www.ediblemontereybay.com 53 ative Extension. “Central Coast counties are especially tough because there are overlapping zones of coastal protection.” Officials in Monterey County are currently working to ease some of those restrictions by expanding the list of allowable uses on lands preserved by the Williamson Act. Permitting farm stays and farm stands is a top priority. “We see it as a way for farmers to supplement their income and teach people about agriculture,” says Christina McGinnis, the policy manager who is drawing up the new list for the Monterey County Agriculture Commissioner. McGinnis hopes to get the new uses approved by the Board of Supervisors by the end of the year. But as we went to press, supervisors were still wrangling over provisions in the yet-to-be-finalized 2010 General Plan that would make it easier to provide tourist facilities along the River Road Wine Trail. So in the meantime, those looking to spend the night on a local farm should contact Rancho Dos Amantes, located between Lake San Antonio and Lake Nacimiento near Bradley, or one of the handful of other local farms currently set up for farm stays. (See “SPEND THE NIGHT,” p. 56.) In Big Sur, you can stay in a picturesque two-bedroom cottage at Lucky Goat Family Farm, where artist Lygia Chappellet and her husband Carlos Volpini have been making beautiful flower-bedecked goat’s milk cheese for 28 years. Guests are invited to join in the morning milking, enjoy the ocean views and can arrange for cheese-making classes on request. The famed Big Sur Bakery is just a short walk away. In Carmel Valley, John Russo, the beekeeper and alchemist behind Carmel Lavender Farm rents out an off-the-grid tiny house alongside his fragrant fields and offers classes on such topics as making essential oils, perfumes and artisanal soaps. Near Soledad, Inn at the Pinnacles is set in Jan and Jon Brosseau’s family vineyard and well situated for wine tasting or hiking at the nation’s newest national park. Peaceful cottages at R&G Land and Cattle Co. in Paicines provide another rural getaway near Pinnacles National Park. The working cattle ranch includes 1,200 mission olive trees, that produce the award-wining Oils of Paicines. Owner Barbara Rever—a Salinas kidney specialist—built the cottages and a bunkhouse that sleeps 15 as a family retreat. For those looking for a cowpoke experience, there’s the V6 Ranch, which boasts 20,000 acres and 50 miles of riding trails near Parkfield. A cowboy academy and activities like cattle drives fill its busy annual calendar. Overnight camping is welcome at Crystal Bay Farm in Watsonville, in between Manresa and Sunset State Beaches, with farm-totable meals available on request. Day trips “I started out loving farmers’ markets and this is a way to better understand where our food comes from,” says Sally Digges, a member of the Santa Cruz-based Food and Farm Tours Meetup group. On a recent Saturday morning, Digges and about 20 other members of the group carpooled up Highway 1 with farmer Jeff Larkey to visit his secluded Rancho del Oso, part of Route 1 Farms. Larkey talked about his “eat local” philosophy, Route 1’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and some of the challenges he faces, like water shortages and pest control. He answered dozens of questions from the curious visitors. From left, photos on p. 52 by Patrice Ward and courtesy of Lucky Goat Family Farm, photos this page by Patrick Tregenza On the farm: from Left, Tamara Clifford and her goats, goat’s milk cheese being served at Lucky Goat Family Farm, kids at play at Live Earth Farm and a plant sale at the UCSC Farm.
edible Monterey Bay Summer 2015
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