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NOVEMBER 30, 2018

A supplement to the Gilroy Dispatch & Morgan Hill Times


Fragrant Fruits New cookbook celebrates local agriculture

NOSTALGIA South Bay native and author

NOVEMBER 30, 2018

Lisa Prince Newman’s new book ‘For the Love of Apricots,’ revisits the orchards and flavors of the Valley of the Heart’s Delight.


Apricot Bliss

Lisa Prince Newman peeks into the fruit industry that was the Valley of the Heart’s Delight BY LAURA NESS


ew born before 1970, says author Lisa Prince Newman, will forget the endless magic carpet of white blossoms that once covered the Santa Clara Valley. Prunes, apricot, peach and cherries trees dominated what was then known as the Valley of the Heart’s Delight, as far as the eye could see. Newman’s love of apricots began early, and watching the orchards disappear due to the advent of the high tech revolution gave her the inspiration to preserve a snapshot of a simpler, agrarian time. “I feel a great sense of loss about this, as do so many of my generation who grew up in the Bay Area,” says Newman. “Personally, I was deeply influenced by the environmental movement of the ’70s and expansion of the field of city planning. I entered that field and continue to work as a city planner with the intention to encourage city-centered land use planning that allows agriculture, open space, recreational and watershed lands to be preserved close by city centers.” In the cookbook, Newman talks about the remaining pioneer families of fruit cultivation, ➝ 12

NOVEMBER 30, 2018

At the peak of the orchard fruit industry, there were 125 square miles of vineyards and trees, and San Jose was the largest canning and dried fruit packing center in the world, boasting 18 canneries, 13 dried fruit packing companies and 12 fresh fruit shippers. Then, silicon happened. In her recipe-rich and nostalgia-filled memoir cookbook, “For the Love of Apricots,” Lisa Prince Newman recounts a childhood in Saratoga, surrounded by fruit orchards. “I connected at a deep emotional level to the landscape, seasonal rhythms of nature, and to the extraordinary fruit we grew,” says Newman. “My mother was an adventurous cook and I learned to appreciate the ‘farm to table’ way we lived, using what we produced seasonally in our daily meals, long before that term was invented.”


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NOVEMBER 30, 2018

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HOLIDAY PARADE Experience the Morgan Hill Kiwanis Holiday Lights Parade and Tree Lighting as floats from community organizations parade through downtown Saturday, Dec. 1, 5:30-8pm on Monterey Road from First to Fifth street in Downtown Morgan Hill. The parade ends as Santa’s Magic Ship leads the crowd to the ceremonial tree lighting at the corner of Dunne Avenue and Monterey Road in Downtown Morgan Hill. Don’t miss this long-standing free family tradition. For more information, visit


HOLIDAY KICK-OFF Ring in the holiday season in true small-town America style at the Downtown Gilroy Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting. Festivities will kick off at 2:30pm and the parade will begin around 5:30pm with Santa lighting the tree at the parade’s conclusion. Kick off the holiday season Saturday, Dec. 1, 2:30-8pm in Downtown Gilroy. For information, visit


MULTICULTURAL CELEBRATION Don’t miss “Holidays in the Plaza Multicultural Festival and Tree Lighting” presented by the City of Watsonville. Savor the flavors of many cultures through dance, music, food and crafts at the multicultural festival, board the Holiday Train for a magical tour around the Plaza and visit Santa in his workshop for a photo. Also enjoy the Holiday Tree Lighting with entertainment and a countdown to the start of the holiday season. Saturday, Dec. 1, 1:307pm at Watsonville City Plaza, 358 Main St. Visit



El Teatro Campesino presents La Virgen del Tepeyac 2018 as it celebrates forty-five years of tradition. This joyous reenactment of the events that inspired the religious rebirth of Indigenous Mexico dramatizes the four apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Indigenous messenger Juan Diego in 1531. The performance features live music, Aztec dance and is presented in Spanish. The production runs through Dec. 16 at Old Mission San Juan Bautista, 406 Second St. For information, dates and tickets, visit



Two winter tales

NOVEMBER 30, 2018

HOLIDAY SHOWS Plot twists, drama and heartfelt connection are the themes carried through local theater show this holiday season.


