tv Democracy Now LINKTV November 19, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
[captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation] >> coming up on "california country"...meet the face of andy boy produce. yes, there really is an andy boy. >> who is this? >> yep. it's me. >> oh. >> then she's getting her goat, but that's a good thing for this talented farmer. >> you see how comfortable the baby is? you can't carry the big one. >> then as the weather heats up, it's timeo get gardening and our expert has the tips to get you started. >> think of the best salsa you've ever had. it was the fresh cilantro, wasn't it?
>> it's all ahead and it starts now. take a walk through your average produce aisle these days and there are more choices than ever, but one fa has very eye-catching marketing strategy to entice you. and it all has to do with the bright picture of a little boy named andy. but have you ever stopped to wonder, who is this andy boy guy anyway? >> andy boy's my father, andy d'arrigo, he's the face on the label and a lot of people ask, is there an andy boy and i say, yes, there is. >> who is this? >> yep. it's me. >> oh. ha ha. you see, when folks around here say andy d'arrigo is the face of andy boy produce, they mean it, literally. now 86 years young, he, along with his daughter margaret and son john, run one of the most successful farms in the salinas valley. it all started back in the
early 1900s, when andy's dad and uncle emigrated from sicily and went through ellis island. they were both teenagers and spoke barely any english, but they had a dream for something better. >> this is the american dream where people see opportunity. i don't know how my grandfather was living there, could scrape up enough money to put 2 kids on a boat to the united states and probably knowing they'd never see them again. but they knew there was no opportunity there where they lived. and i think that's what the united states is all about. >> the 2 brothers started their operation in new york, but then moved out west to begin growing fruits and vegetables. and in 1927, steven trademarked the name "andy boy" in honor of his son. the company became the first ever brand of fresh vegetables in the united states and has been recognized for more than
80 years now as a leading brand in the business. today, the farm is feeding the nation by harvesting more than 30,000 acres of fresh vegetables all packed under the andy boy brand. and while they farm a wide variety of produce, some of their biggest sellers as of late are romaine hearts, broccoli rob, and a big hit among culinary professionals, fennel. >> this is the field of fennel and you'll notice it's got a nice white bulb and a beautiful fern. and, really, all the plant's useable in cooking. >> cooking with it is one thing, but just getting people to try it is the first thing farmers like the d'arrigos hope to do. recently, they teamed up with local chef todd fisher and, together, the farming team and the cooking whiz whipped up new recipes for some old favorites. and in the end they came up with a whole new way to get people to eat their veggies. >> to see the realization on people's face when you prepare it properly and they go, wow, this is something that i--wow, i really like this now, as opposed to this astringent,
bitter vegetable. so, i like working with it because it's a challenge for me as a chef, but it's also so gratifying to see a guest enjoy something that ty may not have otherwise had the opportunity to try. well, this is our--the rapi-deparini, so, it's got the rapini and the caramelized fennel in there done in that low-fat yogurt, so it's really nice and light and vibrant, kind of a twist on a classic french onion dip. >> their success means the family has also given back to their community. they've donated more than $1 million to breast cancer research over the last 10 years, all in an effort to keep folks eating and feeling healthy. and despite the hands of time passing on the clock, one thing that hasn't passed this farming family by is the appreciation of staying true to their patriarch's core beliefs. >> and i think part of the neatest thing is that we still, um, the company today still has the same values that it had when it was founded. the quality, consistency, and value, those a the things that we always talk about and our company still really uses those as our cornerstone today.
so, i think that's pretty amazing. >> well, there's 2 things, first of all, you got to get a family that gets along. >> ha ha ha. >> and the second thing is that we have just been dedicated to producing a quality product. and we love our work, as they say. i should be retired, but i'd probably be divorced because i'd be too much time at home. >> for "california country," i'm tracy sellers. >> brought to you by allied insurance, a member of the nationwide families of companies, which also includes nationwide insurance, on your side. >> from farm to feast, stay tuned for more of the tempting taes of california. >> as californians, we're connected to agriculture.
