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HMB THE ANNUAL HOME+GARDEN ISSUE

PHONE

HEALTH

WATER

HAVE YOU BEEN SCENE? TAKE A LOOK ON P.35 CLOTHES

FAMILY

CAR

WORK INSURANCE

HOME & GARDEN

SCHOOL

♥ LOVE

HYGIENE

MARCH 2011

FOOD

EXERCISE

WEB

HALF MOON BAY REVIEW MAGAZINE

POWER

PETS

GAS

MONEY $ BILLS $

Gettin' it Together

VACATION MAINTENANCE

FRIENDS

Professional organizers can help you get a handle on life's loose ends

FOOD HUB BUILDS NETWORK // RV LIVING IN STYLE // Q&A WITH PAUL BERTOLLI


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Lawn Be Gone!

Residential customers of Coastside County Water District are eligible for up to $500 to replace lawn with water efficient permeable landscaping. Rebates are also available for commercial and multi-family properties.

Transform your front yard into a stylish landscape with water efficient plants that add value to your property. Water efficient plants can be both visually appealing and easy to maintain. Contact Coastside County Water District for application materials and lawn conversion project requirements. 766 Main Street, Half Moon Bay (650) 726-4405 www.coastsidewater.org

2 March 2011 HMB

California native plant images are provided by the California Native Plant Society – Santa Clara Valley Chapter – http://cnps-scv.org/ Special thanks to: Arvind Kumar, Toni Corelli, Steve Rosenthal and Bernard Trainor


HMB

HALF MOON BAY REVIEW MAGAZINE

Publisher Debra Hershon Managing Editor Clay Lambert Writers Lily Bixler Mark Foyer Mark Noack Stacy Trevenon Photographer Lars Howlett Production and Design Bill Murray Mark Restani Business Office Barbara Anderson Circulation Sonia Myers Advertising Sales Louise Strutner Marilyn Johnson Barbara Dinnsen Find us P.O. Box 68 714 Kelly Avenue Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 p: (650) 726-4424 f: (650) 726-7054 The HMB Magazine is published on the first week of every month and inserted in the Half Moon Bay Review. The entire contents of the magazine are also available in PDF format online at hmbreview.com

» PUBLISHER’S NOTE DEBRA HERSHON

The kitchen gets a facelift

E

ver since I became a homeowner a decade ago, I’ve “fixed up” my house on a shoestring budget, doing whatever I could on my own. I found that a lot of little things make a big difference — paint, solid fir doors, quality fixtures, hardwood floors. The one thing I ignored until this last year was the kitchen, mainly because it wasn’t an easy “do-it-yourself ” fix, and not something that could be accomplished on a dwindling budget. Kevin Palmer from Premier Termite came through to do a house inspection last fall and told me my kitchen was in bad shape and didn’t match the rest of the house. Then he gave me a little sage advice: “The kitchen is the heart of the house. Women buy houses. Women look at kitchens. Do something with this one.” So I embarked on four months of a paycheck-to-paycheck kitchen remodel — not an undertaking for the faint of heart, or anyone who likes to eat dinner or who needs running water. What I did learn is that there are some really talented people here on the Coastside who know their stuff and do amazing, beautiful work. Bob Myers designed and built beautiful custom cabinets that ended up saving me money in the long run. I was able to keep my older refrigerator and old pantry because he was able to make panels and doors that matched my new cabinets. Steve Simms of Simms Plumbing went the extra mile by answering my many e-mails at night with questions about stainless steel sinks and what makes faucets different. His advice was right on the mark. Others who were always there to help with free advice and quality work: Patrick Quinn of Absolute Flooring, Jama Houman of Quality Heating, Tibor Svraka of Tibor’s Tiles and Milo Tikvica of Marble & Stone Solutions for countertop fabrication. Through it all I always had old friend and local contractor Steve Harms who remodeled the Half Moon Bay Review last year. He would answer any question when I found myself in over my head about how to proceed. I did paint. I did spend a lot of time at Ocean Shore Hardware. I did trade in my weekly manicure for a pair of calloused hands sometime around December. But now I have a beautiful kitchen — fixed up without breaking the bank — and one that matches the rest of the house. The only downside is that at some point I probably will have to start cooking again. In the meantime, I’m happy to just go home and look at it every night.

HMB March 2011 3


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» CONTENTS

The Home+Garden Issue. Features

9

Q&A: PAUL BERTOLLI While many go meatless, Berkeley chef finds inspiration in cured meat

14

COASTSIDERS CALL IN BACKUP TO SORT THINGS OUT Professional organizers create order out of chaos

22

LIFE ON THE ROAD PAUSES IN HMB Young couple lives, works out of mobile home

28

LOCAL FOOD HUB TO BUILD FARMERS NETWORK Local FATT movement invites novel thinking about food

