I couldn’t resist posting Nada’s California Poppy postcard. We are already seeing poppies in our yard and along the freeway. The hills will be dotted with orange before too long.
The ubiquitous CA poppy, for me, exemplifies my first vision of visiting CA in the mid-1970’s. It was spring and my husband & I took a cross-country driving trip from MI to CA. One if the first sights coming from Auburn was a blanket of orange poppies growing along the freeway seen from our convertible VW bug. They seemed to be growing everywhere there was open ground. When we were stopped at a road rest later that day and bent over to look at them closer a young boy came up to us to say they were the CA state flower and were not to be picked!
This next postcard comes to us from Gigi Taylor in Livingston, Texas. Gigi has many wonderful memories of living in California and this is just one of them.
When my husband and I met, we both worked in San Francisco. Our home was a sailboat in Alameda. We regularly sailed San Francisco Bay and through the “Gate” to offshore waters. When not sailing, we especially liked to stroll San Francisco’s waterfront, from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge. Marina Green was a fine place to watch boats on the Bay. We left San Francisco in 1989, but for us it will always be a special place!
Thanks for the opportunity to send a “Postcard from California”!
Golden Gate Bridge: California Roll by Gigi Taylor
A conversation about California without a reference to grapes would be, for me, like a sentence without punctuation. And so it is for my sister, Kirsten. When I told her about the postcard challenge and asked her what evoked a California state of mind for her she said the strongest images were raisins drying and driving past rows and rows of grapevines Since she left the San Joaquin Valley 21 years ago she no longer sees the raisins drying unless she’s in Fresno to visit but there are plenty of wine grapes growing near her home in Temecula. And that’s the thing about grapes—California grows ‘em from head to toe; from Napa to Lodi to Madera to Coachella you’re going to find wine grapes, table grapes, or raisin grapes growing. As a kid growing up in Madera, we had many family friends who were ranchers and farmers so the summer brought TONS of gifted produce. All varieties of grapes found their place at the family dinner table. How fast can you peel one with your teeth? Remember getting fancy and freezing grapes for pizzazz-y ice cubes? And memories would be incomplete without a mention of the peculiar putrid smell that engulfs Madera and overwhelms nostrils during “crush”—a late summer agricultural ritual when grapes are squished within an inch of their lives and the wine fermentation begins. Ching, ching!
And so it is with grapes and California…… Note: Wine production in California has been in a boom for the last 30 years.
1975–California was home to 330 wineries
2006–California had nearly 2,500 wineries
Since 2000 California has opened 175 new wineries each year
Reference: California Agriculture, Vol 64, no. 1 (Jan/Mar 2010).