Martha’s Vineyard: June 30, 2008 Welcome to Martha's Vineyard, the Myopolis blog of Loomis News editor Martha Garcia. This blog has been on a hiatus, but is back now with weekly postings focusing on the Loomis Basin's heritage, including the history of the area and its agricultural roots, and those who have lived here through the decades, as well as our current neighbors. The list of wineries participating in "Reds, Whites, Jazz and Blues," the eighth annual food and wine tasting event benefiting the Marello Youth Retreat Center, located on Wells Avenue in Loomis, grew to 11 this year. Secret Ravine Winery returned as the sole Loomis winery pouring their favorites and new releases. Then Secret Ravine owners Ron and Vickie Morris stayed on late into the evening, enjoying the classic rock sounds of the 10-piece band "On Air." Guests danced under the stars (a few were visible through the cloud of smoke) in the patio area of the beautiful Mission-style Mt. St. Joseph grounds. Among the food fare served was Smokin’ Joe’s Tri-tip, barbecued to perfection by Mt. St. Joseph staff. Decadent desserts — with names like Blackout, Triple Chocolate, and Passion Fruit — were served by Divine Desserts of Loomis. Martha's Vineyard: February 23, 2008 Placer County is still producing its magnificent citrus. The end of Satsuma mandarin season is near its end, but there are still Satsumas and Clementines to be found at Mark Foley’s Blue Goose Produce in Loomis. Janice Thompson, of Loomis, said her mandarins are “done,” but that she has navels from Newcastle at her Newcastle Produce store. Her supplier is Tad Stone, who owns the old Barnes property in downtown Newcastle. He was a brother to Doc Barnes of Loomis. Ed Horton, who always has a wealth of historical information, told me at the Loomis Chamber mixer hosted by Flower Farm Coffee House on Feb. 21 that the Newcastle “Barnes” was a physician, just like Loomis’ own Doc (Paul) Barnes. Loomis Basin Historical Society president Alice Barnes (no relation) did some research and came up with the name of Bruce Lucerne Barnes of Newcastle. He was Doc Barnes’ only brother, she said. Thompson said she also has lots of Meyer lemons and Lisbon lemons, that are local, too. Grapefuit are in full swing, she said. I’ve been enjoying an especially sweet variety of grapefruit from Blue Goose Produce this last week. Once you’ve peeled, removed the white pith and separated the segments of these white grapefruit, you end up with honey-sweet, refreshing fruit that for me makes a wonderful evening snack. Mark Foley, of Blue Goose Produce, said the grapefruit is grown by Gordon and Brenda Poulsen of Willow Creek Ranch, located on Clark Tunnel Road in Penryn. Gordon Poulsen calls the grapefruit Mellow Gold. He said he planted the trees five years ago as “an experiment to see if people like it.” I definitely like it. Foley is also carrying beautiful navels, supplied by Cleo Rodriguez, who grows fruit in old Rocklin. What is especially gratifying about shopping at local stores is that you are not only supporting local businesses and growers, you also know exactly where your food is coming from. Just ask them. Martha’s Vineyard: February 21, 2008 Welcome to Martha’s Vineyard, the Myopolis blog of Loomis News editor Martha Garcia. In Martha’s Vineyard, I intend to focus on the Loomis Basin’s heritage, including the history of the area and those who have lived here through the decades, including our current neighbors. You can’t write about the Basin’s past without delving into its agricultural roots. This will be the spot to converse about farmers and growers who established the orchards, farms and vineyards in the region, and the farmers, growers, vintners and conservationists who are now stewards of the land. Let’s talk about who’s growing the best and freshest fruits, vegetables and produce, what’s in season, and where to get the region’s bounty.