HMB THE ANNUAL HOME+GARDEN ISSUE

Departments

7 UPCOMING EVENTS 35 SEEN IN THE SCENE 39 DOWNTOEARTH 40 SIGHTSEEING

PHONE

HEALTH

WATER

CLOTHES

FAMILY

CAR

WORK INSURANCE

HOME & GARDEN

SCHOOL

♥ LOVE

HYGIENE

MARCH 2011

HAVE YOU BEEN SCENE? TAKE A LOOK ON P.35

FOOD

EXERCISE

WEB

HALF MOON BAY REVIEW MAGAZINE

POWER

PETS

GAS

MONEY $ BILLS $

Gettin' it Together

VACATION MAINTENANCE

FRIENDS

Professional organizers can help you get a handle on life's loose ends

FOOD HUB BUILDS NETWORK // RV LIVING IN STYLE // Q&A WITH PAUL BERTOLLI

On the cover

Illustration by Mark Restani

HMB March 2011 5


» UPCOMING EVENTS MARCH

Music and art in March The colors of plain air

3/4

Plein Aire Past and Present” brings the Half Moon Bay Plein Air Painters together with the open-air paintings of legendary Coastside artist Galen Wolf in this exhibit at the Coastal Arts League, in a show running through March 28 with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. March 12. Capturing Coastside landscapes, Wolf was a quintessential plein aire artist, and this group follows his example with their own open-air local masterpieces. The gallery is at 300 Main St. in Half Moon Bay. 726-6335.

Little League gears up

3/12

The 2011 Half Moon Bay Little League starts with the usual excitement. More than 200 Coastside boys and girls age 7-14 have signed up for another season of baseball and memories. Opening Day ceremonies, when all the players are introduced, start at 11 a.m. today at Smith Field. The ceremonies and games are free. The season ends June 11. League president Steve Stack, (650) 823-8539.

Bring kids to meet the farm animals

3/16 Geoffrey Keezer

March has many different classic sounds at the Bach 3/13, 3/20, 3/27 For three Sundays in March, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society on Miramar Beach is presenting three very different afternoons of music. All offer new viewpoints into the world of music. On March 13, twice-Grammy-nominated pianist Geoffrey Keezer and dynamic New York City vibraphonist Joe Locke will team up for a concert of duets, in which they will run the gamut of jazz standard, originals and popular music. Though they’re reminiscent of the Chick Corea-Gary Burton joint efforts, this duo have perfected their own style, which is unique intuitive and driven. A week later, on March 20, Jim Snidero, dubbed an “alto sax virtuoso” and “master musician” by Downbeat, will join pianist Bill Cunliffe, bassist Paul Gill and drummer Jason Tiemann for music from their new release “Interface.” Snidero brings experience: he’s toured worldwide for 25 years, has been a recording artist on major labels, and has played alongside Frank Sinatra and the Mingus Big Band among others. And a week after that, the Bach goes classical with the Eclipse string quartet, four young women dedicated to contemporary composers while they also create their own works in collaboration with other media. Violinists Sara Parkins and Sarah Thornblade, violist Alma Lisa Fernandez and cellist Maggie Parkins have backgrounds in national and international chamber music as well as recording, and have performed on both coasts. All concerts are at 4:30 p.m., and admission to $35 for each concert. 726-4143.

“Preschool Days at Elkus Ranch” is when little kids come face-to-face with ranch life, at 1500 Purisima Creek Road in Half Moon Bay. They can dig potatoes, plant a seedling, collect eggs, meet goats and donkeys, card wool, feed a sheep and more, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 16, 17 and 18. Individual families to school groups welcome. Reservations required. 7123151; elkusranch@ucdavis.edu.

Memorializing a moment

3/18

Parents can have a lasting memory of their young children through workshops offered this month by the Art Attic upstairs from LA Di Da at 500 C Purisima St. in Half Moon Bay. Scheduled at 2 p.m. on Fridays, March 18 and 25, the workshops will use clay, plaster or concrete to make lasting handprints of kids. The cost is $30 per workshop. Call (650) 346-8185.

A mystery unveiled

3/24

Renowned mystery writer Ian Rankin, whose work has appeared on European bestseller lists, comes to Bay Book Company in Strawflower Village from his home in Edinburgh. From 7 to 9 p.m., he’ll meet fans and sign copies of his latest work, “The Complaints.” In it, he premieres a new central character, Malcolm Fox with the Internal Affairs Department with the Edinburgh police, and a new series. 726-3488.

Raise a glass to the Irish

3/24

Quite a few Coastside clubs and restaurants are serving up Irish music, foaming ale and the occasional green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, including The Coastside Gallery and Wine Bar. But a week later, the gallery and wine bar will present its “after the dust settles” event — with more of the same. Starting at 6 p.m., the venue will open its doors for the Irish music of Highway One, which starts an hour later. 726-4468.

Keys to happiness

3/26

How to put happiness within reach, from a holistic standpoint, is the subject of “The Economics of Happiness” by noted British documentarian Helena Norberg Hodge, and which the Visionary Edge will screen at 7:30 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church at 777 Miramontes St. in Half Moon Bay. Admission is $12 at the door/ (650) 207-3440.