South Valley theaters bring performances this season By SUSAN L. RIFE


wo holiday offerings at theaters in Gilroy and Morgan Hill provide fitting bookends to the idea that individuals can have unimaginable influence in others’ lives. That holiday chestnut It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra’s classic film adapted for the stage by James W. Rodgers, gets a straightforward treatment at South Valley Civic Theater, with Seph McCarty and Audrey Del Prete effectively channeling Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in the story of George Bailey, who on Christmas Eve is facing a catastrophic error at his family’s Building

and Loan firm. As he’s about to leap off a bridge, his guardian angel stops him and shows how his life has been, after all, wonderful. Down Monterey Road a few miles, Limelight Actors Theater at the Gilroy Center for the Arts explores family dynamics in a comedy that has everyone in tears at the end. In Mom’s Gift by Phil Olsen, the family matriarch appears as a ghost with a mission to right a family misunderstanding before she can move from limbo into heaven. Directed by Carol Harris, It’s a Wonderful Life offers a tightened up version of the film, which can feel endless when interrupted by

commercials. The stage version clocks in at under two hours through some judicious excising of scenes from the movie, which also has the side effect of siphoning off some juice from it. Still, Scott Lynch does a fine job as the angel Clarence, James Dan Pearson is simply a hoot as the gleefully evil banker Potter, and Ainsley Keslin vamps her away around nicely as Violet Peterson. Mom’s Gift, on the other hand, draws together a terrific cast at a birthday party for Dad (Bill Tindall), less than a year after the death of Mom (Christy Wait). Daughter Kat (Denee Lewis) is there under court order; younger daughter Brittney (Angie Higgins) is a directionless waitress at Hooters. Trish (Myra Kaelin), who was Mom’s caregiver after a car accident involving a drunk driver destroyed her health, has developed a friendship with Dad that appears to be blossoming into more, while neighbor Kevin (Tom Shamrell) has a longstanding crush on the successful, highly educated Kat. Mom appears as a ghost that only Kat can see as she tries to determine what to do in order to earn her wings. There’s plenty of misunderstanding to go around, a lot of it handled through zingers delivered from one family member to another with terrific comic timing. A plot twist that no one sees coming moves the show from the typical family dramedy to one that has the entire cast shedding real tears. The cast, sensitively directed by Kevin Heath, inhabits each character so effortlessly that the overall effect is one of thorough realism. It’s worth seeing both these shows, with bells on. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” through Dec. 8 at South Valley Civic Theatre, Morgan Hill.; 408.842.7469. “Mom’s Gift,” through Dec. 8 at Limelight Actors Theater, Gilroy.; 408.472.3292.

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NOVEMBER 30, 2018

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Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

NOVEMBER 30, 2018



Celebrate the first evening of Hanukkah with a menorah lighting at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. Guests are invited to take joy in honoring and sharing their cultures or discovering the traditions of their neighbors at this interactive celebration. Sculpting dreidels, tasting latkes, listening to Hanukkah storytelling and performances by the Yavneh Day School are just a few of the fun activities happening at this year’s Hanukkah cultural celebration. “Menorahs and Miracles” will be held Sunday, Dec. 2, noon-4pm at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, 180 Woz Way, San Jose. For more information, visit

GILROY APPRECIATION & GRATITUDE Enjoy an evening of ceremony and

sound with Dallas Mckenzie at Yoga Bella Gilroy’s Appreciation Ceremony and Gratitude-Centered Sound Journey. Create gratitude

bundles from sage, lavender and other herbs during the appreciation ceremony, experience a guided group meditation and end the evening with a sound journey creating a state of relaxation with the didgeridoo, crystal bowl, drum and native flute. Friday, Nov. 30, 7:30-9pm at Yoga Bella Gilroy, 8060 Santa Teresa Blvd. Cost is $45. For information, visit To register, call 408.842.9688. BLUE HOUSE Rock out with Blue House at The Milias Restaurant. Enjoy Blue House’s close harmonies and folk acoustic and rock sound while enjoying the unique, friendly atmosphere

at The Milias. Friday, Nov. 30, 7:30-10:30pm at The Milias Restaurant, 7397 Monterey St. For more information, visit EVENING EXPERIENCE Enjoy the magic of the season during Gilroy Gardens’ Gardens@ Night Holiday. Experience Gilroy Gardens’ 26 acres of majestic trees and gardens come alive with twinkling light displays and special holiday treats around every turn. Ice skate under the stars, visit with Santa, ride favorite rides, find crafts in the Marketplace and more. Friday and Saturday nights, Dec. 1-2, 4-9pm at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, 3050



Hecker Pass Highway. For more information visit

Sixth St. For information, call 408.842.3838.

VETERAN RESOURCES Veterans are invited to a Veterans Resource Fair hosted by the Gilroy Veterans Hall. The fair will feature medical professionals, counseling, benefits assistance and local businesses with services specially for veterans. Additionally, flu shots will be available for veterans and California Veterans Service officers will educate on benefits, help file claims and discuss education assistance. Veterans must bring either their VA card or a DD214 for proof of service. Tuesday, Dec. 4, 10am-2pm at Gilroy Veterans Hall, 74 W.

HOLIDAY COMEDY Head to the theater and enjoy the heartwarming holiday comedy Mom’s Gift, the annual fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research presented by Limelight Actors Theater. In this comedy with a heart, Mom has been dead for 11 months and shows up at her husband’s birthday party as a ghost with a mission to accomplish a task to earn her wings. Enjoy door prizes and special surprises along with this wonderful show for the holidays through Dec. 8 at The Gilroy Center for the Arts, 7341

Monterey St. For information and performance schedule, visit

Don’t miss the 13th annual San Juan Bautista Holiday of Lights Parade. Enjoy holiday floats, marching bands, horses on parade and more. The celebration will also feature pictures with Santa, merchants’ open houses, cowboy Christmas songs and cider and cookies. Experience this fun-filled event Saturday, Dec. 1 at 6pm beginning at San Juan School and traveling down Third Street in downtown San Juan Bautista. For more information, visit or call Jill Ortiz at 831.801.3920.

Stop by the fourth annual Winterfest Crafter’s Faire, enjoy refreshments and find perfect gifts from the large selection of handmade items. Sponsored by the Gilroy Senior Craft Store and the City of Gilroy Recreation Department, the faire features heirloom-quality items, holiday wreaths and decorations, jewelry, toys, home decor and more. Shop handmade gifts galore on Saturday, Dec. 1, 10am-4pm at the Gilroy Senior Center, 7371 Hanna St, Gilroy. For more information, call 408.846.0417

GLOW YOGA Head to Art of Yoga to brighten up this darker time of year with Glow Yoga. Participants will enjoy an all level flow yoga class with the added fun of low lights and glow sticks. Wear white or light colors, if possible; glow sticks will be provided. This class will be free to members of require a regular class pass for drop-ins. Friday, Nov. 30, 6-7pm at Art of Yoga, 16165 Monterey Road. Please note, preregistration is suggested. Visit, HISTORY & WINE Journey along Redwood Retreat

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NOVEMBER 30, 2018

HOLIDAY SYMPHONY Get in the holiday spirit with music as South Valley Symphony and conductor Anthony Quartuccio, present Holiday Hit Parade. The symphony will perform selections from The Nutcracker, the theme from Polar Express, “A Winter Landscape” by Alexander Glazunov and more. Celebrate with the symphony Sunday, Dec. 9, 4pm at Gavilan College Theater, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd. For more information, visit




Coastal sanctuary

Ron Erskine

SEASIDE At Pillar Point Air Base, the end of the trail near Fitzgerald Marine Reserve,

NOVEMBER 30, 2018

there is a beach access down to Ross’ Cove.


Moss Beach community hides marine reserve By RON ERSKINE


ix miles north of Half Moon Bay, a very special marine reserve is nestled in the small community of Moss Beach. The intertidal zone there has been called one of the most biodiverse in all of California. To permanently protect it, the state of California established Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in 1969—a terrific place to visit whether you walk the tidepools or the seaside cliffs above. A friend who lives a block away from the visitor center recently led me on a hike through the reserve and beyond. We were there during high tide, so I was unable to walk

the tidepools, the reserve’s main attraction. But never mind. The seaside path through the reserve and points south rewarded us with amazing cliff top views of lounging harbor seals and distant ocean views toward Mavericks and beyond. A turn toward the ocean off Highway 1 onto California Avenue in Moss Beach led us to the one-room Fitzgerald Marine Reserve visitor center, set in a small park beneath a forest of Monterey Cypress. While the reserve is owned by the state and is part of a baffling network of sanctuaries and protected regions, San Mateo

County Parks manages it. Grab a map at the visitor center to guide you on your walk along the cliffs toward Pillar Point. Steps from the visitor center, the Bluff Trail begins its half-mile cliffside route through a forest of Monterey Cypress. Beach access points at each end of the trail lead visitors to the tidepools during low tide. The upwelling of cool ocean water and the geologic features of the reserve combine to create an ideal setting for the vast array of mollusks, anemones, sea stars, sponges and many more creatures that thrive there. Everything on the reserve is protected and cannot be removed, but a visitor can see many of the reserve’s inhabitants by walking gently and carefully through the tidepools at low tide. Over the next half-mile, we continued south through neighborhood streets before connecting with the Jean Lauer Trail at Pillar Point Bluff, an extension of the reserve. The edge of a shallow fog bank continually do-si-do’d like an Arkansas square dancer up against the cliffs and back again, hiding then revealing the dome at Pillar Point Air Base up ahead. Pillar Point Bluff leaves the dark Monterey cypress forest behind for a bright expanse of coastal scrub that opens the landscape to wide views. My friend is a surfer who knows the area’s natural history, so we frequently paused along the cliff where he pointed out surf breaks and a number of reefs just offshore. At Pillar Point Air Base, the end of the trail, there is a beach access down to Ross’ Cove. Once again, the high tide shut us out. I don’t know what crowds the weekends bring to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, but my weekday walk was as peaceful and lovely as a seaside walk can be. I must return at low tide and walk the tidepools, the reserve’s raison d’être. But tidepools or no tidepools, the reserve is a true gem.




