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A food tour of wine country seemed like the perfect thing for a Wine Wednesday post! Just like I heard about River’s Edge Kayak and Canoe Trips from The Wine Road, I received an introduction to Tammy from Savor Healdsburg Food Tours from them as well.  We woke up bright and early on Sunday morning of our Healdsburg stay and enjoyed another morning of coffee at our country cottage before heading into town for the food tour.

The Farm to Table Tour, which we were on, had five stops, all unique and filling us with good food and wine, so I am going to break it up into a couple of posts to make sure I can cover all the stops.

We met Tammy and the rest of our small group in the Healdsburg Plaza, a wonderful place to hang out, enjoy the gorgeous weather, and people watch.

After some background information on Healdsburg (one of the best places on earth, in my opinion), we headed to our first stop, The Wurst.

The Wurst, Healdsburg

The Wurst was opened by Detroit native Charles Bell, who brings some flavors and ingredients of the Midwest to California. And if you are in the mood for something hearty, fun, and flavorful, this is the spot.

Our tour grabbed a couple of outside tables; where else would you want to be when it is a perfect California summer day?! Our table was quickly filled with baskets of fries, dipping sauces, and the sausages that make The Wurst famous around town. Favorites included the sweet potato fries (perfectly soft and crunchy)  in beer mustard and the Harissa Hottie sausage (pork, beef apricot, Harissa spice, habanero chili, coriander). You know if there’s spice, I am on it! The Polish sausage was a close second; the flavors reminded me of Easter dinners with Eastern European family.

 

flavored ketchups

We loved The Wurst’s laid back feel and casual fare, and the service was warm and friendly. It was a great way to start the tour, and we left feeling a little full already!

The Wurst, Healdsburg

Luckily we had a short walk to get ready for our next stop, one of my new favorite spots, Healdsburg SHED. This large, open, and airy restaurant/café/shop is a food lover’s paradise and the perfect place to start your day in Healdsburg, especially if you have a wine country picnic in mind.

SHED Healdsbug

It has everything you could possibly want and is buzzing with energy, excitement, and great smells. One of their unique features is their fermentation bar, which serves up kombucha, kefir, and shrubs. I love fermented drinks of all sorts but especially love these healthy ones!

fermentation bar, SHED Healdsbug

SHED serves up two different wood fired pizzas daily, in addition to all sorts of other specialties.

SHED Healdsburg

 

SHED Healdsburg

There are meats and cheeses, prepared foods, garden supplies, cook books, flowers, and so much more. SHED also offers all sorts of classes on learning different things like canning, fermenting, and more. You could easily visit and spend a whole day (and a whole lot of money) at this beautiful spot. I am officially in love.

SHED Healdsburg

The highlight of our visit was of course getting to sample some of the culinary delights SHED has to offer. The heat outside didn’t stand a chance against this refreshing shrub, made with fresh fruit and vinegar. It was lightly sweet, tangy, and cool; the perfect drink for a summer day.

shrub

We also shared one of the pizzas of the day, a thin, perfect crust dotted with cheese, jalapeno and shishito peppers. The mezze plate of the day was a favorite of everyone, especially the big block of feta and the bright, earthy beet tzatziki. Every bite was delicious, and as we went along, the group chatted more. It’s always fun when you have a group that clicks, and we really enjoyed everyone along the journey.

SHED Healdsburg mezze platter

Both The Wurst and SHED are Healdsburg businesses that we would definitely revisit. I love food tours and the way that they give you a taste of a variety of places; they’re ideal for the beginning of a trip to help set the tone and plan for the rest of the time there. Or, like for us, they make it even more enticing to plan a trip back. . .

Stay tuned for the next stops on the Savor Healdsburg Food Tour, where we’ll taste local wine, chow down on tapas, and finish with a sweet cupcake treat!

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Tags: California. Sonoma County, food tours, Healdsburg, Savor Healdsburg Food Tours, Travel, travel blog, wine, wine blog, wine country

The older I get, the more clear it becomes to me that I don’t want to live in a city for the rest of my life. Our new house has helped; we traded a 900 square foot condo on a crowded (but lovely) street for an 1,800 square foot house with a small yard and a giant park across the street. We have few close neighbors, and I got that little bit of country I craved.

