Clif Notes

Holiday Open House

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Sunday, November 20, 2011

Food Alliance Certification

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Sunday, November 6, 2011

In September, Clif Family Farm became Food Alliance Certified. We are very excited about this certification as it brings us another step along the way to fulfilling our sustainability mission - to craft unique, regional wine and foods using practices that care for the earth; to support growers who use sustainable, organic farming methods; and to contribute to a more vibrant, healthy food community.

Food Alliance is a comprehensive third-party certification that focuses on the following critical elements of sustainability in the agriculture and food industry:

· Providing safe and fair working conditions
· Provide healthy, humane care for livestock
· Reduce pesticide use and toxicity
· Conserve soil and water resources
· Protect and enhance wildlife habitat
· Continually improve management practices

Food Alliance certifies more than 320 operations and six million acres throughout Northern California. At Clif Family Farm, the certification includes our vegetable gardens and fruit orchard, allowing us to offer the local community the first CCOF organic certified and Food Alliance certified CSA box in Northern California.

For more information about Food Alliance, visit their web site at

Seed Saving 101 at Clif Family Winery

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Friday, September 30, 2011

Clif Family Foundation supports an organization called “Seed Matters”, which advocates for the protection and improvement of organic seed to ensure healthy, nutritious, and productive crops to feed people now and in the future. This led us to hold a Seed Saving Workshop as our CSA program comes to an end for the season.
We spent a wonderful Tuesday evening at Velo Vino soaking up all of Colby Eierman’s knowledge of seed saving, storage, and cultivation, as well as benefitting the Napa Local Food Advisory Council. Colby is truly a fount? of information when it comes to horticulture.
Of course, whenever we do any event here in Napa Valley food and wine are vital! We had a tasty selection of nibbles made from vegetables from Clif Family Farm. The evening would not be complete without a selection of delicious Napa Valley Reserve Wines! Most of the group started with the Rte. Blanc Sauvignon Blanc and then moved on to either kit’s killer cab or our Climber Limited Release Bordeaux Blend. A good time was had by all, and we learned so much at the same time!
For valuable information, please visit the following sites:
Fun Recipes
Chop several tomatoes - preferably an assortment of color. Finely chop two cloves of garlic & add to the tomatoes. Snip several basil leaves & add. Sprinkle with sea salt, (I like the course kind)
Gently mix all ingredients with a generous pour of olive oil and a smaller portion of balsamic vinegar (about one part olive oil, to a one half vinegar) It is really to each person's taste, so adjust accordingly
Slice a baguette. Toast in the oven to crisp. Once the bread cools, spread a thin layer of goat cheese, the creamier style the better. Top with tomato mixture & garnish with some additional basil slivers
Let the bruschetta sit for a few minutes before serving so the bread underneath gets a chance to soften a bit and the flavors meld together.
Potato Foccacia/Flatbread
Pizza dough- Trader Joe’s has great refrigerated dough for those who do not have the time or patience to make their own..a practical solution!
1-2 lbs of small potatoes thinly sliced(you can layer them as much as you like), fingerlings, baby red potato
Good handful of fresh rosemary chopped
3-4 cloves Garlic Chopped
Clif Family Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fleur de sel and pepper.
Spread pizza dough out on floured baking sheet. Spread out sliced potatoes on pizza dough, layering if you want more potatoes. Sprinkle with chopped garlic and rosemary. Drizzle with EVOO. Salt and pepper.
Bake at 400 degrees until golden and bottom is crispy.

Native Plant Restoration Project

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Thursday, September 29, 2011

This past spring we embarked on a native plant restoration project at Clif Family Farm. As we planned the development of the new gardens at the farm, we looked at ways that we could support the larger ecological system and implement activities that made good farming sense. By removing non-natives and replanting with endemic selections, we are able to create a habitat for populations of beneficial insects that actually help keep our agricultural crops healthy. Our honey bees will also have more pollen and nectar to forage as these new plantings take root.

We decided that we did not want to leave the propagation of these native plants to someone else. We actually collected seeds and cuttings from native species growing on the farm and propagated these so that we could get the most appropriate subspecies for our restoration efforts.

