December 19, 2014

How to Make Dried Orange Ornaments

decorating the tree

Ainsley helps to decorate the family Christmas tree

Each year we try to make something natural and eco-friendly to add to our tree decorations. This year we landed on citrus ornaments, which make such a cheerful and fragrant addition. Although we chose oranges this year, lemons and grapefruit would also work well. 

Dried Orange Slices

This is a very simple craft to do with your little ones and will make a colorful impact on your Christmas tree.

Making Dried Orange Ornaments

Imogen Prepares to Thread the Orange Slices

Makes 20 Ornaments


5 oranges
1 sharp knife

needle & thread
baking Sheet


Preheat oven to 200 degrees.Using a sharp knife, slice oranges thinly, you should be able to get 5 nice slices per-orange. Lightly dab off any extra juice with a towel.

Arrange orange slices on a baking sheet and put into oven for two hours.
Reduce oven heat to 140 (that is as low as mine goes) and remove the orange slices from the baking sheet and place directly on rack. 

Turn slices once after about an hour to keep them from curling or sticking. Turn off oven and leave overnight. 

The following morning, remove slices from oven. Use a needle to thread a string through the orange slice. Tie in a knot to make a loop.

And that’s it! With minimal effort, you have 20 all-natural rustic ornaments to adorn your tree with. And since you made them by hand, you get bragging rights when guests visit for the holidays and comment on your lovely and unique tree ornaments.

To find this craft and other seasonal recipes, visit our website.

We want to wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!

Orange Slices Ornaments

December 11, 2014

Yolo Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Yolo Press Olive Oil

Yolo Press Organic Extra Olive Oil

We have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Yolo Press extra-virgin olive oil and it's finally here! We have a very limited supply of this local treasure to offer to our Northern California Farm Fresh To You customers. This would make a great gift for the holidays but we understand if you would prefer to keep it all to yourself.

Mike and Dianne

Diane and Mike Madison

Yolo Press is a small, family-run farm in Yolo county that was started by Diane and Mike Madison. The farm originally specialized in growing flowers, however, Mike was seeking another crop that worked well with the flower-growing operation, and they settled on planting an olive orchard.

Harvesting Olives

Colin and Susan (apprentices of Diane and Mike)

Turns out, olives were a great idea and Mike eventually bought his own olive-oil press to turn out some of the best organic olive oil around. The oil that we are offering our Farm Fresh To You customers is a blend of Tuscan varieties, primarily Frantoio and then combined with Leccino and Pendolino. It has a good balance of fruitiness and pepper on the back of the throat, indicating that it's chock full of those good polyphenols.
The produce building at Yolo Press

The produce building (built by Mike) houses the olive oil press and Dianne's jam kitchen.

Enjoy this extra-virgin olive oil with bread, drizzled over pasta or use it to cook your favorite meal. With the shortage of Italian oils this year, get the good stuff from close to home.

How To Add Yolo Press Olive Oil to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 am, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

December 8, 2014


Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
The first storm took three days to delivery three quarters of an inch.

In one week, the lingering Capay fall was flooded by winter. The pitter-patter of rain drops on the roofs was a welcome sensation. The monitoring of the rain gauge in the equipment yard was an exciting event. The first little storm took three days to deliver three quarters of an inch – enough to only wet everything. There was one sunny day, then the next system moved in from the west, first stacking up over the coastal foothills and then flooding the farm with showers.

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
In two days we received two and one quarter inches of rain!

This storm was much more exciting. In two days we received two and one quarter inches of rain. By this time, the ground was saturated. All of this water hit the trees and plants followed them down to the soil and then began the slow and methodical journey down, down, down, ending in the creek. The furrows in the fields were filled with water.

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
The sediment trap near the event site. Finally enough water to cause runoff!

The sediment traps filled with water. Every low spot on the farm turned into a small pond. Below all of those points was a steady stream of rain water brown with sediment that was working its way towards the creek. This is the kind of event that adds water to our reservoirs. This is the moisture that will be used to water our crops next summer.

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
Every low spot on the farm turned into a small pond.

The entire farm is enjoying the forced changes that rain brings. The office bustled with the chatter of people at work, who can’t work because of the rain.

The cover crops that had been sitting in the dry dirt waiting have sprung to life. They have popped up in the neat lines in which they were planted. Soon they will make the whole field green, and the soil will no longer be visible. The leaves of the fruit trees have been washed from their branches and lay on the ground ready to be incorporated into the soil again – their trees stand tall and bare.

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
Our tractor, rigged with our ripper and ring roller, grounded while we wait for the soil to soak up the rain. 

This last storm was a step in the right direction, but we will need many more this winter to adequately quench the thirst created over the last two years. Let’s us hope this is only the beginning of a wet few months.

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
Follow us on Instagram (farmfreshtoyou) and (farmerthaddeus)!

You can follow us on Instagram (farmfreshtoyou) and (farmerthaddeus). We post pictures and captions of what is going on with our farm each week.