Monthly Archives: June 2013

Farm to Fork Wine Dinner in the Vineyard!

Farm to Fork Wine Dinner in the Vineyard!

Antelope Valley Winery is very excited to be hosting the Holland Ranch Farm to Fork Dinner Celebration in our Vineyard Park on Saturday, July 27th, beginning at 6:30 PM. This will be an amazing four course Dinner in the Vineyard while we watch the sunset and listen to Jazz by Kevin Herrera! The dinner will feature certified organic produce and cheese from Holland Ranch, wine pairings for each course from AV Winery, all served and catered by local chefs from Eat Up Catering and Just the Right Bite Catering. A flyer with the full menu is available in the AV Winery Tasting Room. The all-inclusive cost is $68 per person. The event is limited to 100 guests. *Prepaid Reservations are required by July 20th. Make your reservations in the Tasting Room or by phone, 661-722-0145. *Reservations are non-refundable.

Farmers Market Saturday ~ Tasting Room Samples & Sale!

Join us for Farmers Market this Saturday, 9am to Noon, continuing through November! Cooking Class Demo- This Saturday Chef Dea of Just the Rite Bite Catering will be teaching us how to make Simple Summer Soups: Borscht, Carrot Ginger & Gazpacho! Samples in the Tasting Room: During Farmers Market this Saturday we will be sampling our Buffalo Chipotle Sausage. We are pairing this with Lt. Blender’s Sangria Wine Freezer using our Runway Red wine. This weekend only, Buy any two of the featured products and receive 15% off the pair, Wine Club Members receive 20% off the pair. *Samples only while supplies last!

Wine Club Members: The next Wine Club Release Party will be on Sunday, July 21st, from 2-4PM. We have some wonderful food and entertainment planned for you as well as three New Release Wines!

Rachel and YoungLoveAfter50 discovering Cover’s Apple Ranch 

Rachel and Her Dad join Marva Greenleaf and Jim Greenleaf for a train ride to remember! LoveFest, FunFest wherever we go. Thank YOU Cover’s Apple Ranch!

Happy Cows live in Tuolumne County 

Wake Up! in Tuolumne County and you, too, will thrive in the Divine Energy, God-Given.


Chris Wells, Creator of Secret City, draws us into His Transformational Community. And So It Is! Obsession is the Theme of this Segment…June 16, 2013, Bootleg Theatre, Silver Lake, Ca.

Mr Ledford, help me tear down the Cactus Curtain,

we were there today when Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris made an announcement, that seems to be conciliatory toward his business rival to the South. In our opinion, this wonderful Valley is too small for its two largest , leading Cities to ever block each other, to ever fight. There should always be consideration and cooperation, maybe both sides can move a little bit.

Mayor R. Rex Parris Extends Offer of Mediation to Resolve Multiple Disputes Between the Cities of Lancaster and Palmdale

Initiative Aims to Build Partnership Between the Cities of the Antelope Valley

Lancaster, CA. June 20, 2013 – Mayor R. Rex Parris and members of the Lancaster City Council today offered Palmdale Mayor James C. Ledford and the Palmdale City Council an opportunity to work together in an effort to resolve the numerous disputes between the two cities. Mayor Parris proposed that each city appoint a delegation to meet with an independent, third-party mediator to work through these issues, with each city paying 50 percent of the cost for the mediator.

“As the community is well aware, the Cities of Lancaster and Palmdale have engaged in their fairshare of less-than-friendly rivalries over the past several decades,” said Parris. “Yesterday, this rivalry reached fever pitch when a Palmdale City Council Member, in a not-so-veiled threat, urged residents to boycott Costco, a key source of sales tax revenue for the City of Lancaster and of employment for both Palmdale and Lancaster residents. He wrote, ‘Avoid hepatitis, shop at Sam’s Club.’

“My first reaction was to call for a similar boycott of one of Palmdale’s own key sales tax revenue generators: the Antelope Valley Mall. Fortunately, I listened to the wise counsel of my wife, as well as Supervisor Antonovich and Sheriff Lee Baca before her. A boycott would only hurt employees, merchants, and the hard-working families of both cities.

“Don’t get me wrong; we have real and defining issues, the outcomes of which are critical to the future of both cities. These include the Palmdale Power Plant, fiscally reckless fights over sales tax generators, sales tax sharing strategies, the future of AVTA and Metrolink in the Antelope Valley, use of regional transportation dollars from the MTA, recycled water service, air quality management strategies, sanitation district administration and rate hikes, the role of local government and citizen commissions, local AV control of water service, local control of the AV Fair, development standards, job creation strategies, when we each schedule our events, and yes, even the sale of fireworks.

“However, this particular incident and comment by a Palmdale City Council Member have encouraged me to take a closer look at the ongoing contention between the two cities in our great community.

“The constant bickering, name-calling, and efforts to undermine one another are bad for Palmdale and Lancaster alike. But more importantly, it’s bad for our residents and businesses.

“We can’t simply close our eyes and pretend the other doesn’t exist. The Antelope Valley is a single community, and the actions of leaders in one city can profoundly impact the residents of not only Palmdale and Lancaster, but also the many unincorporated areas that surround us.

“This constant rivalry serves to distract the leaders of both cities from the true mission we both share: to improve the quality of life for the citizens of the Antelope Valley. By partnering rather than squabbling, we could take our efforts in a number of sectors to a whole new level, bringing our residents a higher quality of service.

