Locally Grown

I know how fortunate I am to live in San Diego.  Not just because of the beautiful blue skies, sunshine, and palm trees…

…or the flowers that grow year-round here…

Saw this rose on a run the other day and went back with my camera.

…but it’s a blessing that fruits and vegetables of all kinds, including avocados, are grown locally here.

Including the four, locally grown avocados that I received from California Avocados Direct.

The California Avocados Direct farm is a family-owned and operated farm of the Holtz family.  It has been in operation for decades, spanning three generations, and it’s located about a half hour north of where I live.

The farm in 1973

The farm in 2010

Photo Source

Do you know what’s amazing about these avocados?   And I’m not just talking about their taste…

…but these avocados were only touched by Ben Holtz and no one else!

Here is a photo of him hand-picking my avocados from the orchard last week with this caption: “Today is a rather mild cool day on the ranch.  I am hoping for more warmer weather so the bee’s are excited to get out and pollinate the avocado blossoms.”

Does that just blow your mind that I can literally see where my food came from just up the road from me?  It does mine, in a wonderful way!

In this era of food flown in from California (if you don’t live here), Mexico, South America, or all over the world, and touched by dozens or hundreds of people in the food supply chain from field to grocery store, the fact that no one else touched these avocados besides Ben, and Mother Nature, until I opened the box, is amazing to me.

It makes me want to do more to support local agriculture and local farmers and because I do live in San Diego, I can do that with great ease.

For example, here are some pictures I took last summer from the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market.  Every Sunday, year round, this amazing market is open offering locally grown and organic or pesticide-free food.

Lots more photos here of the local produce bounty in my area.

But back to my avocados.   What should I make with my avocados?

They are still ripening so I have time to decide.

I could make guacamole.  Or my “Cheater’s” Guacamole with them.

But these avocados seem too special to “cheat” with and I may need to make more traditional guac with these gems.

They would probably make wonderful Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

No one ever suspects that avocados are the staple ingredient in the mousseNo one.

I bring it to parties and fool everyone who thinks the mousse is full of eggs and butter or that it took a long time to make.  Wrong!  Four ingredients, five minutes, vegan.

 

Avocados are a source of healthy fats and do a body good.

If you’re interested in buying avocados and supporting the Holtz family farm and California Avocados Direct, please see their website and they can ship them to you.

Also, Matt Armendariz, photographer extraordinaire, with whom I did the food styling and photography workshop, also posted about a recent trip that he took to the California Avocados Direct farm.

And my friend Gaby of What’s Gaby Cooking, was with Matt on that trip to the farm and she also posted about it.  They both have great pictures of their day at the farm in their posts.

From my last post about Whirling Around, yes, it was a manic day, indeed.

Questions:

1. Do you support local agriculture in any way?  Having a CSA share (community supported agriculture), shopping at your local farmer’s market, buying from local fruit or vegetable stands, or even growing your own produce?

If you’re interesting in CSA’s or joining one in your area, here’s a great link.

As I said, I do what I can do buy locally.  However, we all must do what we can given the constraints of our budgets.  For example, there are times when TJ’s sells blueberries at half the cost of what blueberries at the farmer’s market are, but that reinforces that sometimes it is more expensive to buy locally grown, pesticide-free food that isn’t flown in from 5000 miles away where the standards are much different on everything from paying the laborers living wages to crop spraying practices.

Also, I realize it’s not easy to eat local if you live in North Dakota in the winter.  It’s a good thought, but again, you have to do what you can and what works for you given your geographical area, needs, budget, and so forth.

I am not much of a gardener, and have tried container gardening, but so far, I have been bitten by the gardening bug.  The photography bug is more like it.

2. Do you like avocados?

Yes!  Silly question!

3. What’s your favorite way to use avocados or fave recipes?

I admit, other than guac, chocolate mousse, massaging them into greens as a salad dressing, or making other basic sauces/dressings with them, I just like to slice them and eat them plain on salads.  Simplicity is best for me.

Any great avo recipes or creative uses?