that's why the allied insurance partnership with the california farm bureau offers us discounts on auto insurance, whether we live on the farm or in the city. as a member of the nationwide family of companies, allied insurance is committed to protecting what's important for you and your community. contact your local agent today. ♪ nationwide is on your side [music playing]
>> it's one thing to buy things in boxes and packages and just have it show up, it's another thing to actually know where that is produced and where it's come from and how it's produced. i think that even goes further when you have some kind of personal connection to it. >> welcome back. beyond the bustle of the big city is an undiscovered paradise called "california country." >> when you think of small coastal towns in california, you think of beautiful beaches, but in pescadero, a town about
33 miles from santa cruz, something else is bringing in the tourists. that's right, goats. welcome to harley goat farm in san mateo county, where alpine goats are the star attractions. dee harley runs this 9-acre farm, looking after about 200 goats. this is the only dairy in the county. >> it's not that i had this dream of having a goat farm. i think i was always going to be a farmer of some kind. i grew up in northern england in yorkshire and it was a very rural place. so, i was always attracted to that lifestyle, i just didn't necessarily think it would manifest with goats, you know? >> like many of the cheese makers in california, it's all largely done by hand. although a vegetable rennin culture is added to the pasteurized milk, to give it the initial yogurt texture. the mixture is collected in cheesecloth bags and the resulting curds are left to hang in them for about 2 days.
after that, comes the fun part, kneading the cheese. >> look at that. it's like ice cream. but, also, there's the feel of this, you can't learn that overnight. it's something that comes with a lot of repetition and... >> you know how much to knead it. >> yes, you know, and when to stop and when it's right or when it's been hanging for the correct amount of time. >> harley goat farms sells its cheese to specialty stores like whole foods, as well as restaurants and hotels like san francisco's fairmont hotel and the ritz-carlton. there's no shortage of customers tasting the different cheeses, including feta, fromage blanc, and snapping up the goat milk products like soap and skin lotions. this farm store helps to strengthen the direct relationship between farmer and
consumer. and it ensures customers keep coming back. >> no, actually, i didn't. i just had it in the store, but i never really know the difference, not till i started coming over here. you can just taste the difference, you know, and it's just really nice. >> although visitors come from all over the world, most are from the golden state. goat cheese is increasing in popularity in california. and here at harley farms, they lieve in controlling all aspects of it, so that they get great taste and great quality. >> our secret ingredient is right here is in the grass that is grown in this wonderful soil. we are 2 miles from the ocean. so, that ocean air comes in and quite often it's foggy, especially during the summer and it brings in that foggy, salty air, which grows the grass that the goats eat and we consider that a secret ingredient. so, you see it on a lot of the menus all over the country now. even in cheese classes, a lot of the chefs are doing after- dinner cheese classes, which is great for small cheese makers
like ourselves. this was so supported by the chefs. >> this segment is brought to you by the california farm bureau federation. sightseeing in california is a world tour of the chic and unique, all in one state. don't miss your exclusive tour when we come back. >> our dad used to say, when you work hard for something, protect it. >> that's why he got nationwide insurance more than 30 years ago. >> we're still with them today because no matter what changes in our lives, whether it's starting a business or building a house. >> having kids or buying a car. >> with an on your side review from nationwide insurance, we get the coverage we need at the right price for us. ♪ nationwide is on your side >> make sure your coverage keeps up with your life. ask your local agent or call 877-306-1252 today.
>> it's one thing to buy things in boxes and packages and just have it show up, it's another thing to actually know where that is produced and where it's come from and how it's produced. and i think that even goes further when you have some kind of personal connection to it. >> literally, farm to table. literally, it's like from the gardens, from the dirt. i mean, they come straight from that place. the connection--when you make that connection with the farmer, with the growers, it makes for a different feeling when you're cooking. for me now, things taste different.
