Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Greening - Locavore Sightings for October

Dear Folks,

Can you fall in love with a winery? Well if it is Kief-Joshua Vineyards in Elgin/Sonita area (520.455.5582) - it is perfectly possible. First, it is not enough to have the gorgeous ambiance of the hills of Elgin/Sonita and a building borrowed from Tuscany or Provence, or that the grapes are raised in a holistic manner and tended by hand, or that heritage sheep are used for weed control, nor that natural controls via hawks and owls are used -- the wine has to be outstanding — and it is.

In any wine tasting I've been to - and no, I do not get to many - but I am a huge fan of good wine - there are at least one or two wines which do not ‘grab me.' Not so with the current offerings at Kief-Joshua Vineyards -- each was great in its own way.

Chenin Blanc (good with spicy food, grilled fish or light dessert).
Vognier "vee-on-yea" (fresh fruit, pork, chicken, light salad or Thanksgiving Turkey).
Cabernet Franc (fish, chicken, beef or pork or Thanksgiving Turkey).
Syrah (beef, game, grilled meat or barbecue).
Nebbiolo (red meats, tomato based sauces or heavier chicken dishes)
Cabernet Sauvignon (red meats, tomato based sauces or sharp cheeses)

The Thanksgiving Turkey note above for the Vognier and Cabernet Franc are my own - either of these, a white or a light red, would perfectly compliment the turkey whether roasted, grilled or deep fried. If you are serving tamales - try the Vognier.

I was on a tour with some folks, and had no prior knowledge of Kief-Joshua except that they practiced holistic viticulture (the science and tradition of growing grapes for wine) and used a heritage sheep known as Baby Doll (not to be confused with the dahl sheep variety) as some of the weed control in the vineyard. Well as a current "natural" gardener/farmer and a former owner of miniature goats, I was looking forward to seeing and experiencing the winery/vineyard. (FYI if you are not familiar with the distinction - a winery is where the wines are produced from the grapes and bottled and a vineyard is where they are grown — both are not necessarily at the same location. In the case of Kief-Joshua Vineyard they are both.)

So when we arrived at the beautiful building and vineyard, and the very nice young man who looked to be about 19 and half to these older eyes, proceeded to politely and knowledgeable disburse the samples of the wine, I was surprised and impressed to learn we were speaking to Kief-Joshua. He then gave us the highlights of the wine making area.

I highly recommend a trip to the Kief-Joshua Vineyard, but if you can't make it down just yet, their wines are available at retail locations around the state click here for their website/retail page.

They also have a Sunday Omelet Brunch, and are going to be exhibiting at the Tempe Art and Wine Festival December 4-6, 2009. Open seven days a week from 11 am to 5 p.m. (520.455.5582) Website
. . .

FRESH the movie October 8th at Madcap Theaters in Tempe - $7 presented by Edible Phoenix Magazine -- Celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system.

. . .

Boyce Thompson Arboretum events:

October 9th -- Opening day of the Annual Fall Plant Sale, you find me giving a lecture and Thrillin Grillin food demo from 11 am to about 1:30 p.m. This is a members only sale (for the discounts) — and by the way membership is reasonable and the park is dog-friendly — the lecture and food demo are open to all visitors with admission to the park. The plant sale is open to the public from October 10th through the 25th.

Also at the BTA on October 16th Cedar Flute Musician Joseph Leal provides entertainment for an outdoor evening of enjoyment (4 p.m. to 6 p.m. - bring a picnic or grab some friends and make your own pot-luck).

If you enjoy music at the BTA make sure you check the same link for the upcoming Folk Festival November 14th, which has always been a real treat to listen to a variety of entertainers in different areas of the arboretum.

. . .

Desert Botanical Garden events:

Fall Plant Sale - October 16-18th - To shop the plant sale you do not need to pay to get into the Garden (Friday Oct 16 is members only, though), but you may want to shop then go into the garden for the annual Monarch Butterfly exhibit (an extra fee to the admission price to see the butterflies - well worth it).

. . .

Schnepf Farms annual October Chili - Pumpkin festival 480-987-3100.

. . .

Coming up in November - something to check out and mark your calendars.

Short subject presentations in a new type of forum TEDxPhoenix November 6th at the Mesa Arts Center, $5 tickets. (TED stands for Technolgy, Entertainment, Design) this program is a series of short (18 minutes) presentations by a variety of speakers. Similar to ignite-phoenix , this event includes Greg Peterson, green lifestyle expert from the Urban Farm. with others offering mini lectures on a variety of interesting and/or timely subjects -- it is a way to engage you, the audience, in sharing of ideas and networking. Greg is a regular contributor to Edible Phoenix Magazine.

The magazine is available with a subscription or at one of the sponsoring farmers markets check out where you can find Arizona farmers markets.

For farmers markets in other areas click here and to find an "Edible" magazine for your community click here .

Support your local businesses!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady