aestheticsarts and culturefeatured-aestheticsinspiring spacesIssue 22

Inspiring Spaces: Bloomingcamp Ranch

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By Michele Laverty

The Farm to Table movement comes home at Bloomingcamp Ranch. Once a sheep farm where hundreds of sheep grazed pasture land the ranch became known as the place for fresh produce and even fresher baked goods.

Founders Bill & Joy Bloomingcamp began planting almond and walnut trees and soon decided to try their hand at growing apples. They were among the first to plant apple trees in Stanislaus County and patiently waited four years to harvest their first crop.

Once the apple trees came into production, it became abundantly obvious that the Bloomingcamp’s had to come up with another plan than just selling the apples out of their shop. Joy began selling boxes of apples to fruit stands in Stanislaus County and even joined the board to begin the Modesto Certified Farmer’s Market.

However, that still wasn’t enough for the amount of apples that their trees were producing so they began to make cider. After two years, a few acres of apple trees and thousands of gallons of cider the bake shop was born. Today Bloomingcamp Ranch is a quaint bakeshop still using Joy’s recipes to bake Dutch Apple of Berry Cream Cheese pie.

The Bloomingcamp tradition of year round baked goods and local, farm fresh produce will continues at the Ranch Bake Shop & Farm Stand. The ideal experience for a family is to plan a picnic lunch, grab some duck food and baked goods from the shop to enjoy the view. The Smith family, who is currently operating the ranch has expanded the offerings to include a Farm to Table Dinner Club.

The Club is a monthly dinner series featuring rotating guest chefs from California’s Central Valley from February-October. Dinners will be served in the orchards and barn featuring a four-course plated meal which will highlight local produce, cheese, meats, and pantry staples along with wine, hard cider and beer. Fresh food in a great setting complete with a tour of the farming operation sounds like an inspiring way to spend an evening or just bring the family for a picnic and a chance to feed the ducks.

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