Flavor + character of produce = climate + geography + farming practice

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Location: Full Belly Farms, Guinda, CA

Featuring: Judith Redmond

“Terre” means “land” in French. Terroir, therefore, is a French term meaning all food expresses a sense of place.

It is the belief that the flavor and character of a food product is directly attributable to the climate, geography, and farming practices from which it sprung.

Each farm is unique so the combined effects of terroir take time to be revealed. Some parts of a farm are colder in spring. Some are weedier. Others, sandier. A farmer must understand the land, meet new challenges as they arise each year and develop a farming approach that builds resilience.

At Full Belly Farm, organic farming and soil building practices combine with the terroir of the Capay Valley to build deep flavor in their fruits and vegetables.



Douglas Gayeton for Lexicon of Sustainability


Location: Drakes Bay Oyster Co., Inverness, CA

Featuring: Eleodoro, Kevin, and Pippin the pup.

Formula for term: terroir1 – terre2 + agua3 = aguoir* terrior1 = a French term expressing the idea that food tastes of its place terre2 = soil (French) agua3 = water (Spanish)

“Singles” are raised in “grow out” bags set out in the estero’s intertidal zone. As the oysters grow they are placed in increasingly larger bags until harvesting at 16-24 months. While the oysters are still small they are attached to shells that are then threaded onto cables. These “cluster” oysters will hang from racks for 18 to 24 months until harvesting.

Kevin tells me that the oysters here taste differently depending on where they are raised in the estero. He calls this “aguoir.”*

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