On a tour organized by CUESA in October 2011, a group of adventurers got a taste of an integrated local food system by visiting Happy Girl Kitchen, and one of their partner farms, Live Earth Farm. The Field to Jar excursion began with a tour of the farm, where the group picked dry-farmed organic tomatoes. It culminated at Happy Girl, where they learned to pickle the harvest, Italian-style.
Todd and Jordan Champagne along with 7 part-time helpers
Todd and Jordan were first introduced to food preservation when they worked together on a farm in Norway in 1999. Back in the states, living on California’s Central Coast, they saw the need to preserve the regional harvest so people could eat a diversity of local produce year-round. These days, from June through October, Todd and Jordan spend most of their time in the kitchen using hot-water bath canning techniques to put up pickles, jams and tomato sauces. Everything is made by hand and sold in reusable and returnable glass mason jars.
All of the ingredients that Happy Girl Kitchen Company uses, and the kitchen itself, are certified organic. All of the fruits and vegetables in Happy Girl’s products come from local farms, some of which sell at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. The apple cider vinegar that Happy Girl commonly uses for pickling comes from Northern California apples. All herbs are from local growers, while the dried spices are sourced nationally.
In addition to making their own products, Todd and Jordan also offer workshops to help others preserve the local harvest.
Pacific Grove, California
Listen and Learn
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »