Local Products Round Out the Tasting Room
guest post by Brian Sullivan
Tasting Room Manager, Caduceus Cellars
I was introduced to Dave Harris and Pam Baker’s Windswept Acres project this past fall. We each had booths (I was there pouring Caduceus wines) at the Farmer+ Chef Connection event here in Yavapai County. This yearly event has introduced me to many of the small vendors whose local products round out our Tasting Room so nicely.
Windswept Acres is a small, veteran-owned family farm over in Chino Valley (about 20 miles as the crow flies). Pam and Dave produce unique pickled products such as quail eggs, mushrooms, okra, asparagus spears, and candied jalapeños and sweet peppers.
When they first started their pickling venture they were using produce from their own garden, but demand quickly outgrew that small space. Now they cast their net wider, pulling in produce from other small Arizona family farm businesses. In as much as all of us farmers (grapes included) are affected by the weather, all of their products are seasonal and available only while they last or until the next batch of produce ripens.
They sell primarily in local Farmers Markets and have the long-term goal of building a commercial kitchen where they can decrease food waste by preserving the produce from other small farm operations that may not have an outlet for some of their product, thereby creating jobs as well.
While everything they make is packed by hand in old fashioned mason jars - just the way our grandmothers did it - Windswept Farms is registered as a regulated grower through the Arizona Department of Agriculture. All of their products are shelf stable, tested, and approved by the University of Arizona food lab.
Often we’ll showcase some of their beautiful pickled produce on one or another of our small plate menu items here at the Tasting Room.
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Editor's Note: Local First Arizona is proud to host the Farmer + Chef Connection and connect local producers with buyers. To be the first to hear about the 2018 event, sign up for our monthly industry-specific newsletter, Good Food News, here.