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SD Fire Impact

The SD fire roared through Rancho Santa Fe early this morning. Based on what I could glean from the media reports it appears Chino Farms is probably okay. Can anyone in that area confirm one way or the other. How about any other food related casualties (i.e. businesses, not people) that we know about? The last 36 hours have been about as ugly as it gets.

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The fact of the matter is, that at this point, almost everyone in SD is affected by the fires and either knows someone who has been evacuated and/or burned out, or has been evacuated or burned out. If you want to know how your fellow CHers are doing, or simply need to talk/vent use SDChow. If you are already a subscriber to this elist, just send a message to SDChow@yahoogroups.com

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  1. Does anyone know if Be Wise Ranch was affected? I know a lot of SD folks belong to their CSA and they are up in that area.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mimilulu

      Be Wise Ranch has an autoresponse on their e-mail:

      Due to the fires here in San Diego County, there will be no CSA Box deliveries this week. Once we are able to get into the area to assess the situation we will know more about the delivery schedule for the upcoming weeks.

      1. re: leanneabe

        Crap, crap, crap. I hate fire. I don't know where their fields are but the address of the office is within the burn area according to KPBS’s google map. Maybe the map is wrong or their fields are south?

      2. re: mimilulu

        Posted this below but:

        Sorry to be the bearer of what seems to be bad news. I feel awful for the family, watching their home burn to the ground. Terrible.

        1. re: jp42

          I am too depressed to cook. It sounds like they might have had damage at both sites! Not to mention the house. What now?

        2. re: mimilulu

          Be Wise has posted an update on the CSA at their homepage. They'll resume delivery this coming week for weekly subscribers despite losing their home and greenhouse. That's commitment. http://www.bewiseranch.com/

        3. I went to the farmer's Market in Encinitas on Sunday, as we do almost every Sunday and spent much time visiting with the organic farmers we have come to know by name and appreciate. We bought some delicious organic avocados and lavender from a farming couple that are located in Fallbrook, some wonderful organic lettuce, arugala, and grapes from a farm based in Rainbow, some worm castings from a woman who breeds and raises birds in Ramona. That was at noon. Forty-five minutes later the fire started, and I am left with a sadness wondering if we will see these people and their delicious offerings again.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Enorah

            According to the U/T this morning 20,000+ avocado trees in the greater Fallbrook area were either charred or destroyed. Coupled with the freeze last January, the avo industry in SD has taken a real beating this year. Expect avocado prices to skyrocket and more imported avocados. I, too, hate to think about what happened to many of our local growers.

            1. re: DiningDiva

              My heart goes out to all those folks, story on Chino Farms in the UT this morning (Business section) look like they made it through it OK.

              1. re: DiningDiva

                I know the Steheleys personally. They are fine and that is all that matters. It was not all of their avocado trees.

              2. re: Enorah

                Well in good news, I got in touch with the woman who breeds birds and sells organic worm castings in Ramona. They stayed through the fire and are fine! Well, as fine as one can be without water and living through that kind of emergency that is.

              3. I'm kind of assuming that the Wednesday OB farmers market was canceled yesterday. I wonder if La Mesa will go off as usual on Friday and Hillcrest on Sunday. Anyone know what's up with the farmer's market schedule? It occurred to me that they might be the best way to find out how some of the smaller growers have fared.

                2 Replies
                1. re: DiningDiva

                  Hopefully in areas not too threatened the farmers markets will be open.
                  I was seriously considering buying a Buddha's hand citron plant from Ben's Subtropicals, but decided against it at the last minute - they always sell them at the vista farmers market. I hope I haven't lost my chance for good.

                  1. re: Jeters

                    Update - Just heard back from Ben's Subtropicals - they are okay and will be selling thier strange and rare fruit at the farmers market again starting this coming saturday.

                2. i wanted to let anyone who was part of tierra miguel farms (located in pauma valley) know that they also were evacuated but they are expected to update on the 29th. there were no deliveries this week.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fudisgud

                    looks like tierra miguel is back running (in masks and goggles but running) deliveries resume next week. here's the update:


                  2. Any other news on any of the farms located in Ramona, Rainbow, Fallbrook?

                    1. Just as a side note, my local Vons is completely out of eggs. Grocer says they all come from
                      Ramona. Somehow that surprised me...

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: deckape

                        My Vons is out of eggs, too. They had a sign that said they may get an egg delivery this weekend, which implies it's a delivery obstacle rather than production problem. I knew a lot of markets carried eggs from the Ramona egg ranches, but I didn't realize they all came from there.

                        1. re: deckape

                          When we had the grocery store strike, I saw Mr. Hilliker (from Hillikers Eggs in Lakeside, delivering eggs in an unmarked truck) (the strikers were violent toward delivery people).

                          The eggs sold at the La Mesa Trader Joe's are from Armstrong Egg Farm in Valley Center.

                          1. re: Cathy

                            I drove by Hilliker's and they seemed to be doing alot of business. Now I know why. If anyone needs eggs, drive out to Lakeside!

                            1. re: Cathy

                              Armstrong's is probably not long for this world due to development pressure from the local casino's. The Armstrong's are very nice people.

                          2. Has anyone heard anything about El Bizcocho? I heard the name Rancho Bernardo in the news a lot and was keeping my fingers crossed for the restaurant. My heart goes out to you all from the East Coast.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bawlmeroryuls

                              According to a blog post on Ruhlman's blog, Chef Gavin Kaysen reports that the RB Inn and El Biz made it through.

                              On the other hand, Chef Kaysen says his produce guy suffered some loss. It is not entirely clear who this is, but it seems to imply La Milpa.


                              I should also add that Cavaillon in Santa Luz is fine and open (according to a mailing-list email from the owners).

                              1. re: rotochicken

                                got the Cavaillon email as well and am having a group dinner there this coming Thursday...

                            2. Does not look good for the Be Wise ranch. I feel terrible for the family. Perhaps all was not lost at the farm but it does not sound good.

                              1. I am happy to report that all of the farmers I have gotten to know were there at the Encinitas Market today, all of their homes and farms standing. For some, the homes on either side burned to the ground. I am so thankful they are all well.

                                1. Chino Farms is totally fine. The fire did not come near enough to Chino's to do any damage.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: afooter

                                    signonsandiego.com had an article saying they lost 60K worth of crops, because they were evacuated for three days and couldn't water.

                                  2. FYI, here's a description and link to a benefit dinner sponsored by Slow Food, San Diego, to be held on November 15, 7-9pm. Proceeds go towards the local fire-related farm relief effort, with a suggested donation of $25 to $100... They are also collecting non-attending donations through the same link.

                                    Here is the link to the information:

                                    ...and following is an excerpt from the Slow Food, San Diego mailer:


                                    Students of International House at University of California, San Diego have stepped forward to prepare a California inspired early Thanksgiving dinner to help support local farms damaged by recent fires. Mary's Free Range turkeys will be served with local produce provided by area producers not affected by the wildfires.

                                    Slow Food San Diego President, Scott Murray will speak on farming in San Diego. Northern and southern California students will speak about life as a Californian.

                                    Share this evening with the students, friends and members of Slow Food San Diego.

                                    Ticket price includes food, beverage and tax for this student produced non-alcoholic event.

                                    Proceeds benefit local farm relief effort from fire disaster. $5.00 per ticket will go to the International House Scholarship Fund.

                                    Slow Food San Diego's board will disburse the funds.