Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tour de Farm: Valdivia

Yesterday I got a phone call from the local hospital at 5am.  Blink blink…can it be…is it the nurse or…?  Answering the phone, it was my Dad, clear as a bell and full of vigor calling to ask where I was and to inform me he was ready for me to come get him…right now….A few hours later we got him released, with flying colors.  He’s home and doing great, and already much improved.  Thanks to so many for your kind messages and emails….I stopped into the chapel in the morning for a word of thanks.  So grateful….and so our journey continues as we go through physical therapy every day and other post-op visits.

Meanwhile, today I finally sent off the party invites, via Cocodot.  If you don’t use it already for little invites, give it a try.  I sent the invite to a number of other friends whom I know are out of town, and to a few blogger friends around the globe….just to let them know that I am thinking of them and despite the distance, they will be with me in sprit at the dinner.  All of those who love food and wine and a great party….

Our menu will feature tomatoes in several dishes.  For the last few years I have grown my own, but mostly I count on Valdivia Farms in Carlsbad.  They are at many markets in SoCal, and are also a premier supplier for wholesale and restaurants in Southern California and as far away as New Jersey.  A month or two ago, the tomatoes were still flowering with some fruit set~


This was a special farm tour; I don’t think the Valdivia Family grants many.  Wow; we were not disappointed.


Javier gave us the tour, of only a part of the 100 acres of tomatoes which they grow.


Acres and acres and acres of tomatoes, all perfectly supported and in prime condition.  After several decades of growing tomatoes, this family knows how to do it~


In addition to the farmers markets, they supply the best restaurants in Southern California with all kinds of greenhouse and vine ripened tomatoes.


Also baby squash, blueberries, zucchini blossoms~


My Mom swears by their yellow wax beans; here they are on the vine~


they also grow amazing “personal” watermelons, each one enough for one person~


The vine ripened tomatoes, about 23 varieties, were starting to set, but not yet red.  The vistas at this farm were amazing, acres upon acres, with a cool breeze and a view to the Pacific Ocean~


This is the photo I used for the farm to table invitation.  Love it~


Never ending photo ops; here is Raquel coming down the path after we descended the hill~


Tomorrow I will deliver a huge Ball jar of passion fruit infused vodka to Chris, who is a member of the Valdivia family and has given me a huge discount on my tomatoes.  Each week I bring beefsteak tomatoes to my Dad, who eats them like an apple with a shaker of salt in hand.  Love these tomatoes…..


In a week the prime beefsteaks and heirlooms should be in; these will be excellent for a dinner party!


  1. One of my favorite scents of summer is that of a fresh tomato vine, I love propping up my vines just to smell those oils on my hands, truly the scent of summer. A tomato one would eat like an apple with a shaker of salt must be so delicious. I envy the wonderful, local fruits you enjoy, my southern neighbor. We do get some good tomatoes up here...but not like yours. I have a serious basket addiction and am looking forward to learning more about yours!

  2. So good to hear all went well with your dad!
    It also sounds like he is in good spirits. I wish him well with his PT!

    Amazing photos of the Valdivia farms!

    My daughter and I are taking a four hour classic French cooking class on the 24th.
    Can't wait.

  3. Enjoyed this outing with you tremendeously! You are blessed to be surrounded by so much beauty.
    Loved the invite , rubbed Genie pot and made wishes.....
    Best greetings to your Dad's recovery, and looking forward to all you will share with about your upcoming dinner...
    Love to you,
    Colette xx

  4. I love their scarecrows!

    Had 12 blogging friends to lunch yesterday. Had a lovely caprese salad. Tomato perfection.

  5. Hi Andrea, those tomato's are amazing....not a bug or shriveled leaf anywhere!

    Loved the tour

    best, Kelley

  6. Andrea, it really lifts my spirits to see this wonderful farm. The vines so lovingly cared for by the Valdivia Family.

    Your Father is so amazing I see where you get your energy and loving spirit!

    You know how much I would love to fly out for the event, it would be a huge gift to myself for this "big" birthday! Alas not at this time...

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artists Series

  7. I am so pleased that your Dad is so much better. Our prayers have been answered! I hope this means you can relax a bit...sent your a long email last it when you have a chance. Looks like our stays in Beaune will not cross this year (once again)... Be well & happy...I am keeping up with your happenings via your blog...Skype me when you have a chance! a bientot, Patty

  8. Very, very good news about your father. So glad that all is well and on the mend there. And the crops do indeed look beautiful. I have always loved that California is such an agricultural state. WE do provide still, almost 75% of the nation's agricultural needs.