You’re likely to see your local farming family, like the Hoovers (Hooverville Orchards, Placerville, CA, or the Perez family)  all pitching in to get the farm fresh produce out and about.

This is where Real Honest to Goodness takes place:  Real Food without hormones, pesticides, wax, sprays and irradiation.  Certified Farmers Markets foster the community as well as the farmers who grew your nourishment, because WholeFarmilyatF.Mktwithout them there is no food.  Farmers markets and farms are vital to the community and its economic sustainability.  Local restaurants rely on farm fresh produce and are quick to explain “locally grown” to customers who today seek fresher and healthier menu choices.  Farmers know that good food does not come in a box.  We need to teach children that delicious fruit does not grow inside a grocery store.  You will often meet the whole family or at least part of it.  The other half may be at another market location that same day.Kevin andBenFarmersMkt2016

Farm families often work all week, picking, planting, planning, and constructing within their farmland.  Summer weekends are devoted to sharing their bounty, Mother Earth’s bounty, with you.  You have the opportunity to meet and talk to the people who grew your food.  This is your chance to bring your family and encourage them to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables…the very ones they can pick out themselves.

You will run into friends, neighbors and perhaps make new acquaintances.  This is an activity much more important than talking politics, or shopping for shoes.  You can taste before you buy, and even get a discount if the farmer is smart enough to have “ugly fruit” for a better price.  You can find out exactly how the food was grown, and satisfy your concerns about food safety or problems growing your own vegetables.  RedBeets                              Eggplant:Cucumbers

You will find more than fruits and vegetables.  It’s an adventure discovering local honey, for example, not any from far away lands that are laced with sweeteners and chemical preservatives.

“If it came from a plant, eat it;
if it was made in a plant, don’t. ” 

―  Michael Pollan

local honeyColoma

Mama Earth Farm

Ben and Mary Woods, Proprietors
6267 Candy Lane
Somerset, CA 95684

Who is Tending Mother Earth … If it isn’t the next generation?

Helpers Yarrow and Alder

“Nothing is more rewarding or more practical than taking care of what gives you life.”  On this premise, in 2008, Ben and Mary started farming on a small lot. They acquired a bunch of chicks, a bunch of compost they could add to, two boys, Yarrow and Alder, and began planting perennials, trees and plants. In 2012, they found “a very nice acre” to rent close by with good water, full sun and amazing soil. It sounds like a smooth transition from here to there, right? Not as simple as all that. How did all this happen? What inspired these two young people to tend Mother Earth as a lifestyle vs. so many other fields of pursuit and perhaps less strenuous?

Mary grew up in Placerville and the two met in school. Ben attended UC Santa Barbara  and Mary,  Sac State.  Here is where the weather changed.   Ben attended prestigious Schumacher College, which has an enviable reputation of cutting-edge learning, with a respect for all living systems and an ecological worldview. They walk their talk on a daily basis in terms of sustainability, keeping that lifestyle at the forefront of all student activities, including horticulture.

Ben went onto holistic science endeavors by working on farms throughout Europe, Hawaii and California. “I saw myself for the first time with people honestly caring… much the same way Mom raised me on healthy food and concern for the earth.

Permaculture as culture and philosophy inspired me to do what I do. My goal is to offer hands-on experience to those under 35, and to high school students, and teach them how fruitful a farm can be. At the same time, the government must answer to the needs of farmers, not impose more regulations.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sprouting Shed                                              SproutShed“Farming for us is a way of life,” the couple says. They sincerely believe that organic farming methods have the potential to bring health to our world, and nothing else seems so rewarding. Ben’s mom, Shirley, feels the same way, working with Ben and Mary to tend the enormous amount of produce the one-acre of land produces.    Working with the local Placerville Natural Foods Coop, the family also sells through their own CSA, Saturday farmer’s market and local restaurants and events.

Kale Harvest
Kale Harvest

Two goats on the property serve to eat down weeds and residue after a harvest. Tranquility doesn’t reign long. “It takes 10 hours to pick for a market, 10 hours for CSA and wholesale, not including the need for planting and rotating crops.   We harvest 100 bunches of kale and chard each week alone. A farm like this, only one acre, could easily feed the entire community if more people farmed,” Ben said.
PVILLE F.MKTLettuceHarvest


Whole Grain Breakfast

Whole Grains w:nuts:berries:grapes

Truly substantial!  Lunch may be forgotten ’til the dinner bell rings!


½ c Bob’s Red Mill Ancient Grain Medley

1 C bone broth or water

1 T EACH Cinnamon and Brown Sugar

pinch salt

½ c EACH strawberries, blueberries, grapes

¼ c mixed chopped nuts


Cook grains according to package instructions

in broth or water, adding spice and sugar towards end

Allow to cool slightly before plating.

Layer berries in bottom of serving dish.

Top with cereal, nuts and grapes to garnish.

Serve with nut milk or yogurt.


From One Foodie to Another



“We love your recipes,” I’ve heard.  But I don’t know which ones, in particular, or why they would appeal to you.  What this blogger needs is info…….I’m a journalist at heart always on the lookout for who, what, when, where and why, so bear with me.  I’ve tried the survey monkey-business and learned it ends up in your spam.

I grew up in a chef’s home with whole food, developed my own skill set in that direction, eventually getting my N.D. majoring in Nutrition.  My businesses included catering, farmers market participation, food demos, and lots of life experience honing my crafts of healthy cooking and organic gardening.  Now is the time for me to give back, and do I ever have a warehouse full!

I’m presuming you’ve tuned in because you’re something of a foodie, so please help me with a homemade survey of my own, because I truly want to improve my blog (my ultimate book) and what I do.  If you take time to think about the questions, we might get more heart-felt answers, and that’s what I would really appreciate!

  1.  WHAT is it about food you love the most  (growing it, shopping, preparing it,
    sharing, eating, preserving, or your answers go below, please try for one or two choices at most).
  2. What information on other blog sites or the internet is it you love to read and use?  Specifics, if you can, please!
  3. What information on my blog appeals to you most and why?   Examples?
  4. What further would you like most to see (farmer stories, food history, food prep instruction, recipes (what, which), events and festivals, environment articles, food content articles)?    Please add your own suggestions…..and thank you for participating!