Our propagation efforts began in the spring and we now have healthy, vibrant plants that we are planting in areas around our gardens and fruit orchard. Some of the plants that we propagated include California Rose, California Honeysuckle, Spice Bush, Red Fescue, Yarrow, Mock Orange, Monkey Flower, Creeping Sage and Coyote Mint.

Harvest Party 2011 Recap

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Friday, September 23, 2011

Our “little farmers” spent the day experiencing a multitude of fun activities including farm-related arts and crafts, and a beanbag toss with a giant tomato and a very pinkalicious pig. Even a small flock of resident hens joined the party showing off their fancy feathers.

Guests of all ages were able to tour the farm in special bio-diesel vehicles, test their knowledge about olives and their oil, taste wonderful local cheeses, pair foods with wine to create the perfect pairing, sample ratatouille made with fresh vegetables from the farm’s certified organic garden, sip and savor the newest offerings from the cellar of The Clif Family Winery, and feast on amazing brick oven pizzas from Pizza Politana, plus farm-fresh salads and tasty desserts from local chef Emily Buller. Ice Cream aficionado Bernard Coll offered up some of his famous homemade ice creams that were a hit with party guests young and old. Yum!

Miracle Mule, a Marin based country, swing, Cajun, Americana band kept the ruins hopping as the sun went down. Even Gary couldn’t resist the urge to join in the fun, thrilling the crowd with his musical talents as he joined in with his trumpet to rock the last song. Wow. It doesn’t get any better than that!!

Bounty of the Harvest from Clif Farm

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hi folks!

Padrone Peppers-great grilled and tossed with olive oil

I was up at the Farm for harvest and it amazes me how productive a small plot of land can be! I will be making some salsa tonight with those wonderful tomatoes, onions and peppers and I have enjoyed more than my share of plum and nectarine crisps in the last few weeks!

This week we should have more of the same…with some beets and red potatoes added to the mix. We are hoping to be moving into peaches this week as well.

I am in the process of planning our Seed Saving Workshop, to be held at Velo Vino on the afternoon(4-5:30pm) of Tuesday, September 27th. Garden Designer and Consultant, Colby Eierman, will instruct us on how to go about saving seeds to grow in our own gardens or to share with friends and family. The Clif Bar Family Foundation supports an organization called Seed Matters which works to improve and protect organic seed in order to cultivate a sustainable food future. This event is open to the public. Still refining the details, wanted to give a heads up to make sure you mark it on your calenders.

I am including some great recipes that include fresh summer vegetables. Be sure to enjoy before the chilly fall and winter months approach us.

Bon Appetit!

Aren't these eggplants so cute?!


Is this what happens when you go organic?

Red Potato and Tomato SaladRecipe courtesy Giada De LaurentiisPrep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hr 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 4 servings
• 1 pound baby red potatoes, halved
• 1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
• 3 scallions, thinly sliced
• 1/3 cup pitted black olives, halved
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large lemon, zested
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
DirectionsAdd the potatoes to a medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Set the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to dry for 5 minutes.

In a serving bowl, add the potatoes, tomatoes, scallions, olives, parsley, capers, thyme, olive oil, and lemon zest. Toss gently until all the ingredients are coated and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour and gently toss again before serving.

Beet Salad with Walnuts and Goat CheeseFrom Food Network Kitchens
Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 28 min
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients• 2 bunches medium beets, (about 1 1/2 pounds) tops trimmed
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup walnuts
• 1 bunch arugula, trimmed and torn
• 1/2 medium head escarole, torn
• 4 ounces goat cheese, (preferably aged goat cheese) crumbled
DirectionsPut the beets in a saucepan with water to cover and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them–the skins should slide right off with a bit of pressure from your fingers. If they don’t, use a paring knife to scrape off any bits that stick. Cut each beet into bite-sized wedges.

Whisk the vinegar with salt and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream to make a dressing. Toss the cut beets in the dressing; set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and oven-toast, stirring once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Cool.

Toss the arugula and escarole with the beets and divide among 4 plates. Scatter the walnuts and goat cheese on top. Serve.

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