Thursday, September 17, 2015

VeganMoFo Day 17: Celebrating Local Agriculture

Today's MoFo Prompt: "Make (or eat!) a traditional local dish"

Hm. This prompt is a bit of a challenge for someone from Santa Cruz. I grew up here, and I still can't think of anything that qualifies as a "traditional local dish." Burritos? Well, no, not really. Salt water taffy? Again, not really. I entertained making some acorn mush to honor the Miwok Tribe that lived in this area before the arrival of the Spanish missionaries... but I had acorn mush once and it really wasn't very tasty.

So, I turned my sights to our local agriculture. Agriculture is a major part of the economy here, and we have many large-scale farms as well as many small-scale farms. According to the internet, there are 682 farms in Santa Cruz County! We are lucky enough to have several year-round farmers markets with an abundance of organic produce all year. I enjoy this so much and go to the market twice a week with complete regularity twice a week, all year long. 

When I was growing up, apples were the biggest crop in town, but these days, the highest value crop grown here is definitely strawberries, which brought in over $200 million last year. That's a lot of strawberries!!! One of my friends moved to Bogota, Colombia and went to buy strawberries at the store, and they were from Santa Cruz County. Ha ha. 

California Grown

Of course I love strawberries, because I am a human being with tastebuds, and I eat a lot of them. A lot of times I'll just buy myself a basket of strawberries to eat in the car on my way home from the farmers market. We are so lucky here to have an extremely long strawberry season -- almost all year -- from about March to November or so.

beautiful perfection

a bowl of strawberries and almond milk

When I was a little girl, I remember that my parents used to sometimes make us a special treat, which was a bowl of strawberries and milk. It's so simple, but it was always presented as a special thing, and so I loved it. A few years back, I tried a bowl of strawberries with soy milk, and it was pretty good -- but this time around I prepared a bowl of strawberries with almond milk and that is a truly delicious treat. Somehow this combination of two simple ingredients ends up equaling more than the sum of its parts. Such a sweet way to be transported back to a childhood treat!

strawberries and milk in a bowl.


  1. Strawberries and milk! Like strawberry cereal! Why must strawberry season be over?

  2. Oh, I've not tried strawberries and milk. That sounds like a delightful sweet treat. And I truly envy the growing season in Santa Cruz. I would love year 'round farmers markets!

  3. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Strawberries and coconut milk -that's a creamy delight too! I had a hard time with this one also, west coast problem I guess. Though my interest in this acorn mash is piqued!

  4. Oh, I dream of living somewhere with so much produce available year-round! One of the houses we're considering has an apple tree in the backyard, which might be the closest I can get in Maryland. :)

  5. I love strawberries, they are my favourite fruit. Sadly it can be hard to get decent ones around here, they are often already turning mushy or even moldy by the time you get them home. Yuck.
    Winter and early seems to be the better strawberry season over here, but I have hardly had any this year. I like the idea of having them with milk.

  6. I'm determined to go strawberry picking this year, which I think is in a couple of months. Every year I forget or we're busy and then everything is gone. Strawberries and almond milk sounds fab!

  7. I just had strawberries with the last piece of my angel food cake.

    I'm sure it's good with milk... it's like strawberries with unwhipped cream (something I had when I was a kid).


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