In 1976, two UC Davis graduate students bought 20 acres of land in the highly arable Capay Valley. One of the students, Kathleen Barsotti, was working toward her master's degree in ecology and was determined to grow vegetables and fruits in an eco-friendly way: organically. The organic-food movement hadn't yet entered the public consciousness, and Kathleen worked overtime to convince restaurants, stores, and consumers of the taste-able merits of her process. Over time, given the possible health and environmental benefits of certified organic food, she succeeded. The farm sprouted to 300 acres to accommodate the increased demand. Today, a second generation runs the farm as well as a shop inside San Francisco's Ferry Building. Dubbed Farm Fresh To You, the store furnishes customers' bags or portable cornucopia horns with all sorts of soil-sprouted goods, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peas, and fresh asparagus. The farm also teams up with fellow Yolo County and Pacific Northwest farms to deliver boxes of seasonal produce to area homes.
Dynasty Creative Arts Studio’s pendant-crafting class introduces participants to the art of jewelry making during 1.5-hour molding sessions. Small classes of eight students shape and press wax stamps into antique-style charms or pendants of fine silver clay, imprinted with letters, organic designs, and cheat codes to video games. A genuine ruby, sapphire, or emerald stone adds color and sparkle to each pendant as aspiring jewelers construct their customized pieces. After designs are complete, instructors fire the trinkets in a kiln, which transforms the clay into solid fine silver faster than holding it over a campfire or a sleeping dragon’s nostrils. Visitors can stay cozy while working on their projects with Dynasty’s in-studio fireplace, warm blankets, and steaming cups of espresso, latte, and herbal tea.
Owner Sherry Behzadi helms Charisma Salon & Spa, drawing from more than two decades of experience in the beauty industry. Sherry’s dedication to customer service has garnered notice from her clients, but has also been recognized by newspapers including the Capistrano Dispatch, which awarded it the 2009 Golden Horseshoe prize for Best Salon/Barbershop.
But accolades from the press aren't what drive Sherry and her team. Instead, they focus on providing their clients with styles that complement their natural beauty. To do this, they turn to a stock of more than 20 beauty brands, including Redken, Schwarzkopf, Great Lengths, and Brazilian Blowout, to straighten strands, add length, and highlight locks. The fashion-forward studio also customizes skincare treatments with Dermalogica products, which leave complexions more hydrated than a water bottle hooked up to an IV.
At Mountain Pines Christmas Tree Farm, tree hunters peruse rows upon rows of ripe, fragrant evergreens before selecting one to haul home and gussy up in holiday splendor. The farm keeps a diverse inventory, including farm-grown Leyland Cypress and Monterey Pines as well as pre-cut varietals such as Douglas and Fraser Firs brought from the wintry forests of Oregon. Wreaths and mistletoe round out the farm’s festive foliage, providing understated accompaniment to their larger brethren. Not to be outdone, autumn’s finest looks also go on display each fall at the farm’s pumpkin patch, where guests can scope out bright, plump pumpkins suitable for carving or using in a demonstration about knife safety.