January 2022


The Day Begins at Sunrise

Sunrise, with hope for a better day. Good strong coffee, sleepy cats, and an amazing sky. I begin the day with a sense of urgency to accomplish something good, something that will have influence in my life, my staff, and my guests at IL Fiorello. There is so much to do and much to accomplish.

The supply chain issues that everyone is experiencing is causing us all to be grumpy. Our labels are late, the bottles are late, and our new stove is now nine weeks out from the initial order. The Virus has us all worried and even grumpier. Be kind, be careful, be safe. The rain and fog have made January incredibly quiet at the Farm. This has become a place of quiet contemplation and peace for our guests. One of the many gifts of our Farm.

IL Fiorello is still moving forward, bottling oil, painting the inside of our olive mill, cleaning the mill equipment, and beginning to prune our trees. We will soon begin to prune our roses to give them a rest, as they are still blooming! We have ordered more yellow roses for the Rose Garden area. This will become an incredibly special place on the Farm. And yes, we must feed the farm plants. Our mulch and compost help all the plants. But I can also hear the weeds growing.

We have begun to order seeds for spring, lots of seeds for our Spring and Summer gardens. We now have cauliflower, artichokes, onions, peas, and lots of mint growing. The mint at the Farm grew through the parking lot…. strong and scented. That is much better than the skunk smell. We cannot find where the skunk is living. The investigation is continuing. We will put out a trail camera this coming week. Stay tuned for skunk updates.

Wilkinson Acres, our friendly CSA down the street gave us 200 extra Strawberry plants that are flourishing! Consider signing up for their Spring CSA, good people, good food. They are also, like us, organic growers.


We have our strawberry plants in pots and are trying to figure out a special spot to plant them in the ground. A treat to have fresh strawberries on the Farm. Just think, Strawberry Pie and Strawberry Rhubarb compote over Olive Oil Gelato. Strawberry semifreddo, strawberries with cream and brown sugar, and of course our Strawberry Flirt Cocktail. Also, our Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.


The New Year also brings the olive oil competitions, to honor the oils of Fall. We select the best of our 2021 harvest oils that we submit to international competitions. Wish us luck! You never know what the judges are preferring this year. We are entering, LA International Competition, New York International Competition, Japan Olive Oil Prize, and of course the California State Fair. We will post results late in Spring when the award announcements are announced.

Today brought amazing sun and warmth. Hopefully, a harbinger of better days. The Chef and kitchen staff are making delicious lunches on weekends. I tasted the Chili for January service, and it is amazing. We are pickling garden peppers that we harvested today. These will go on our charcuterie boards to spice up the presentation. The sweet and flavorful red Sweet Bonnet peppers are delicious.

We even have artichokes reaching to the sun. It might be January but how fun to see these green beauties. Delicious when presented with our Lemon Co-Milled oil. Maybe I will have these for dinner tonight!

I am still amazed at what we can grow year-round in California. A treasure for sure.

Sunset ends the day with an equally breathtaking show of the sky, the satisfaction of making a valuable product and keeping a great business busy. At the end of the day, we coop up the chickens for safety. They are not making many eggs now, cold, molting, resting. But soon, if the oyster shells arrive soon, did I mention the supply chain issues, they will be back producing more eggs for our kitchen. They do love the sunflower seeds and we know it gives them energy during the cold days. Our “girls” are friends, and we must keep them safe and healthy.

At the end of the day,

be safe,

look forward,

enjoy what you are doing.