   

75 Responses to “Locally Grown”

  1. #
    51
    Sue @ Sue In Training — April 27, 2011 at 1:24 am

    1. I try to buy as local and seasonal as possible, but the options are limited around here. That also means no tomatoes in winter, unless you buy imported ones from Africa, which I don’t. I missed my tomatoes, but now they’re back! I make an exception for bananas though, I just love them too much. I’m growing strawberries on my balcony this year. Let’s see how they turn out.
    2. I used to shy away from avocados because of the high fat content. But now I know that it’s good fat, and I love them for they awesome taste and creamy texture. Yum!
    3. I don’t want to ‘mask’ the avocado taste, so I usually have them either plain and cubed as a topping on salads or veggie chilli, or I turn them into a mild guacamole.

    Ok, now I’m hungry. I need to buy some avocados ASAP!

    Reply

  2. #
    52
    Beth — April 27, 2011 at 6:30 am

    So jealous that you can get locally grown and hand picked avocados. Wow!
    You could make Green Goddess Dressing with those avocados:
    http://www.elanaspantry.com/green-goddess-dressing/

    I miss going to the Farmer’s Market. With the paintball field open and me working there on weekends, I can no longer get to the Farmer’s Market. We do get our produce from a local organic farmer though – that should start again in June. Hurray!

    Yes, LOVE avocados. Can’t get enough of them. They are so versatile.

    Favourite avo recipes: Green Goddess Dressing, mouse, pudding, frosting, guac, and right off the spoon :)

    Reply

  3. #
    53
    Amber K — April 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

    It’s funny, because I like avocados if there are mixed with other stuff (I like guacamole, I like the raw vegan chocolate mousse, I like adding it to my smoothies) but I really don’t like it by itself. I can’t just add some to a salad, it tastes really weird and has a weird texture. But I think I’m the one that’s weird!

    I can’t wait until the farmer’s market opens near me! Another two weeks I believe. I love buying locally and organically, but I also like picking out my own stuff which is why I haven’t jumped on the CSA bandwagon.

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Mimi from California Avocados Direct — April 27, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Just want to mention that Ben ships Avocado Gift Boxes all over the United States. They arrive in 2-3 days from our far from to your door. There are special gift boxes and also monthly subscriptions for everyone who loves avocados and wants them direct from the farm. We are not a CSA, but you can order avocados as often as you like from our website http://www.CaliforniaAvocadosDirect.com. Prices include the shipping cost. Ben picks them, and they are packed and shipped the same day. A ripening and storage guide is included in the box so you can enjoy the experience of farm fresh avocados. Thanks again, Averie, for the beautiful post!

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — April 27th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you, Mimi, for the avocados and I am glad you liked the post. I mentioned in the post that yes, people can order them and that you guys ship, too! Right under the picture of the nutrition chart is where I had posted that info because yes, I wanted readers to know about it!

      Thanks again and please keep in touch :)

      Reply

  5. #
    55
    Lisa — April 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I belong to SoCal Avocados’ Avocado of the Month Club! It’s great—they mail me 20 avos every month and I’ve learned how to get them to ripen at different rates. It’s a small family ranch just like the one you are talking about. I would rather buy local, but there are no avos in NY…and the grocery store avos come from Mexico! So Cali is more local than Mexico—and the Fuerte avocados are unbelievable. I’ve only ever had Hass before…

    Reply

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    56
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — April 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I love avocados, and I usually use them in a salad with tomatoes, garlic, salt and evoo.

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    Worker — April 29, 2011 at 5:05 am

    ЎHola!

    el punto de vista Competente, es entretenido…
    http://www.elcoru.com/
    Worker

    Reply

  8. #
    58
    Christin@purplebirdblog — April 29, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I used to have a CSA and I’m hoping to join again after we move in June… right now that extra cash is going towards saving for security deposits… fun stuff! :) I love me some avocado, just had half of one in my salad for lunch… creamy goodness!

    Reply

  9. #
    59
    Shane — May 3, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Locally Grown produce is a great way to go, and seems to becoming more and more popular. It is no wonder that people are looking for more sustainable ways to grow and consume food. Cheers.

    Reply

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