Sunday, August 1, 2010

Serving Up Fresh Farm Food for the Campers at Hidden Villa

How would you describe your ideal working environment? Would it be in an office or out on the street, in a big city or somewhere more remote? Would you work alone or as part of a group? I have often thought about this and have tried to imagine exactly the kind of place I want to spend my working life at. Where I am right now is pretty close.

I am currently managing the kitchen at Hidden Villa. Those of you who are from the Bay Area, or have raised children here probably know about this place. "Hidden Villa is a nonprofit educational organization that uses its organic farm, wilderness, and community to teach and provide opportunities to learn about the environment and social justice. Hidden Villa stretches over 1600 acres of open space in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Our mission is to inspire a just and sustainable future through our programs, land and legacy"

They have an extensive summer camp program with many of the kids staying overnight for 2 weeks, some in Tipi's, other kids hike from the bay to the ocean while the younger ones just come for the day. Some days I am there at 6:00am starting up the grill to make hundreds of pancakes while other days I help the dinner shift and where we make spaghetti for almost 200 people. It has been an extremely satisfying summer.

Part of the benefits of working on a farm is that I get to go out and pick fresh vegetables from the garden, like the green beans above. I picked those in the afternoon and then served them that night for dinner.

The property is full of trails, some of which wind all the way to the top of the mountain where I enjoyed this amazing view below.

Sadly, the summer season is coming to a close soon and I will no longer enjoy the drive into the mountains each morning. I look forward to sharing more about the food we have been making for the campers and staff.

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