I am really glad I participated in the International Food Bloggers Conference excursion to Capay Valley Ranches. It has been many years since I had visited a farm. My great grandparents lived off the land in rural Mississippi. I don’t have many memories of them, but I do remember the complete sense of peace that surrounded their farm. I felt that same sense of peace when visiting Capay Valley Ranches.
Being from the Chicagoland area, I have experienced extreme cold in the winter and oppressive humidity in the summer. My first trip to California has brought temperatures of 103 degrees. I would always laugh when folks talked about the extreme heat of the west coast. You know when they say it is hot, but it is a dry heat so it is not that bad. I get it now. I will by no means be signing up for one hundred plus degree days, but I could breathe. Shout out to the people at Capay Valley Ranches for calling the audible and letting us stay on the tour bus and drive around the ranch. Air conditioning is a beautiful thing.
The tour was informative and you could tell all the people working there, really love what they do. We stopped, got off the bus, took pictures, and asked tons of questions. The ranch plants almonds, olives, and walnuts. They also sell olive oils, balsamic vinegars, nuts and honey at http://www.cvranches.com/
In an economy that has seen more lows than highs in recent times, I have thought about my part in all this and made an effort to shop with businesses where I can connect with small business owners and not some faceless brand. I learned what happens when I hear about fires on the news and how it is not always a bad thing when those fires come. I also learned about pricing and all produce having to meet the same standards whether it was grown here or imported from Mexico.
I had a chance to talk with fellow bloggers and take tons of pictures. Love how everyone waited patiently before eating lunch so people could make sure everyone got their food pictures. Do not touch the plate until folks get their pictures, we all know the rules.
I am also glad we did this excursion the day before conference sessions started. It was nice to be able to participate without feeling rushed. Plus we all went home with some samples of olive oil and honey. Seeing how I cook with olive oil on a regular basis, I am sure I will be on their website in no time soon trying all their different flavors!