Tour Hollister’s historic homes on the Victorian Christmas Home Tour presented by Joshua Inn Bed & Breakfast. Attendees will tour homes including the Flint House, Joshua Inn, Ladd House, Lico House and more. Enjoy a raffle drawing and experience specialty food and beverages provided by a variety of Hollister’s local restaurants and wineries. All proceeds benefit the Hollister Pregnancy Center. Saturday, Dec. 1, 5-10pm, tour check in and registration begins at Hollister Pregnancy Center, 483 Fifth St, Hollister. For tickets and information, visit

EVENTS DISASTER PREPAREDNESS Find out what to do after a disaster at the Disaster Preparedness Workshop at the Gilroy Library. Discover what to do if returning home after a fire of flood is not an option, how to reconnect with family and friends following a major disaster and how to stay safe in an earthquake. Participants will also learn how to create a disaster kit. Get prepared Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7-8pm at Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St, Gilroy. Visit Locations/Gilroy. PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB Photographers of all levels of

FUNDRAISING EXHIBITION The Gilroy Center for the Arts presents “Small Works Salon,” a fundraising exhibition to benefit the center’s After School Art Program. The Small Works Salon is an exciting small art exhibition featuring works from emerging and established artists in Gilroy and neighboring communities and will be on display through Dec. 12. Entrance to the gallery is always free, Tuesday through Friday, 2-5pm and Saturday, 11am-2pm at the Gilroy Center for the Arts, 7341 Monterey St, Gilroy. For more information, visit

ART WALK Head to Downtown Morgan Hill’s First Friday Art Walk for a self-guided tour through downtown restaurants and shops to see the latest art exhibits. New artists are showcased every other month, and all art venues are free and open to the public. Friday, Dec. 7, 11am-7pm in Downtown Morgan Hill. Attend the Art Walk Reception from 6-8pm at the GVA Cafe, 17400 Monterey Road. Visit

COMIC CON Visit the Salinas Valley Comic Con, now in its fifth year, and celebrate comics, comic books, zines, pop culture and more. The event features an expanded Artists’ Alley, enhanced game room, local costuming clubs and popular cosplayers. Other highlights include toy and comic vendors, food trucks and much more. Enjoy this grassroots celebration of comics Saturday, Dec. 15, 10am-5pm and Sunday, Dec. 16,10am- 4pm at Hartnell College, 411 Central Ave, Salinas. For more information, visit

BOOK SALE The Gilroy Library invites the community to the Friends of the Gilroy Library book sale. All ages are welcome to browse the variety of great reads. Proceeds from purchases go toward supporting the collection and programs at the Gilroy Library. The sale is held on the second Saturday of every month, Dec. 8, 10am-1pm at the Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St, Gilroy. For more information, visit or call 408.842.8207. HOLIDAY CONCERT Join San Jose Wind Symphony for a joyful noise as it celebrates 60 years with the special winter holiday concert, Visions of Sugar Plum Fairies. Enjoy Christmas classics, Hanukkah hits, audience sing-alongs and a rollicking Sleigh Ride. Also enjoy selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker performed by young dancers from Ballet Petit. Sunday, Dec. 9, 3pm at McAfee Performing Arts Center, 20300 Herriman Ave, Saratoga. Visit

ENERGY SAVING TOOLKIT Use a library card to check out a free “Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Saving Toolkit” from the Morgan Hill or Gilroy library and learn how to save on energy and water bills, presented by Silicon Valley Energy Watch. The kit features energy and water saving supplies to keep including two LED light bulbs, three low-flow faucet aerators, weather stripping, and more. Also included are tools to borrow to measure appliance energy use, determine heat loss, set refrigerators and freezers to appropriate temperatures, and much more. A guidebook instructs how to install supplies and use the tools, and includes money saving tips. Also enjoy an opportunity to win a smart power strip after using the toolkit and completing a survey. The program runs through the end of the year. For more information, visit

NOVEMBER 30, 2018

Road enjoying handcrafted wines in beautiful historical settings at History & Wine on Santa Clara Wine Trail. Enjoy stops at Fernwood Cellars Winery, Martin Ranch WInery and Historic Villa Mira Monte. $129 per person includes tastings, water, light snacks and transportation. Saturday, Dec. 1, 11:30am-5pm departing from Ladera Grill Restaurant, 17305 Monterey St, Morgan Hill. Eight person minimum required per tour, and attendees must be age 21 or older with photo ID. For tickets and more information, visit tinyurl. com/ydgp2wmd.

experience and skill are invited to join Morgan Hill Photography Club meetings. Members and guests will have an opportunity to discuss an image that they bring with them, ask one another about various aspects of photography, socialize and admire others’ photography. Learn more about photography and meet other local photographers at this friendly and very social club Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7-9pm at the Centennial Recreation Center Multipurpose Room, 171 W. Edmundson Ave. For more information, visit




NOVEMBER 30, 2018

NECTAR Newman’s recipes reveal the passion she has for the versatility only apricots can offer.


including Novakovich Orchard on Fruitvale Avenue in Saratoga, Andy’s Orchard in Morgan Hill, B&R farms in Hollister, Apricot King Orchards in Hollister, Fairhaven Orchards in Hollister, LJB Farms in San Martin and Van Dyke Ranch in Gilroy. She includes a brief history of each family and heritage orchard in both Santa Clara and San Benito counties. Through Newman’s recipes, which range from appetizers to main dishes to a variety of cookies and desserts, one can taste the passion she has for the versatility only apricots can offer. No fruit carries such universal appeal or is held in such high regard. Take one sip of apricot nectar and your mouth will thank you. “Apricots are a beautiful, delicious, and versatile fruit—especially the varieties that were/are grown in the Bay Area, particularly the Royal Blenheim apricot,” Newman says. “The Blenheim apricot has an exceptionally balanced sweet/tart flavor, juicy texture and beauty. Because so much of the

crop is dried, it's available for cooking not just sweet but also savory dishes year round.” Pete Van Dyke of Van Dyke Ranch in Gilroy agrees. “I’m the fourth generation of my family to grow apricots here in the Valley,” Van Dyke says. “I am one of those weird dudes that loves to cook! Always looking for new recipes. I especially love to make barbecue sauce with apricots: perfect with pork and chicken. I also love history and highly recommend 'California Apricots: The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley,' by Robin Chapman.” Newman encourages people who love apricots to plant an apricot tree (or more than one) in their yard. “Visit and support the orchards that remain, ask your grocer and farmers market vendors to provide the best-tasting varieties of apricots, and support local land use decisions to protect and support remaining agriculture as well as to create new opportunities for agricultural development,” she says. “These are political ➝ 15

Presented by


TASTE In Newman cookbooks, includes recipes ranging from appetizers

to main dishes to a variety of cookies and desserts.

have it in our retail store.” Mari Rossi of B&R Farms says. “Lisa will be signing her book at our first Holidays in Hollister event on Dec. 1. The event continues on Dec 8 and 15, with many vendors, plus holiday gift boxes and hot apricot cider. Everyone loves apricots, especially Blenheim’s.” Visit for more resources and a list of places where you can purchase the book. Give someone a bag of dried apricots and a cookbook for the holidays and spread the apricot love.

BOOK SIGNINGS Keep the apricot heritage alive. Meet Newman and purchase signed copies of her cookbook at these upcoming events: Dec. 1, 10am-3pm, B&R Farms, Hollister (Holidays in Hollister) Dec. 2, 10am-3pm, Andy’s Orchard, Morgan Hill

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decisions. Santa Clara County especially, but also much of the Bay Area, has extraordinary soil and climate resources for growing orchard crops, and apricots are the most wonderful, in my opinion.” Historically, Newman adds, California apricots were world-famous and the Golden State was considered the top producer of apricots in the world. Andy Mariani of Andy’s Orchard echoes the influence of Santa Clara County producers. “Santa Clara Valley was known all over the world for Blenheim apricots,” Mariani says. “This is what made the Valley famous. There is still a quality to the apricots coming from here: the acid, the perfect sugar and the depth of flavor are what make our apricots stand out. I have only 7 acres of apricots left: I'd like to plant 3 or 4 more acres. Sadly, we are the last orchard standing in Morgan Hill.” Other local growers are just as eager to showcase local history and remind readers what is so special about the Valley of the Heart’s Delight. “This book is beautiful, and we

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