HMB Msarch 2011 7


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Q&A

Salami makes a comeback While many go meatless, Berkeley chef finds inspiration in cured meat By Lily Bixler

A

Above, Paul Bertolli discusses the natural casings used in his Fra’Mani cured meats. Top right, during a cured meat tasting at New Leaf, Fra’Mani employees prepare samples of salami.

s a boy, Paul Bertolli and his six siblings waited with anticipation for care packages from the south side of Chicago where his grandmother owned a clothing store and his grandfather had a butcher shop. Amid tube socks, Fruit of the Loom underwear and petticoats, the kids would find a large hunk of salami. “The scent would waft up, and it was one of the most heavenly smells,” Bertolli said of the pork salami his grandfather learned to make in his native Italy. “We all used to fight over that because it was probably one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.” The scent and taste of the salami stuck with Bertolli and he remained fascinated with the food category. “If I had to look back at the source of my interest, it was really eating his salami,” Bertolli said. Since those early days, Bertolli has worked in various restaurants making sausage. He was consistently interested in learning about the aging and fermentation process of meat. He even spent time in Tuscany working with the roving pork butchers who travel to farmsteads to slaughter and prepare the meat. Later, as a chef at Chez Panisse, he manned the HMB March 2011 9


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Q&A

charcuterie. In 2004, Bertolli made a transition to a career focused solely around making meat: He established Fra’Mani, a cured meat company based out of west Berkeley that makes traditional dry cured salami. Fra’Mani means “between or among hands,” and Bertolli explained the name was supposed to convey the message “from our hands to yours.” Just before Bertolli set up shop at New Leaf Community Market on Feb. 10 for a meat tasting and to talk about Fra’Mani, the meat connoisseur talked with the Review’s Lily Bixler about the slow food movement, the rise of the celebrity chef and how, exactly, meat fermentation works. It sounds like meat fermentation is a time-honored tradition. Explain the process of curing meat. If you’re talking about dried, cured salami, for example, you butcher the hog and take certain cuts out of the animal. Normally the shoulder and leg cuts, and sometimes the belly, are used for salami. The meat is butchered — its sinews and tendons and things like that are removed because you don’t want to get that in your teeth afterward, and you want to create a product with clean definition between the lean and the fat particles. Then it’s cut or ground. In the old tradition it would have been cut with a knife, but in modern sausage production we use things like choppers or grinders. Seasoning is added. Salt, of course, is the main ingredient. With dried cured salami, there is a fermentation process that goes on, that in the old way would have happened naturally ... in an environment inoculated with beneficial bacteria that will bring about fermentation. Fermentation is a defining aspect of dried salami because it ends up being a shelf-stable product that won’t go bad outside of refrigeration. What happens in the fermentation process is that the protein gets denatured and loses its water, and the meat becomes somewhat acidic like yogurt or cheese or sauerkraut. That helps protect the meat from potential spoilage organisms that could get in there and make you sick as well. It’s one of the oldest forms of food preservation — fermentation — and most people don’t understand how it relates to meat. You don’t think of most meat as fermented. However, dried salami is. Another approach is back slop, where they take meat from a previous batch and move it forward into a new one and keep it going like bread. And what’s that outer layer on salami? The outer layer, the skin of the salami, traditionally would have been the intestine of the animal. We only use natural casings here. So we encase the sausage in a casing that will be some portion of the (pig’s) intestine. What kinds of equipment do you use in your kitchen/factory? For the first part, we have cutting tools and mixing tools and stuffing machines, and we have human hands, for the most part,

doing a lot of the cutting. We hand-tie everything using hemp tie. We have fermentation chambers where we can regulate the temperature and humidity of the air … There are various kinds of rooms, like aging rooms, where the salami moves once it’s gone out of fermentation. Do you consider curing meat part of the local slow food movement? Curing meat per se is not necessarily part of the slow food movement because slow food really relates to the raw material that you use and how you conduct the process. So our process is definitely slow. It starts with the source of the animals: We only source our animals from small family farms throughout the Midwest who aren’t raising their animals in confinement and never with antibiotics, for the most part on pasture … The animals are all slaughtered in Iowa … They are slaughtered on a Thursday and we usually get them on a Monday. What do you think of the rising influence of the celebrity chef? Do you think this leads food and cooking in a productive direction? It’s entertainment. Most of the time it’s a reality show and a form of entertainment. I don’t think it has much to do with cooking. Given the medium, there’s very little time for someone to actually demonstrate what it means to cook something. I don’t do that sort of TV because I don’t think it’s worthwhile to abbreviate the whole process. It’s not suited to the medium, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t care for the insults and the putting down. It’s all about a competition. But, on the other hand, I think the Food Network has really opened up cooking to a lot of people, a certain type of cooking that they would never be able to imagine. So, in that sense, I think it’s been good. Not all the shows are bad, just most of them are. What trends in cooking do you see? I’m not sure to call it a trend or a renaissance of interest in this food category of charcuterie and salami. I think a lot of chefs have kind of gotten the bug — it’s very unusual to go into a restaurant and not find some form of a charcuterie as an offering. A lot of chefs are getting on the bandwagon and making that in their own kitchen, often from locally sourced pork or beef. Is it something that requires large-scale machinery like you have, or can it be done in a simple kitchen? I think there’s fairly economic equipment you can purchase to do this. I think when it comes to dry, cured, fermented salami, it’s not something anybody ought to do unless they are really informed about food safety and know the factors that need to be paid attention to when making fermented meats. And it’s not that easy to manipulate the environment to make it hospitable to the fermenting and aging process … I think there’s precious little information about what those parameters are and how to manage them. When you take it into an uncontrolled kitchen or cellar, it can be kind of tricky. 1 HMB March 2011 11


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Visualizing office space into zones is one method to better manage workflow, according to Sorting Things Out founder Noreen Cooper Heavlin.

