Researching Agriculture in NoCal

New Life Ecumenical Retreat is located at the northern end of the Central Valley in California, one of the most abundant growing regions in the world. It was quite an experience identifying all the possible crops that New Life might cultivate.

Each one of these crops that I decided on for New Life has its own California growers association ~ apples, blueberries, cherries, figs, peaches, pears, pecans, pistachios, and table olives. And, of course, because Green Butte has a lively farmers market, New Life can provide all the usual organic garden produce picked fresh that morning, in season ~ from early spring greens to late fall squashes.

In addition, I looked at the possible wine varietals and settled on pinot noir grapes. I think this was partly because I only really like pinot noirs and cabernets. New Life's production is very small, but its qualities are highly valued and there is never a surplus.

Finally, I had a friend take pictures of the landscape in NoCal for me - they gave me a feel for the overall setting. I've posted some of them here.