“In light of these facts,I propose a real, genuine, proven, and fair path forward. We will share the cost of a professional mediator with Palmdale to mediate our disputes.  Each city will choose its own delegation. I ask Palmdale leadership to accept this offer as soon as possible so we can begin work within the next 30 days.

“By working side-by-side, the Cities of Lancaster and Palmdale can move past the rivalry that has plagued our community for decades. Rather than focusing each city’s energy on locating a business in one Antelope Valley city or the other, economic development efforts could be united, making our region a force to be reckoned with throughout the State of California. Costs could be cut and taxpayer dollars saved by coordinating contracted services across city boundaries.

“With this partnership, we will be able to move forward and create an ever-brighter future for the community we all share.

“Mr. Ledford, let’s tear down this curtain.”


Farmers Markets: In Lancaster, uncertified but top quality

The Antelope Valley Winery market forgoes the certification process but is the best in its area, with fresh local produce and more.

By David KarpJune 14, 2013, 10:17 a.m.

At many Southern California certified farmers markets, the vendors may comply with agricultural regulations but still offer only mediocre produce and may never have actually set foot on a farm. Paradoxically, the Antelope Valley Winery farmers market in Lancaster is uncertified — not supervised by county or state agricultural authorities — but it’s the best in its area, boasting really fresh produce, much of it organic, from nearby small farms. Flanked by trellised grapevines, it’s small but picturesque, and much beloved by local customers and growers.

It started six years ago when several local farmers persuaded Cyndee Donato, co-owner of the winery, to try a market. Among them were Doug Miller and Lesley McAndrew-Miller of Winner Circle Farms, who raise peaches, apples and eggs just one block south.

On a visit last Saturday, Miller ambled through his 21/2-acre orchard, surrounded by horse corrals, ranchettes, and scrubland. Chickens pecked for bugs in the scruffy grass underneath the peach trees, or roosted in an old, rusting horse trailer.

Although he’s a cabinetmaker by trade, and his wife is a teacher, they “always liked growing stuff,” he said. They started their farm 20 years ago, and named it Winner Circle because he’s a car racing enthusiast.

Peaches and nectarines are their specialty, with two dozen varieties, modern and heirloom, ripening from June to October. Miller attended college agriculture classes with John Tenerelli, a well-known farmers market stone fruit grower from Littlerock, and Tenerelli’s workers do some of Miller’s pruning and thinning, although he and his wife do everything else. They sell at farmers markets in Pacific Palisades and nearby on Lancaster Boulevard, but the winery market is their favorite, he said.

“There’s a real rapport between the growers and the community,” Miller said. “One advantage is that it’s in the morning; have you ever tried to sell produce here in the heat of the summer? Also, this market is very little effort for us compared to driving to Los Angeles.”

Back at the market, customers thronged the Winner Circle stand, as well as the booth where Eric and Cheri Holland ofHolland Ranch Organics sold greens and vegetables grown a mile away. They’re sales managers, he for Pilot Pens, she for the Girl Scouts, who turned a passion for growing their own garlic, tomatoes and wine grapes into a two-acre certified organic farm. Currently they’ve got salad greens, carrots, beets, radishes and onions; soon they’ll have tomatoes, melons, corn and potatoes, 40 crops in all.

The Hollands and their children work 15 hours the day before the market, but find their reward in the appreciation of their neighbors.

“I know my customers and what they want,” said Eric Holland. “My focus is the local community.”

Several other farmers aren’t quite as close, but still relatively local. Soledad Goat Cheese drives 25 miles from Mojave. John Thorpe of Tangleweed Farm brings a mix of vegetables and greens now, and raspberries and Olallieberries in a few weeks, from Tehachapi, 40 miles away.

Relying on the limited roster of local growers makes it more challenging for the manager when, as inevitably happens, crops or farmers fail. Most local peach growers lost their crop in a spring freeze last year, and Scattaglia Farms of Littlerock quit farming. Ananda Marga, a yoga and meditation retreat in nearby Lake Hughes, lost most of its peach orchard in the recent Powerhouse fire, but hopes to return to the market with its vegetables, said the manager, Dada Gana.

Donato chose to be uncertified because that gave her and her vendors more flexibility, she said. Some are backyard growers who only sell for a few weeks and might be discouraged by regulatory fees and paperwork. Some supplement their offerings: Alongside his homegrown produce, Thorpe sells organic coffee and canned tuna; Tapia Brothers, which farms in nearby Rosamond and in Encino, has melons from Bakersfield along with their celebrated corn. Most customers know to ask which items are locally grown.

At certified farmers markets, agricultural inspectors verify that vendors really grow what they sell, and that’s crucial when farms are far from markets. In urban areas the uncertified model might readily be exploited by unscrupulous peddlers and managers; at the winery location, with an operator who runs the market almost as a community service, it does have certain advantages.

Why don’t more markets go uncertified? Certified farmers have to pay fees and submit to inspections, but there are certain regulatory requirements from which they are exempt. Theoretically, growers of certain commodities like apples and peaches are supposed to transport them in standard containers; also, if vendors are purchasing products from other farmers, they have to provide proof of ownership. Realistically, however, agricultural authorities don’t have time to chase small-time scofflaws.

The uncertified model may be catching on. A new uncertified Quartz Hill farmers market with some of the same vendors as the winery opens today at the local Church of Christ, and will be held Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m., through October. On the other hand, the Acton farmers market, which was uncertified since its opening in 2011, just became certified last week, “to keep out resellers,” said Gary Lubben, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, its sponsor.

Antelope Valley Winery farmers market, 2041 20th St. W., Lancaster, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, May through November;