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Manresa fire: Love Apple Farms repercussions such as produce available to public

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There was a serious fire at the Michelin-star-winning Los Gatos restaurant Manresa on Monday, and it will be closed for a few months. The restaurant’s closure strongly affects Love Apple Farms, as Cynthia Sandberg and her biodynamic farm have served as Manresa’s exclusive kitchen garden for the last few years. Sandberg wishes Manresa a speedy recovery. “We look forward to working with them through this difficult period and beyond,” she commented.

With the restaurant and and chef/owner David Kinch unable to use Love Apple’s extraordinary produce for the time being, Sandberg is offering the local community a couple rare opportunities.

For years, fans of Love Apple have been asking Sandberg to offer a CSA (also known as Community Supported Agriculture, or in layman’s terms, a weekly farm-fresh produce box). Now, due to unexpected circumstances, some actually have that chance. If you’re reading this and you haven’t ordered one yet, it’s too late—the original four-week CSA offer was posted on Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday and sold out within hours. Two more sets of dates were added, and sold out just as fast. But you can still partake of Love Apple produce another way during Manresa’s closure: the farm has opened an on-site produce stand. Although Love Apple became famous for its dozens of varieties of heirloom tomatoes, the farm actually grows many vegetables and fruits, plus herbs and edible flowers.

The stand is now open Wednesdays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays & Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be rotating items like flower bouquets, herb and veggie starts, tomatoes when they come ripe, sorrel, chard, mustards, beans, eggplant, melons, radishes, carrots, turnips, squash, basil, micro-greens, peppers, tomatillos, and cape gooseberries. Plus farm-made jams and pickles, and gardening items like soils, fertilizers, and supplies.

Another way you can support the farm—and simultaneously learn and have fun—is to participate in this Sunday’s HOW-Days Garden Skills event, which costs $89. On July 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the farm will have 3 classrooms going, with rotating classes all day long. Sandberg encourages people to pre-register, but individuals can also show up and register on Sunday morning.

Participants can choose to attend up to seven workshops. Each is 45 minutes long, to give folks the chance to try out “mini-classes” and see if they want to take a longer version of certain ones in the future (they’re all part of the farm’s standard curriculum).

HOW stands for Homestead Options Workshop; visit this url for more information: http://www.growbetterveggies.com/growbetterveggies/2014/04/howw2012.html.

Classes include:
• Intro to Organic Gardening
• Tomato Masters
• Drip Irrigation
• Container Vegetable Gardening
• Propagating Perennials
• Compost
• Growing Berries
• Fruit Trees
• Gopher Trapping
• Bee Keeping
• Chicken Keeping
• Urban Rabbit Keeping
• Vegetable Garden Design
• Winter Vegetable Gardening
• Micro-Greens

August 24 is the second of this year’s HOW-Days. The August workshop also costs $89 and centers on kitchen skills.

Topics include:
• Canning
• Pickling
• Cheese Making
• Bread Making
• Pasta Making
• Home Brewing
• Sprouting
• Ice Cream Making
• Jam Making
• Sauerkraut
• Gluten-Free Cooking
• Kimchi
• Kombucha

Click here for all upcoming classes that Love Apple offers.

If you’re on Twitter, follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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