>> welcome back to "california country." >> on any day of the week, you can bet that east sacramento's newest restaurant, one spe's business will be zooming along at a pace that even lance armstrong might be jealous of. owner and chef rick mahan says the eatery is a showcase of his love affair of both bikes and pizza, which is evident in almost every pie that he works on here. a distinctly italian-themed menu is in place, which depends almost entirely on one ingredient to keep people coming back for more. >> right after the pizza crust itself, you know, tomatoes are right there next in line, so... and i'm just a big tomato guy, you know, so it's a good thing
i'm living in sacramento. ha ha, right? >> indeed, california is a great place to enjoy tomatoes, whether they be fresh, heirloom or processed. in facg tomatoes are so big here in california that no matter what state you live in, when you add ketchup to a burger or mix in some tomato sauce to your meatball sandwich or slice up that pizza, you can be 99% sure that it came from california. and that's because 99% of processed tomato products consumed in the entire united states come from tomatoes grown right here in california. you see, before they can make it into rick's pizzas, the life of a processing tomato starts here at farms like bruce rominger's in yolo county. a 5-generation family business, today, bruce has more than 600 acres devoted to both conventional and organic processing tomatoes. and he hopes to harvest more
than 30,000 tons of them this year alone. >> well, these tomatoes were transplanted in early april of this year. we buy little transplants from a greenhouse. we select certain varieties that are suited to the cannery. now, these harvesters just pick one time through. they pull the whole vine out of the ground, they shake the tomatoes off gently, separate them from the vines, any dirt or anything like that. we have some sorters to take out any broken tomatoes or any dirt or green tomatoes, load them right in the trailer and they're off to the cannery immediately. so, these tomatoes, you know, within just several hours of when we pick them, they're in the cannery being processed. this variety of tomato is a heinz variety. it's called 9663. and all the varieties we grow are bred to ripen all at the same time. you see that there's probably 95, 98% of these tomatoes e dead ripe at the se me. and so that makes a ce one pass mechanil harvt possible. and they're similar shape and type is what you will--a lot of people call a roma tomato that you do see in a
grocery store. this is what we like to... send to the cannery. >> and although they might not be the most glamorous of crops, processing tomatoes are one of the most important ones here in yolo county and across the state, too. california supplies the nation with a wide variety of tomato- based products, many of which are processed here at the super coast producers in woodland, where timing is of the essence. >> as far as the loads that come into this plant, we'll have from the time it's harvested and the time it's in the can, will be anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. all of our tomatoes began within a 16-mile radius. that's why this plant has been put in this position here. >> it's like a well-oiled machine here as tomatoes are systematically taken through a maze of being washed, sorted, sliced, diced, pureed, and canned into some of our
favorite tomato-based products. more than half a million tons of them are taken through here every year, but, interestingly, the amount of tomatoes used for processing depends on the final product. for example, it takes about 6 pounds of the produce to make one pound of paste. americans eat about twice the amount of processed tomatoes than any other country. consumption continues to be strong, thanks to their taste, versatility, and numerous positive health reports. unlike other fruits and vegetabl, when they're cooked, they tend to lose some of their nutrition, tomatoes are the opposite, which has researchers at places like uc davis studying up on the popular produce item. >> the great thing about tomatoes is that they're loaded with vitamins like vitamin a, vitamin captain, and they're also full of these compounds called carotenoids. most people heard of lycopene and that one has--lycopene has got lots of attention because of prostate cancer and also in vitamin a. but some of the research
studies now are looking at it differently saying, hey, lycopene is great, but there's much more to it now. for this part of our study, we were just trying to test how your arteries would change over time using this ultrasound, before and after treatment with tomatoes over 6 weeks. >> so, whether you eat tomatoes for your health or just for fun, folks like bruce are hoping you eat them for a bigger reason, as a way to support your local farming community, which, in turn, supports you. >> well, i tell people it's really the essential industry that we have in this country or in the entire planet, really. it's the basic thing that we all need to survive. and you can't take it for granted. you can't just look at the grocery store. you have to have open fields, farmers, farm workers toake it all happen, to feed all of us. so, it's really essen. everybody else couldn't do the job they're doing if they didn't have somebody else providing their food for them every da
>> hi, this is chad minton, chef of the jer-ne restaurant here at the beautiful ritz- carlton marina del rey hotel and spa. today, we're going to make a super easy, super simple, beautiful tomato salad. what i have here is a slice selection of gorgeous california heirloom tomatoes. here we have some micro basil, which is just the sprouts of the basil. it's very tender. you can eat the whole stem, delicious. in addition, i've got this wonderful burrata mozzarella. now, what this is, is it's mozzarella that is actually combined with heavy cream to create a softer, smooshier, if you will, mozzarella experience. i've got some coarse salt, extra virgin olive oil, a little bit of premium balsamic vinegar. so, all we're going to do to this salad is we're going to take our tomatoes and we're going to dress them with a little bit of this extra virgin olive oil and coarse salt and
pepper. we're just going to kinda slide these guys around. and this is the easiest salad and so simple, so delicious. we're going to put a couple of these tomatoes on the plate... however you like... and some of this beautiful mozzarella. we'll put a couple more of these guys on there. and maybe a little bit more of this mozzarella and a couple of more tomatoes... and then another scoop of this mozzarella. and then i'm going to take this micro basil and we're going to give that a little bit of the extra virgin olive oil, a little bitf the coarse salt. we're going to toss it and we're going to put that puppy right on top and let it fall wherever you want. and then we're just going to
top it with our vinegar... and there you have it. heirloom tomato, micro basil, burrata mozzarella, salad. so, once again, for "california country," this is chad minton urging you to use your creativity and please keep cooking. >> as californians, we're connected to agriculture. that's why the allied insurance partnership with the california farm bureau offers us discounts on auto insurance, whether we live on the farm or in the city. as a member of the nationwide family of companies, allied insurance is committed to protecting what's important for you and your community. contact your local agent today. ♪ nationwide is on your side
>> welcome back to "california country." >> what makes a great restaurant in super trendy sausalito? is it location or perhaps the chef or maybe it's the food? for chef peter mcnee, it's the smallest ingredient that makes the biggest difference for him, fresh herbs. they're not just for garnish anymore. they're what he depends on for ultimate success. almost from the beginning of time, man has depended on fresh herbs for a variety of uses. did you know rosemary was a symbol of fidelity for the ancient greeks? and during world war ii, branches of rosemary were actually burned to keep germs from wounded soldiers. today, herbs still have a variety of uses and here in california, most of them get their start here.