Coastsiders call in backup to

sort things out

Professional organizers create order out of chaos By Lily Bixler

14 March 2011 HMB


B

ree Luther’s home office was backed up and spilling over with papers and clutter, and she knew she needed help. Balancing life as a single mother of two and managing her El Granada home was proving difficult. When an opportunity arose, Luther bid at a school auction for Noreen Cooper Heavlin’s professional organizing services. Together the women devised a file system with a place for mail, coupons and bills. “I can’t imagine life without Noreen … She keeps me organized and ahead of the game in my office,” Luther said of her five years using Heavlin’s business, Sorting Things Out, once per month. Heavlin is one of 142 professional organizers in the Bay Area chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Founded in 1985, the national industry association has more than 4,000 organizers across the country. Part of the surge in professional organizing is in response to popular television shows like “Clean Sweep,” “Life Laundry,” “Hoarders” and magazines like Real Simple. Through the shows, people learned there were professionals who could help with clutter problems, said National Association of Professional Organizers Bay Area spokeswoman Mary Ann Pate. “Once that started happening, we saw a lot of people coming to our industry from the business world and high tech world,” Pate said. “What we’ve seen recently is that there are a lot of people interested in productivity,” something professional organizers can help clients develop. Six years ago, Heavlin was ready to return to the workforce after caring for her son. She shelved her master’s degree in library and information sciences to jumpstart Sorting Things Out. Now she helps about 20 clients in the Bay Area with projects spanning from devising organizational systems for businesses and cleaning out cluttered garages to filing electronic documents on a computer. Professional organizers come in all forms. They specialize in things like estates, finances, electronics, offices, time management, closets, warehouses and home staging. The service can cost anywhere from $25 to $200 per hour. Heavlin admits her lone salary wouldn’t be enough for her family to live on in the Bay Area but says it’s something she loves doing. Business varies with the time of year, and, as professional organizers have found in recent years, people are less likely to call on a professional organizer. “If you have a leak in your roof or your toilet is overflowing,

After working with an organizer for five years, Bree Luther’s home office remains a workable space. One way to achieve method out of madness is to file folders in transparent, transportable bins.

Tips from the professionals: t Imagine the life you want to live and then think about how you want to use each room and each item and ask, “Does this support the life I want to live?” t When possible go paperless with your documents. Use scanners to ease the paper clutterand file electronically. t Using portable, wheeled file cabinets for ongoing projects ensures filing is never out-of-sight, out-ofmind. t Use see-through folders so you can file something but quickly identify the file’s content.

HMB March 2011 15


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Where did that one paper go? Professional organizers are in the business of transforming clutter into order. Courtesy of Jeri Dansky.

you have to call a roofer or plumber, but, Heavlin asked the client. trived categories like “Cultivation.” if you have a really crowded office, people “Oh, this is really important — it’s a When asked for a user-friendly name can make up excuses,” Heavlin said. survey (response) I need to enter into the for the “Stewardship” file, the client “They’ll just close the door to the room.” computer,” the development director said. stalled. She laughed it off before saying, During a recent visit to a new client’s “So there are actions that need to hap“I’ll call it … I don’t know … I have to be home in El Granada, Heavlin stands at pen …” Heavlin said, pulling out a Post-it coached!” a desk stacked high with stray papers to note to jot down the necessary action Heavlin works with her clients to find explain one of the basic principals of ofbefore moving to the next paper. the root source of their organizational fice organization. When Heavlin asked her client what problem and figure out why their current “Zone 1 is while you’re sitting approach isn’t working for them. at your desk, anything you need An organizational problem is to access daily,” she said, standgenerally a symptom of other ing above the desk and indicatissues: Sometimes it’s a life ing the region an arm’s length change like a divorce, death or from the chair. “People waste a cross-country move. Other time walking across the room times, disorganization stems to get something they use every from learning differences like day.” attention deficit disorder, brain She went on to explain that injures, or simply the artistic Jeri dansky, professional organizer Zone 2, holding items used types or those with less linear regularly, is the area a few steps thinking. from the desk; Zone 3 materiWhen Heavlin meets a new als, like reference books and archives, category they could create to start a file client whom she suspects suffers from can be stored across the room; Zone 4 is for related documents, it took several one of the more serious ailments, she reserved for taxes and should be filed in minutes for the client to think of a worksuggest resources so they can seek storage. ing file name. help for the underlying problem. (For Once this basic concept is established, Difficultly in recognizing how to example, the Mental Health Association Heavlin sits down to file papers with her categorize is one of the problems ADD of San Francisco offers a free treatment client, a Coastside development director people encounter, Heavlin said. and support group for hoarders, and the suffering from attention deficit disorder “The distractibility prevents them from Institute for Challenging Disorganization who didn’t want to be identified for fear doing tedious tasks that require attention, is another resource.) of the stigma associated with ADD. like filing,” Heavlin said. But dealing with the underlying reason The client spends hours keeping her Finally they decided on “muttering for disorganization can be where the life in order. “It’s like you have to work file” categories, meaning a quirky phrase real organizational metamorphosis takes three times as hard to reach the same that comes easily to mind. The client place. level as everyone else,” she said. thought up a few, including, “People to Perhaps the most extreme cases are “Where did this paper come from?” Schmooze,” instead of the business conHeavlin’s hoarder clients.

“I don’t want to use a Hazmat suit … I know some organizers who have to wear those.”

HMB March 2011 17


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Heavlin tries not to take on hoarders because their psychological fears of letting things go make them difficult to work with. Still, Heavlin estimates 20 percent of her clients are hoarders. One technique of Coastsider Jeri Dansky, who has been a professional organizer for more than six years, is to relieve her clients of their excess stuff by taking it away herself. “If it fits in my Prius, I’ll take it away,” she said. Dansky rarely works with hoarders or those whom she describes as holding on to things most everyone would think of as useless, like an empty pizza box. “I don’t want to use a Hazmat suit … I know some organizers who have to wear those,” she said. Media depictions of disorders like hoarding raise awareness that there are people who can help, but the coverage also paints an inaccurate picture of what organizers do, she said. Sometimes working with a hoarder doesn’t result in a 180-degree change. For example, Dansky spent five hours with a hoarder once and the client ended up only being able to part with two small bags of stuff. Heavlin spoke of one hoarder client who had an e-Bay addiction. The house was extremely cluttered, and, like many hoarders, there were pathways through the house. “There’s anxiety around (getting rid of stuff)… They’ve been suffocating in their clutter, and just to have that open space really transforms people on many levels,” Heavlin said. Before Heavlin starts working with hoarders, she establishes rules. “Like if we’re cleaning out a fridge, we say the rule that if there is mold on anything, it goes out, or anything beyond its date,” she said. But even with rules, Heavlin has to argue with her clients to convince them to get past their neurosis. Ultimately, a little bit of these neuroses can be found in most people. “Everyone has something that they might over collect,” she said. “The most typical person ... there might be something in the kitchen or closet that needs to be paired down.” This is particularly true as people become more environmentally conscious and aware that belongings collecting dust can be donated or recycled. “I often think there is just too much stuff in the world, especially in this country,” Heavlin said. “People consume, which helps the economy, but there is an intensity of over consumption. People don’t take the time to clear out the stuff they’re no longer using.” 1

Noreen Cooper Heavlin usually initiates the organizational process by helping her clients decide on the necessary tools. Portable file cabinets, literature organizers and cork boards are often useful for sorting out life.

HMB March 2011 19


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Alternative abodes

Meet Luke and Beth Kilpatrick.

A truly close-knit couple, Beth and Luke Kilpatrick have been living for more than four years in a small trailer as they journey to various destinations across the U.S.

Life on the road pauses in HMB By Mark Noack

Young couple lives, works out of mobile home 22 March 2011 HMB

He’s a web-programming maestro who has seen his salary rise as he has climbed the tech industry career ladder. She’s an up-andcoming electrical engineer specializing in solar technology. With no kids, good jobs and plenty of disposable income, these two promising 20-somethings could live pretty much anywhere they desired in the Bay Area. They could move into a house, but the Kilpatricks say they’re too happy where they are now … in a narrow trailer on the south side of Half Moon Bay. Tired of lugging around a lifetime of possessions as they chased their careers, Luke and Beth made the call four years ago to take their life permanently on the road. Wedged in a home about 8 feet wide, the Kilpatricks say they’re running a household that’s cheaper, more environmentally friendly and that lets them easily go anywhere, anytime. “We’ve always been minimalist, and we were never really into the whole American dream of having as much stuff as possible,” Luke explained. Plus the couple was simply sick and tired of constantly packing up and moving. Parked at Pelican Point off Miramontes Point Road, the Kilpatrick motor home still has all the trappings of a well-inhabited piece of local real estate, surrounded outside by a line of potted plants, a drying wetsuit and a collection of surfboards. Costing about $800 a month, the RV lifestyle is a bargain by Half Moon Bay prices for a beachfront plot. Getting started with their first trailer cost them about $14,000. Although they’re living at a campground, they’re hardly roughing it. When they need to work


“We’ve always been minimalist, and we were never really into the whole American dream of having as much stuff as possible.” — Luke Kilpatrick

Living in their trusty trailer, the Kilpatricks have weathered subzero temperatures and sweaty summers. Looking for more space, the couple purchased a new trailer, picture above, with a bit more room to stretch out.

