and deep chard leaves.

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Above, Eric made a very small new friend. Below, the apiary that was full of buzzing.

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Above, the hen house (farm fresh eggs were also available for an additional fee). Below, imperfectly straight rows of lettuce.

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After harvesting, we enjoyed brunch on the farm. The suggested donation is $10/person, and for the caliber of food served, it is a steal! We feasted on tomato-y farro with quinoa, amaranth, and chard greens and a 63C egg; strawberry and blueberry pancakes with strawberry syrup; and potato-crusted quiche with greens. We also enjoyed dinner at Gather in Berkeley the night before, so this weekend was full of delicious food. Hard to pick a favorite!

After eating, we decided to forgo the Bodega Bay hike and head home with our haul, for fear it would wilt in the Sonoma sun. We did make one pit stop near Presidio Yacht Club to take in the view of the Bay and bridge.

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Once home, we set up a washing and processing station in our backyard. Needless to say, there was a lot of dirt to scrub off, but just like the feeling of rooting around in the earth for a vegetable, the whole experience was rather calming.

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We stopped by the market to pick up a few non-farm provisions for the week and did a little comparison shopping. The same haul, purchased at the store, would have cost 30% more and not been nearly as fresh. Now, to eat! We started off with spicy garlic and chard mashed potatoes, roasted glazed carrots with carrot top chimichurri, potato-crusted quiche with beet greens, and roasted and marinated beets. I also made a batch of strawberry “jam”.

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We’re already plotting our return for the July harvest day, and will hopefully be able to squeeze in a few more activities in the area. Sebastopol seemed to have lots of antique stores and flea markets to peruse, and I’m still hankering for that long-awaited Bodega Bay hike. Until then, we have lots of delicious produce to enjoy.

For record keeping purposes, the day’s take away:
1 basket of strawberries
2 heads red lettuce
1 lb 1 oz squash
2 lb 7.5 oz beets
2 lb 4 oz carrots
7 lb 1.5 oz potatoes
10.5 oz garlic
4 bunches chard
2 bags each of beet and carrot greens
1 bag squash blossoms