located in the coastal community of pescadero is jacobs farm. founded in 1980 by larry jacobs, the farm, along with the industry of growing fresh herbs, has seen tremendous growth in recent years. >> we started with one row of tarragon for a company in a san francisco market, greenleaf produce. >> and the market has just gone through the roof. >> jacobs farm has grown to become the largest organic herb grower in the country and has a complete line of herbs from the most popular--rosemary, thyme, and sage, to the most unusual. ever heard of cinnamon basil, pineapple sage, or lemon balm? >> crunch up the leaves, you want to break the tissue to get some of the oils moving. >> oh, ok. >> and then you can smell it or taste it, whatever... >> ok, this is peppermint. >> got it. >> yes.
>> but not all herb farms are as big as jacobs. take this one, for example, in the bay area. it's not only providing the menu for one local restaurant, but it's also preserving the heritage of its famous owner. you may not know his name, but you surely would recognize the popular restaurant chain he created, il fornaio. and after a lifetime of success around the world, sausalito is where larry has found his newest and most exciting project yet. >> my dream was always to have an organic garden that could supply a small italian trattoria with the freshest possible ingredients. >> first, he built the farm and then the restaurant. together with farm manager michael pringle and chef peter mcnee, the 3 collaborated on a menu and a location for the restaurant that suited everyone just fine.
the kitchen would be a mere 100 yards from the ingredients on the menu every night. and, thus, poggio and the poggio garden were born. >> this stuff is perfect. we spend about 3 times a week engaging in conversation of what's working and what's not working, what's he thinking of. the rugala is very good. the pepper crisp is great, but they all have a similar spice to them. grilled scallop with sweet white corn and basil butter and the basil is from the garden. and he's the only man crazy enough to put a garden in sausalito because there is no garden probably more expensive than that part of land that you saw today. ha ha ha. it's got a great view. >> so, no matter how big or small the farm is, fresh herbs are definitely making a comeback, winning over farmers, chefs, and diners alike, taking meals from the mundane to the magnificent with each and every
bite. >> so, i would just invite people to try it, experiment. >> the bottom line is we're trying to make people happy. >> almost any dish, except maybe oatmeal, that we'll work on. >> steve mcshane here. mcshane's nursery and landscape supply. think of the best salsa you've ever had. it was the fresh cilantro, wasn't it? herbs go a long way in the garden and we're going to learn a little bit about how to succeed with herbs in your landscape and in backyard. well, let's see, the first thing i'd say is you need to plan for your herb garden. most people are growing herbs these days in containers. they put a little gravel in the bottom, water their high-grade potting soil, maybe a little bit of [indistinct], add some starter fertilizer to get them going. i always tell people--select things that are going to be found to be a little exotic. edible plants as well. why not mix in with your herbs thgs like nasturtium?
the flowers in nasturtium are a little peppery. they do a lot for your salads. calendula is also edible. these blooms, the plant, what a great addition to your salads and entrees. the other thing i'd say to folks is make sure you consider sun, sunlight, 6 to 8 hours a day. if you've got the right plan, you got the right herbs, you're feeding regularly and there is plenty of sunshine, it's easy to succeed. and before you know it, you'll have salsa and dishes coming out of your kitchen with home- grown herbs. >> that concludes today's tour of the best of "california country." join us next time for more undiscovered treasures from the most fascinating state in the country. [man singing] [captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation]
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