gmhTODAY 09 gmhToday July Aug 2016 - Page 64

Van Dyke Ranch Van Dyke Ranch offers certifi ed organic fruits and vegetables in season, including apricots and cherries (fresh and dried), nectarines, peaches, pears, persimmons and plums. Five generations of Van Dykes have made their livelihood in farming. In 1975, brothers Peter, Kurt and Eric Van Dyke took the reins from their grandfather, and began a transition from conventional to organic farming practices. Beginning in the 1990s, Peter led improvements to the farm’s washing, cooling, and packaging systems. The farm sells to wholesalers, and direct to consumers through its website. Open May 20 th – August 20 th . Battaglia Ranch Tree Farm For 40 years, Battaglia Ranch has provided South County with lush, fragrant trees for the winter holidays. Customers can bring the family to the ranch to choose and cut the perfect tree from a selection of Monterey Pine, Leyland Cypress, Blue Ice, Carolina Sapphire, and Monterey Cypress trees. Those who like fi r trees can choose from pre-cut Noble, Douglas, Nordmann, Grand or Fraser varieties delivered from the Battaglia’s farm in Oregon. Trees can be fl ocked for those who like the snow- covered look. Fresh cut evergreen wreaths are also available to decorate the front door or fi replace mantle in style. Around Christmas time, Santa is known to stop by the Battaglia’s gift shop to pose with families for holiday photos. Visitors can board the Enchanted Train Ride to glide through the tree farm. The more adventuresome can tour the ranch on one of Santa’s reindeers or hop in his sleigh instead. Battaglia staff help tree shoppers select, cut, wrap and mount their favorite tree on the car roof, ready to take home. Santa Clara County Farm Bureau The Farm Bureau is a non-profi t, non- governmental voluntary membership corporation with 300 agricultural and 1300 associate members. Its focus is primarily on education, member development and public policy related to 64 farming. Its Ag Water Quality Program, which helps farmers and ranchers protect the environment and water quality, recently earned the Governor’s Environmental Leadership Award. Along with education and training the program includes professional assistance in writing the new Farm Water Quality Plans required by the Regional Water Quality Control Board. More than 150 farmers have participated in the program and written Farm Plans covering more than 33,000 acres in the Santa Clara Valley. The Farm Bureau collaborates with other organizations each year to provide college scholarships to local high school seniors who plan to pursue ag-related degrees, maintain good academic standing, and demonstrate leadership skills and community involvement. September marks the Farm Bureau’s annual Farm to Table Dinner, which typically features a reception followed by a wine-paired dinner, live music and dancing, and a silent and live auction fundraiser. The Bureau makes available a Country Crossroads Map pinpointing farms in Santa Clara County that sell directly to the public. Check the Bureau’s website for details. Community Farm Outlets Gilroy Demonstration Garden & Farmstand 7360 Eigleberry Street gilroydemonstrationgarden.org Volunteer Workdays: Mondays and Fridays 3-6 pm, Saturdays 8:30 am – 12 pm Farmstand: Saturdays 9 am – 12 pm Potluck: 2nd Saturday Monthly 12:30 pm – 2 pm According to Manager Kit Grizzle, the mission of the Gilroy Demonstration Garden is to promote organic gardening for the benefi t of the community through GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JULY / AUGUST 2016 sustainable gardening practices and education programs. Kit’s been guiding efforts at the garden for six years and loves the work. She said that it’s the ongoing fi nancial and volunteer support from the community that allows the garden to fl our- ish. Gardening experience is not required. Volunteer work, which includes cultivating, planting and weeding, is guided. Morgan Hill Community Garden Butterfi eld Boulevard between E. Main and Diana Avenues mhcommunitygarden.org/ The Morgan Hill Community Garden is a 501c3 non-profi t organization listed on the CA Registry of Historic Trusts. It provides gardening education to the community gardeners and South County residents through informal garden exchanges, fi eld trips and free classes. Gardeners sign up for their own individual garden plots, which can be up to a maximum of 300 square feet for an annual fee of 50 cents per square foot. They are required to maintain their plots throughout the year and to follow organic gardening practices. Currently there is a waiting list. Morgan Hill Certified Farmer’s Market Year Round Caltrain Station 3rd & Depot Streets Saturdays, 9 am to 1 pm cafarmersmkts.com Every Saturday of the year, farmers and other vendors from South County and beyond offer a bounty of delicious and nutritious foods. Shoppers can choose fresh-picked fruit, organic vegetables, poultry, eggs, milk, local honey, orchids and fresh-cut fl owers, heirloom tomato plants, baked goods, lavender sachets and oils, hand-crafted art and accessories, and more. Vendors are always happy to talk about their planting, growing and harvesting practices, and many offer organ- ically-grown items. On market day, there’s a designated kid’s craft area with projects to engage kids while their parents shop. gmhtoday.com