Humboldt Regeneration, Jacob Pressey

Years ago I interviewed Jacob Pressey about Humboldt Regeneration — he was just getting started with the project — a CSB — Community Supported Brewery.  Now he is receiving recognition as being the first California grown beer — and he grows much of the raw materials on his farm.  I know what you are thinking — grain is typically seen in super gigantic swaths of the great plains — farm equipment is programmed with GPS and each pass of a combine can be a quarter of a mile long — how the heck do you grow it in Humboldt.

Well — oddly enough — Humboldt used to be known for grain growing — winning many State fair contests with the varieties grown right here.  Talking with some old-timers in Hoopa, they talked about how the hills were once covered with wheat — which shocked the heck out of me!  So really — by growing wheat we are just coming home to something we do well here anyway.

Listen to the interview with Jacob Pressey

In the meantime check out his website!


Blue Lake Winery, Frank Onstine

IMG_1514 IMG_1515 IMG_1517I learned about Frank Onstine from my good friends Jerry and Gisela Rohde.  Frank has a small winery — Gisela called it a Nano-Winery (so obviously smaller than a Micro-Winery)…in fact Frank is his only employee — which means he does everything that needs to be done including being Chief Bottle Washer.  He also has some very good friends who volunteer to help him when he needs it — and payment is getting to hang out with Frank (who is a very interesting guy — soon I’ll be posting an interview we did about Abalone Diving — and I’m sure I’m just at the tip of the iceberg)…and nice meals with great wine.

After you listen to the interview here,  drink up these photos!  You might want to buddy up and get in on the making and drinking of wine!Bluelake winery bottling crew Blue Lake Winery dinner table

Check out his facebook page

Ron Rudebock, HSU Housing and Dining Services

Institutions struggle with providing good, local food for their customers — and schools are no exception.  When I attended HSU I used many of my food points in the campus ice cream parlor — really, no kidding, it was a full on ice cream parlor with hot fudge, whipped cream and cherries!  I still have memories of going to a study-partner’s house for dinner and they had roasted chicken and potatoes — I must have looked like I was starving, the food had never tasted so good — mostly because I’d been starving myself of good food.  I’m not complaining here, it wasn’t entirely the institution’s fault for having that ice cream parlor — I was an adult — and I was making some bad choices about what to put into my body.

With pressure from many sides, institutions like the California State University system have had to look at things they can do to provide better food for the students.  In an interview with Ron Rudebock we talked about some of the challenges and benefits of working with local farmers and food producers.

Listen here for the interview with Ron


Jim Cotton, Food Growing and Foraging

One of my very first blog posts complete with photos showed “Jim and Kim’s garden” in Arcata — they have a small slice of heaven in the bottoms and the amount of produce they get out of it is astounding.

While I used to be the Garlic Queen among my friends, Kim usurped the throne many years ago, growing dozens of varieties of garlic.  Kim can hardly wait for the new garden supply catalogs to arrive and eagerly dives in to order varieties we’ve never heard of.  When my crop was completely wiped out by rust — she supplied me with seed garlic to start over — and vice-versa.  Since the early days of garlic rust, Kim has beat the rust by planting later (we used to plant on Indigenous People’s Day FKA Columbus Day) — but now we plant in late November or early December.  It works!

Both Kim and Jim are foragers too — gathering mushrooms, mussels, clams, crab, fishing for salmon — they both have a passion for locally produced food, and for knowing the land and what it has to offer.

Listen here for the interview with Jim Cotton