Saturday, November 25, 2006

Area’s Food Riches

A reminder of how wonderful our region is agriculturally.

Editorial: Think global, eat local
Yolo man wants to show off our foodstuff
- Published 12:00 am PST Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sacramento is one of the few places in the United States where you could supply an entire restaurant with food grown in a 60-mile radius. Apples? Citrus? Olives for olive oil? Wheat? Barley? Rice? Salad greens? Nuts? Cheeses? Grapes for wine? All kinds of meats? Ducks? Sturgeon? Asparagus and other veggies?

It can all be grown here, including tomatoes. We grow some of the best in the world.

Customers at local farmers markets, as well as owners of certain restaurants and groceries, have long recognized the Sacramento Valley's incredible bounty. Up until now, there hasn't been much of a regional effort to showcase this area's amazing variety of agricultural products and put us on the same map as Napa, Sonoma and other food-famous regions.

Out in Yolo County, Rich Collins is working on one piece of this effort. Having successfully developed a global market for Belgian endive, Collins wants to build a $5 million showcase of Yolo agriculture. As The Bee's Jim Downing noted in a recent article, Collins envisions this showcase, Bridgeway Farms, to be a "new-age Nut Tree" just off Interstate 80, southwest of Davis. Here visitors could stroll through orchards, sample local products, learn the curds and wheys of making goat cheese and gain a closer connection to food that, all too often, is mysteriously grown and packaged somewhere else.