online, the Kilpatricks log their computers on to the campground wireless network. To relax, they take a short trip to surf at the beach. And when they’re hungry, they waltz over to the Half Moon Bay Ritz-Carlton for a snack. And they’re not alone. Approximately 10 percent of RV and trailer owners choose to permanently reside in their mobile homes and usually not for financial reasons, according to the California Association of RV Parks and Camp-

grounds. “It’s very much part of a larger trend,” said Debbie Sipe, California ARVC executive director. “People love the lifestyle, being able to roam the country and do whatever they want to do.” But living on wheels hasn’t always been easy for the Kilpatricks. The couple first tried trailer living in 2006 when they were crisscrossing the Midwest for work and college. The biggest sacrifice obviously was

space, so they had to divvy up their possessions, give away most of them, throw some in storage and keep only the necessities. Beth had to abandon her beloved book collection. A pleasant solution to the problem: She recently picked up a Kindle book tablet. (“Best Valentine’s Day gift ever,” she says.) The first winter spent in the trailer was particularly traumatizing. Living in Wisconsin during one of the coldest seasons on record, the pair was just learning the

“We’ve always been minimalist, and we were never really into the whole American dream of having as much stuff as possible.” — Luke Kilpatrick

HMB March 2011 23


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ropes of their new trailer when they had to deal with daily temperatures dropping to 20 degrees below zero. That meant their water intake pipe and their septic tanks all froze solid, and they were burning through propane to stay warm. “It was bounce weather,” said Luke. “That means when you spit, the drop is frozen before it hits the ground.” The nozzle of the water intake pipe ruptured at one point, sending a geyser of water into the air, and it would all immediately freeze. They managed to repair the leak by forcing the pipe head back into place, but the job meant getting drenched in the icy cold. Despite that rough start, the Kilpatricks stuck by their trailer home, although a warmer climate became more attractive. Coincidentally, that June, Luke was heading out west to California for a software conference, and Beth decided to tag along after an internship offer fell through. They decided to make a vacation out of it, driving west to the coast. “We stayed at some really beautiful campgrounds … and a Walmart parking lot.” Beth said. “You know all those song lines, ‘amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties’? … It really was like that when you’re traveling.” That vacation soon turned into a permanent stay in California. The couple hopscotched across various sites around the Bay Area before settling in Half Moon Bay in 2008. For two people accustomed to a transient lifestyle, the Kilpatricks say they’re extremely settled in on the Coastside. They’ve gained a circle of friends, surf the local beaches regularly and say they have no plan to pack up and leave anytime soon. “We love it here,” Luke said. “We’re farm kids, and this feels like home to us.” A professional technophile, Luke is proud that his trailer would allow them to pack up and leave in case of anything, including a tsunami, earthquake or mudslide. Over time, they’ve made slight alterations to their mobile home, installing a larger kitchen table, reconfiguring the computer setup, trying to make more workspace. They eventually purchased a larger trailer that gave them about a third more space — and a bathroom much larger than their previous closet-sized one. The Kilpatricks say they have no regrets, save one: a bathtub for an occasional hot soak would be heavenly. 1

The Kilpatricks say they feel right at home in Half Moon Bay, and they don’t have any immediate plans to settle elsewhere. Both Beth and Luke have become proficient surfers over their stay in the area.

Small space hasn’t been a problem for the tech-savvy couple. They’ve managed to conserve workspace for their computer systems. HMB March 2011 25


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Local food hub to build farmers network 28 March 2011 HMB


“It can go from kosher salt to tractor parts and even resources or people.” Dee Harley, Harley Farms owner

Kevin Koebel grills some grassfed beef from TomKat Ranch (left) and makes an organic pesto sauce (above) in the kitchen on Main Street that formerly housed Rogue Chefs. Re-opening as Local FATT, Koebel is inviting local farmers, educators, and chefs to collaborate on projects in a communal space.

I

Local FATT movement invites novel thinking about food

magine a local farming collaborative where Pescadero goat farmer Dee Harley can borrow a rototiller from a farmer down the street, where two backyard jam makers can partner up for a better price on sugar and canning material, or where a burgeoning pumpkin farmer can make ends meet by making value-added products like pumpkin pie in a certified kitchen. As it stands now, there’s no formal way

By Lily Bixler | photos by lars howlett

for such farmers to collaborate with each other, local chefs and the general public. Kevin Koebel is trying to do just that: connect the dots for farmers, food service professionals and consumers. The result is Local Food Awareness Through Teaching, or Local FATT, a new model for organizing food communities. It’s a hub for local, sustainable farmers to

sell their goods, a kitchen for food industry professionals to use and an educational center for the public to take classes and learn about food systems. In early March, Local FATT will open at 730 Main St. where the restaurant Rogue Chefs was housed previously. The walls of Local FATT will be covered with a depiction of the food system, from the food’s origins as a seed (with a brief detour while the seed is patented by comHMB March 2011 29