But I still want more. Our stay in Sonoma County was pure heaven for me. I love being able to see a thousand stars at night and hearing chickens in the morning. Coffee with mountain views and hummingbirds isn’t just something I want on vacation. I feel like it’s a way of life that would make my heart so happy.

While we work toward that someday country life, I have been falling in love with gardening at our own home, and this past weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to help out at an urban farm with The Food Project. You may remember the Whole Farm Dinner I went to at Alden & Harlow a few weeks ago. I became intrigued by The Food Project, and when I learned they had a farm in Dorchester where I live, I couldn’t wait to volunteer.

There’s more information about The Food Project at the end of this post.

The Food Project, Dorchester

I headed over this past Saturday morning to volunteer from 9:30 – 12:30, and after introductions, we were put into crews to get started working. I was amazed at the size of the farm and variety growing. It’s so cool to see so much agriculture happening right in such an urban area.

Our crew leaders were high school kids from the area who work at the farm, and they were some of the greatest kids I have met. They were confident and articulate far beyond their years, and they knew what they were doing around that farm!

My first job was weeding lettuce beds, and I got to chat with the leaders and other volunteers as we pulled purselane. The sun was super hot, it was dusty, and not long in, my face and body were covered in dirt. I loved it.

The Food Project, Dorchester

The Food Project

My second job was picking and bundling scallions to go in CSA shares. These scallions were enormous! They were fun to pick because they come out so easily, and the smell was incredible. Everyone who passed our area mentioned it. Once in bundles, we cut the tops and roots and made sure they looked neat and tidy.

scallions

scallions

At the end, we all grabbed gloves and cleaned up trash from the perimeter of he farm. If there is one thing I HATE, it is littering, and unfortunately there are a lot of people who have no respect for property or the earth. Luckily these kids are leading the way to a better city and a better future. I plan on going back as many Saturdays as possible throughout the fall to help with harvest and other tasks and then starting up again in spring.

I always think fall is more of a new year than actual New Year’s, and volunteering more and attending more networking and professional development events are two of my goals for this new year. And I need to exercise more, so there’s that.

Do you have any goals now that school is back in session?

 

About The Food Project

Young People at the Lynn FarmSince 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, we work with over 150 teenagers and thousands of volunteers to farm on 40 acres in eastern Massachusetts in the towns and cities of Beverly, Boston, Lincoln, and Lynn. We consider our hallmark to be our focus on identifying and transforming a new generation of leaders by placing teens in increasingly responsible roles, with deeply meaningful work.

Food from our farms is distributed through our community supported agriculture programs and farmers’ markets, and donated to local hunger relief organizations. The young people working in our programs participate in all of these distribution streams, giving them valuable job experiences and a personal connection to our food system and issues of food justice.

In addition to producing and distributing food, we help others grow their own food through our community programs and provide training resources based on all we have learned since 1991.

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Tags: Dorchester, farm, farm to table, Food, volunteering

Our CSA continues to fill each week with a little bit of excitement and lots of healthy local produce. The last couple of weeks have simply been bursting with summery delights like heirloom tomatoes, peaches, and corn, possibly the best foods in the world (paired with a lovely Rosé, of course)

 

Heirloom Tomato BLT

As is often the case in the warmer months, simple was really our goal in highlighting the beautiful food provided by our local farmers. Big, juicy heirloom tomatoes and crisp local lettuce lent themselves to quick and easy, yet completely heavenly BLTs while green beans were perfect sautéed in a little olive oil, chopped garlic, and black pepper.

green beans

Each week brings its own share of greens, and I imagine that will continue once summer ends. Rainbow chard is yummy chopped and cooked down with a little olive oil, a great balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper. This would be a great side dish for a good cut of beef and your favorite red wine.

rainbow chard

We drooled over the fresh peaches we received, super juicy and sweet. They were more often than not eaten on their own, but once warm night called for a peach and tomato salad topped with goat cheese and a little fig balsamic. Simple and perfect.

peach and tomato salad

Finally, while we did eat plenty of corn from our CSA, the below dish is actually from my beloved Steel and Rye. Their soups are always phenomenal, and this chilled corn soup was one of my favorite dishes of the summer.

chilled corn soup

What seasonal dishes are you loving right now?

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Tags: cooking at home, corn, corn soup, CSA, farm, green beans, healthy, peaches, produce, summer, tomatoes, vegetables

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