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A Visit to Sonoma Swamp Blues and a Recipe to Honor the Farmer

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Two things struck me the other week when I went down to the Laguna de Santa Rosa with our photographer Dawn to visit Sonoma Swamp Blues, our local organic blueberry farm. The first came immediately upon opening the car door. Mamta, the mother of one of my very best childhood friends Daniel, jumped right into a few things on her mind. The first was interpreting my dream I had barely shaken at that fresh hour of 6:30am. The second was espousing the anthroposophical healing qualities of the dew clinging to perfectly plump and purple blueberries popping off scraggly branches. You see, Mamta is a parent of two Waldorf kids and was, for many years, president of Ayurvedic California, so she knows a thing or two about the esoteric.

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But here is what struck my and made me smile on that foggy summer morning. I had the pleasure, in that moment, of feeling like a kid again. I remembered the feeling of being in her house as a boy. Of playing with her son in ways that will always live as the sweet memories that make life forever worth living.

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On to the blueberries. Fruit has incredible power over us all, but especially over our children. They become mesmerized by the flavors and the experiences of fruit. Picking, holding, eating, and cleaning up after. For the remainder of our lives these memories will bring us joy in each time we taste the first perfect fruit of the season. Holding true to these memories, this recipe is straight forward and represents the season perfectly.

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Lowell’s Vegan Blueberry Crisp
Makes 6, 6oz individual ramekins or 1, 8″x8″ shallow glass crisp pan

Our blueberry crisp is a favorite in the summertime, but this recipe filling can easily be played with. Peaches, apples, blackberries, you name it! We encourage you to use what you have in house, using your garden harvest, or purchasing organic, whenever possible.

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Topping: Mix dry ingredients together until well combined.  Add oil, mixing until the dry ingredients are almost saturated.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup canola oil

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Fruit Filling: Toss fruit with vanilla and lemon juice. Combine sugar with cornstarch and add to fruit mixture. Let stand for 10 minutes.
2 ½ lbs Sonoma Swamp Blues Blueberries
3/4-1 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit and personal taste)
1-2 Tbs cornstarch (depending on juiciness of fruit)
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 t vanilla extract

To assemble:
Fill ramekins to the point of over-flowing with fruit.  Pile a generous portion of topping over each and place on rimmed baking sheet.  Bake crisps in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Rotate baking sheet and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the filling just begins to bubble over the sides of the ramekins. Enjoy it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or coconut sorbet.

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You can find Sonoma Swamp Blues at the Sebastopol Farmers Market on Sundays during our local blueberry season, May through July. Thank you Mamta!

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