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panies like Monsanto) to the moment it reaches the consumer’s mouth. The restaurant-turnedfood-center will have a learning center where visitors can watch videos about local farms. Community-supported agriculture programs are expected to use Local FATT as a pickup spot for their goods. Local chefs and other food service providers can use the space to teach cooking classes. The building will also serve as a location to host farm dinners and other events. Harley Farms, Pie Ranch and future participating farms will have framed information boards made from repurposed material from the original 1800s building. The concept for Local FATT started as an inkling deep inside Koebel. The thrill of the restaurant business was fizzling for the Bay Area chef. After 30 years in an industry that demands unusual hours and unhealthy habits, Koebel called it quits when he and his wife were considering having another child. “(Kids) change so fast,” Koebel said. “I was missing transitional times in their lives.” In October 2007 Koebel shut down Rogue Chefs to spend time with his family. But during those off years, something began percolating in

Koebel’s mind. He became increasingly frustrated with America’s relationship with food — how it’s produced, prepared and consumed. “I just wish I knew where stuff comes from,” he said. He thought more and more about the question and realized he wanted to create a space to bring together all the participants to create a forum to provide some answers. “I wanted to take a hard, fast look at our current food system — really what it looks like — and understand how and why it’s morphed,” he said. “Then the next step is understanding the result of all of it on our people and planet. ... The vast majority (of people) are so disconnected from the system.” Instead, he imagined an organization on the Coastside that networks the key players in order to build a full-circle food system. “(Koebel) sees the food system spiraling out of control and sees that people are operating separately,” said Dee Harley, owner of Harley Farms. “If we didn’t (operate) separately, maybe we could bring back a better system.” With farm education programs like HEAL (health, environment, agriculture and learning),

Caroline Smith of the River Cafe in Santa Cruz prepares a healthy lunch for a Montessori school. Local FATT has opened its doors to those who require a commercial kitchen for safe handling and cooking of food for benefit dinners or re-sale to the public.

HMB March 2011 31


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Three goats from Pie Ranch (right) were slaughtered and brought to Local FATT to be butchered and served at a dinner on the farm. Koebel will also offer cooking classes and the opportunity for local farmers to host events in his dining room.

people on the coast already have a consciousness around food. Coastside farmers have found various business models to sustain their enterprises: Some run traditional row-crop farming businesses while others have turned to nonprofit, educationbased funding models. Internship programs, farm dinners and value-added products have become run-of-the-mill components of the modern-day, small-scale farm. Even in such an innovative food community, there is room for growth. “Why can’t we share a rototiller or tractor?” Harley said. Often forced to buy on the cheap, if farmers banded together they could purchase better products. “Some people are afraid to let out their secrets, but collaboration isn’t about competing against each other. ... If you’re going to make some jam and I’m going to make some jam, they will be different anyway, but (together) we can buy sugar and berries for less,” she said. “It can go from kosher salt to tractor parts and even resources or people.” But for such a system to work, people will have to be on board. So far, Local FATT has recruited two local farms. The goal, Koebel said, is to recruit farmers who practice sustainability and localism. “Local FATT’s ability to blow out its boundaries and expand are endless,” Koebel said. Giving away kitchen time and offering the free use of his facilities may seem impossible to maintain, but for Koebel the approach is to demonetize food so that people establish a healthier relationship with it. Co-branding with the farms and the food-service providers will help cover the base overhead of the property. “The intention isn’t to become a cash cow but to make this a place for one of the last true agrarian regions,” he said. To make ends meet, Koebel will continue working as a commercial realtor on the bay side so that he “doesn’t have to monetize what (he’s) passionate about.” 1

(Photo courtesy Kevin Koebel)

HMB March 2011 33


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» SEEN IN THE SCENE

Chamber recognition dinner The Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau held their 2011 Annual Recognition Dinner Jan. 26 at the Oceano Hotel in Half Moon Bay. The Bert Carli Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to Mel Mello and the Business Hall of Fame Award was presented to Jay and Patti Warshauer, owners of Main Street Goldworks. The officers and board sworn in by Supervisor Don Horsley and Mayor Naomi Patridge included Sara Watson, Heidi Kuiper, Robert Dragony, Sheri Olson, and Wayne Meyer. Entertainment for the evening was political comedian Will Durst. Photos and names provided by Dianne Passen.

Comedian Will Durst

Cheryl Sinclair and Wayne Meyer

Tim Beeman, Nancy Beeman, Cheryl Sinclair, Janie James and Paul James

Mary Oldham and Linda Cozzolino

Rick Kowalcyk and Kathy White

Kevin Palmer and Tara Earley

Andre Franco, Bev Miller, John Kolbisen

Naomi Patridge and Bev Miller

Tara Earley, Jay, Patti, Josh, Jeff and Jesse Warshauer

Heidi Kuiper, Charise McHugh

Tom, Debbie and Keven O’Brian

HMB March 2011 35


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» SEEN IN THE SCENE

Music flows from Wine Bar

The Wine Bar HMB at Harbor Village was host to a preview performance of musician Dan Littlefield on Saturday, Jan. 29. Littlefield performed the debut of his second album, “The Hills We Knew” the following evening at Hotel Utah in San Francisco. Kristin Lee, a classically trained violinist joined Littlefield at the preview event. Both played alternative rock mixed beautifully with folk. Dan Littlefield will be back at the Wine Bar sometime in March. Photos and names provided by Claudia Marshall.

