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Pomegranates are thought to be the original forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden. They are thought to have originated in Iran, which today, is the second highest producer of the fruit. Pomegranates do well in a hot, dry climate so they thrive in California and Arizona. Last year we planted about 60 Pomegranates: Wonderful and Utah Sweet. The Wonderful pomegranates are the traditional fruit you might find in your local grocery store. They have bright red skin, and deep ruby fruit that is sweet and tart. Utah Sweet has a lighter pink skin, and inside, the fruit is whitish pink with a sweet flavor. Top: Wonderful. Bottom: Utah Sweet. Of course, most are familiar with pomegranate juice, or simply…

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Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure book series?  I always skipped around to find the choice that DIDN'T get me killed.  I really missed the point on that one.  But, with our new vacation rentals, so many people ask me, "what is a good restaurant?", or "what is your favorite winery?".  And it really depends on what kind of group you have, or what kind of mood you are in.  Are you a young family, traveling with kids?, are you on a bachelor/ette weekend with your best buds?  Are you a more sophisticated wine connoisseur?  So I put together this little "Choose Your Own WINE Adventure" to help you in the process.  Enjoy...   So you and some friends are…

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I love summer, but I'm pretty over these 100 degree days.  The kids are back in school, and today my morning was overcast and begging for a cozy coffee.  And what goes better with coffee than coffee cake?  But it's just me, so I scour Pinterest and find a coffee cake-in-a-mug recipe.  Bingo.  Thank you, CookingWithCurls.com.  Since we DO have the most amazing jam here, I had to add a bit to the mix.  So I may have tweeked the recipe a bit, and here it is... - COFFEE CAKE IN A MUG - Serves 1 - Only takes a couple minutes   Ingredients for Cake 2 TBLS Salted Butter 1/4 C Bisquick Mix 2 TBLS Sugar 1/4 tsp Ground…

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Welcome 2017! Here is what's happening this year... January 14-15 POKER RUN on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail! Pick up your game board here at the farm for $15.  You will get FREE wine tastings (up to 5 wines) at each participating winery.  Collect a card at each business, choose your best five, and you can WIN a $100, $50, or $25 Visa Gift Card.  We will be serving mini donuts with jam.  Bring a picnic and enjoy your wine! February 11-12 VINO VALENTINE - Join us and the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail for food and wine/jam pairings along the trail.  We will be serving our Raspberry Shortbread Cookies made with our jam.  Neighboring wineries will have all kinds of…

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A little over a year has gone by since we finished The Cottage (That's what we are calling the little house now).  So much has changed.  We always knew we wanted to live at the farm, but never really knew when that would happen.  I'm a big believer of "everything happens for a reason".  I'm also a big believer in working toward a goal; when I put my mind to something, it gets done.  I got myself through six months of Police Academy that way; but that's a whole other story!  So, in working, little by little, on the goal of getting to the farm, I was busy getting turned down for construction loans.  Even Farm Credit!  The big banks…

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The dust has settled.  The contractors have moved out.  The permit is finalized.  Our little home is so sweet.  I am in love.  We still need to finish up some outside pavers and landscaping, but I am pretty happy with the way it all turned out.  Bob from Reberry Construction was so great to work with.  He has been so reasonable and honest.  I plan on hiring him for everything else in the future.  Here are some pictures of the finished product.  Maybe you can stop in a take a look for yourself!  Click on the pictures to make them bigger... Some Panoramas of the Inside: The Bathroom.  The door was reclaimed from a 1903 Oxnard House.  The medicine cabinet…

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almost there!  Power: check. Water: check. Paint, floors, trim: check, check, and check. Even the furniture is just waiting to get in. With our first wedding of the season in two days, our cottage/dressing room is so close to being done. The last detail is countertops. Apparently this takes time to template, and fabricate.  About 6 weeks too long. So, our Bride is going to have to make due with sub-tops. Hey... It's rustic!   So I will continue stitching my curtains, mopping up drywall dust, and tending to screaming kids. It's crunch time...               

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Everytime we get to the farm, our little house is getting more complete!  We have ordered furniture and appliances, and have everything just waiting to go in! Dan's brother, Clark, came out from Utah to stain the concrete floors, and we could. not. be. happier!!  They came out AMAZING. I don't think he will be moving to California any time soon, but if you need floors stained in Utah, you can find The Concrete Guise at www.ConcreteGuise.com.                     

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And the story continues for our little cottage on the farm...  We have framing complete and now, it actually LOOKS like a house.  The first time we rounded the corner with the farm in view and saw a house there, we were in awe.  Finally!  After 10 years of saving and planning, our little vision is taking shape. Reberry Construction has been fantastic through every aspect of building.  Bob has experience and integrity.  He has helped us through each step offering recommendations on other contractors, and being my eyes on the job.  I can trust his judgment and he has given us some really great advice and ideas.  He really has gone above and beyond what I had expected.  Reberry…

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Last year, we finally obtained our long-awaited building permit.  Exciting, I know.  It's a feat not for the faint at heart.  BUT, I went to college, I'm Academy trained, business owner, mother of two... I can handle anything... right?! First, the fun part: we hired an Architect: Vantage Design (vantaged@earthlink.net).  Phillip Vogt took my design and made it into a workable, permit-able structure.  He was wonderful to work with, and we highly recommend him.  We had to get a fire sprinkler plan done (Bixler Fire, Brock Bixler, bixlerfire@att.net), a Structural Engineer (who was extremely affordable, and great at his job, but very busy and not in a hurry), a Landscape Architect (Mary-Kate Boyd, marykate8@yahoo.com; I'm partial, because she is my…

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