I’m excited to feature Coco Morante’s writing talents for this farm profile. A friend and fellow member of the South Bay Salon, Coco writes for Edible Silicon Valley as well as her own blog, It Was Just Right. Photos by yours truly. ~Danielle

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On a warm, late-August morning, Danielle and I took a drive down the coast to visit Fifth Crow Farm in Pescadero. Co-owner Teresa Kurtak met us with her baby Charlie in tow and graciously took us on a tour, steering her ATV-style stroller through the furrowed fields all the while.

Fifth Crow Farm was born seven years ago when founders Teresa, Mike Irving and John Vars leased 10 acres of land from private landowners Gene and Donna Richeson. Things have changed a lot since the early years, when 14 to 16-hour workdays were the norm. The farm has grown – it now leases 80 acres of land (of which 30 acres are used for vegetables), and all of the founders are new parents: Teresa and Mike’s son Charlie was born on March 1st of this year, as was Naima, daughter of John and his wife Maggi. Read More >>

  • That’s our CSA! Some of those very tomatoes & lettuces are probably in my kitchen right now. 🙂 Yay!ReplyCancel

  • So lovely both in photos and in words! Happy to know about this place and its commendable practices.ReplyCancel


My friend, Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo was invited to the inaugural Women’s Meat Camp hosted by the Belcampo Meat Company and brought me along as her tent-mate and photographer. It was a four-day all-girls’ extravaganza featuring butchery and open-fire cooking of some fine cuts of meat, accompanied by: copious amounts of rosé, cocktails, yoga on the lawn, hands-on sausage-making, farm walks, hair-braiding, story-telling, grilled peaches and hand-churned ice-cream. My Instagram feed offered a preview of the fun we got into, but here’s a “proper” (ie, larger) selection of images from the weekend. Don’t forget to turn up the volume!

One of our camp mates worked on Belcampo’s brand strategy prior to its launch, and as she tells it, the search for the right name faced numerous parameters that diminished the prospects of an eventual selection the more it grew. They finally settled on the coupling of two Italian words: Bel Campo. Beautiful Land. The choice speaks for itself and for the values that this company holds dear: doing meat right, at scale, on large swathes of farmland in the Shasta Valley. I hope they stay around for a while.

The next Meat Camp happens October 16-18, head over to the Belcampo website for more details and to register.

Other Meat Camp reflections:


This is my favorite quote from ‘Wild’ the movie, because any opportunity to seek out and be in the presence of beauty is an opportunity not to be missed. We took this to heart on a recent jaunt up north to Sebastopol, the heart of the Russian River Valley. Inventive food, spectacular Pinots and all around us, Nature in her lush Spring glory.

Highway 1, Marshall CA Underwood Bar, Graton CA Heritage Pie, Noble Folk, Healdsburg CA Pie, Noble Folk, Healdsburg CARead More >>

  • Great photographs. Glad you were able to get outside and have some fun. Hope you’re doing well!ReplyCancel



In September 2011 the brilliant marketing folks at Travel Oregon put together a media trip that was truly one-of-a-kind. They gathered about 40-50 food and travel bloggers from North America for a weekend designed to showcase the best activities that Oregon had to offer, from river rafting to salmon-fishing, and kept us well-fed and libated by the amazing community of food artisans and restaurateurs in Portland. I spent a morning hanging out with one of these businesses, Salt & Straw – the ground zero of innovative ice-cream flavors like Pear and Blue Cheese or Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper – and you can read about my chat with Kim and Tyler over on the Etsy blog. It was fun to hypothesize ice-cream flavors (there’s a Basil Mojito sorbet idea I have yet to play with), and seek out perfect photo opportunities on my visit. I’m especially fond of this one as it best encapsulates my motivations in photography: to explore the relationships forged over food experiences and waiting for the right moment to express it all.

Read more about that Travel Oregon weekend here, and of course, a visit to one of Salt & Straw’s many scoop shops is a must-do if you’re ever in Portland.



Besides photography, the Ashtanga yoga practice has, over time, grown to be the other big interest in my life, and for a long time I’ve been looking for the best way to bridge the two in a personal project. The opportunity arrived last November when I had the idea to photograph a group of yoga friends in silhouette, to capture the forms that we make with our bodies every morning.

I took my first Ashtanga yoga class in November 2009 in Palo Alto, and five years (and a few months) later, the ritual of rolling out my mat and moving along with the breath is now a permanent fixture of my daily routine. That in itself is remarkable, given that I’m really good at giving excuses for avoiding things that make me uncomfortable. This practice has taught me tons about courage, discipline and the value of effort in any undertaking worth doing. But most of all, it’s taught (and is still teaching) me the art of remaining at ease in uncomfortable situations, and how to hold that ease with a certain degree of equanimity.

And so it was that I got to spend a Saturday afternoon with friends making these portraits which I’m excited to share here and on my portfolio. Enjoy.

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