Ted Brandscomb

Marge Flynn and Nick Damer

Kristin Lee, Dan Littlefield and Mark Lachaud

Kristin Lee and Chris Dennis

Mark Kostrzewa and Joe Koenig

Purr Drummey and Jillian Meyers

Richard and Suzanne Andrade

Dan Littlefield and Kara Damer

HMB March 2011 37


38 March 2011 HMB


» DOWN TO EARTH

I just bought some bare-root fruit trees and berries for my front and back garden. What is the best way to plant them and how much should I fertilize?

Q&A

—Carol K., San Francisco

Ready for March madness? No, not that kind of March madness … I’m talking about the happenings in the garden this month. Buds are swelling, weeds are growing and the birds are really busy. I know we’ve had some “weird” weather this year, but you know what? We have some variation of weird weather every year, so I’m just going to talk about a typical March — whatever that is! The roses have been pruned (right?), the perennials have been cut back, any major renovation-type pruning has been done, so now what? Here’s what you can do this month to ensure a fabulous spring in the garden: 1. Plant 4-inch annuals and perennials if you have empty spots in the garden. They’re the best buy, and they’ll quickly catch up to a one-gallon size before you know it. 2. If you haven’t yet, top-dress all your planting areas with compost. Either use your own garden-made, if you’re the industrious type,

or have Soil Farm deliver a half or whole yard of it right to your house. Now there’s a fun project for a shovel, a wheelbarrow and you! 3. Replant or plant any containers you have that are either empty or have sad (stunted or dead) plants in them. Be brave. Into the green waste or compost bin with anything not really healthy. This is the time for a fresh start! 4. Plant your vegetable garden! Now is the perfect time to get your herbs, lettuce, broccoli, carrots and strawberries (and many other veggies) in the ground. 5. Make sure your irrigation system (even if it’s you and the hose) are in sync with any rainfall or lack thereof. Turn it on if more than a week goes by with no precipitation. 6. Fertilize your lemon trees, if you’ve got them, with a fertilizer specifically for citrus. Also, your hydrangeas could use a good dose of aluminum sulfate and a high potassium/low phosphorus fertilizer about now, if you want to keep/make them blue. 7. Clean out your bird bath. Like I said, the bird activity is ramping up and quite entertaining. You should grab a good book, a blanket if necessary, park yourself quietly in your garden and watch the show. I hope you’re catching the madness. You definitely will if you’re around me ‘cause I feel very contagious about now!

— CML

Good question, Carol. This is my favorite time of year to buy any vegetables, berries and fruit trees. They have just been harvested and are inundating the nurseries. If you have an inkling you’d like a fruit tree in your garden, now is the time to grab one. Bare-root is a term for a plant that is shipped without being planted in soil and dormant. Often, you buy them at the nursery somewhat planted, which is mostly for stocking purposes. When bringing home a bare-root berry or fruit tree, it is best to spend some time prepping the soil extra well, since they do not have the sufficient amount of roots grown to help support them and grow through less than ideal soil conditions. Cultivating the soil by hand and adding some organic compost will help. Next plant the trees or berries, and create a little mound about three to five inches away from the base to help catch water. If you’re planting bare-root trees, they should be staked by sinking in a stake about a foot away from the tree, and using a rubber tie at the upper-middle area of the trunk. As for fertilizing, less is more. For fruit trees, if you fertilize too much, you may end up with more vegetative growth than fruit or tasteless fruit from too much nitrogen, and the same goes with berries. You can find a fruit tree organic fertilizer at most hardware stores or nurseries, which is perfect in nitrogen and potassium. This can be used on your berries as well, or a common all-purpose organic fertilizer can be applied, too. Make sure to use as the fertilize box indicates and water well afterwards. That should be all the fertilizer the plants need until about fall. — JLS

Contact Jennifer Segale, Wildflower Farms, 726-5883 and Carla Lazzarini, Earth’s Laughter, (650) 996-5168. HMB March 2011 39


» SIGHTSEEING WITH LARS HOWLETT

The difficulty of dignity

n When: 10:08 a.m., Jan. 27, 2011 n Where: Beneath Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay n Exposure: 1/5 of a second at f/9, ISO 2000 n Photographer’s Notes: I set out before sunrise with a volunteer, a politician, and a police officer for the biennial count of the homeless population on the coast. Generally, a photographer is permitted to photograph subjects in public for editorial purposes, although I will ask for permission when creating a close-up portrait. Inhabiting a public space, the homeless present an ethical question, as they do not have a private home where they can withdraw from public view. When we found this makeshift living room, there was nobody to speak with, so I created this image framing the belongings from afar in contrast to graffiti in order to bring a sense of humanity to the camp. If possible, a conversation will almost always help to deepen the understanding of a subject, especially the homeless where assumptions and stereotypes are easily made. And in all cases, even when talking is not possible, I strive to create photos that tell stories with deeper compassion and meaning. 40 March 2011 HMB

Lars Howlett is the Half Moon Bay Review’s photographer. You can reach him at lars@hmbreview.com


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HMB Magazine March 2011  

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