Fare: Among the Citrus Trees

With the chill of winter still in the air and the quiet solitude of fields at rest, it’s a welcomed treasure to walk among the citrus trees with its plush blooms of orange, pink, and yellow. The calming scent of tangerine lingers in the air as the branches, abound with fruit, are harvested one by one.

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The bountiful orchard produces an appetizing blend of citrus fruit; among the popular grapefruit, lemon, orange and other efflorescent citrus, there remains one special fruit that is a Bear Flag Farm favorite: the kumquat.

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This organic fruit is rich in orange color and savory in flavor with a bittersweet rind and acidic pulp. Although similar in appearance to an orange, the kumquat is typically closer to the size of an olive. Culinary enthusiasts use this petite fruit in a variety of ways – garnishing a cocktail or a spring salad, for instance.


Here at the farm, one of our favorite ways to enjoy kumquat is through the process of candying. Candied kumquat is a wonderful addition to your morning oatmeal or evening salad (paired nicely with organic greens, crunchy pecans, dried cherries, and blue cheese).  For those of you with an extra sweet tooth try baking them in a cake or enjoying them with your chocolate ice cream. Mmm! Try this delicious treat and easy recipe to acquaint yourself with this versatile fruit!

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Recipe: Candied Kumquat

2 pint kumquats
3 cups sugar

Cut kumquats in half lengthwise, and remove pits. Place in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Drain in a sieve, and repeat process three more times.

Place sugar and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. When all sugar has dissolved, reduce heat to low, and add kumquats. Cover, and cook 40 to 45 minutes, until translucent. Remove from heat, and allow to cool completely in syrup. Candied kumquats can be stored in the syrup in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Vanessa + Peter: Featured on Style Me Pretty

It was a bright and beautiful August afternoon.  The sun glistened through the leaves of the Sycamore trees, making a whimsical pattern across the rolling green grass of the sunken garden. Vanessa, in her stunning Elizabeth Fillmore gown, and Peter, in his dashing Armani suit, sat hand-in-hand at their romantic table for two surrounded by friends and family.

The scene around them was idyllic:  Grand banquet tables trimmed with custom-made table runners, flanked both sides of their sweetheart canopy. Each of these grand wooden beauties were adorned with mercury glass candle holders and vases filled with garden roses arranged to create an ombre effect down the table.

Instead of a traditional wedding cake, a made-to-order strawberry shortcake station offered the perfect sweet ending to this fabulous fete!

It was an unforgettable day, beautifully created by the team at Bear Flag Farm and perfectly captured by photographer Elizabeth Messina. Enjoy!

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Venue: Bear Flag Farm; Event Design: Tina Reikes of Bear Flag Farm; Floral Design: In-House by The Bear Flag Farm Team; Makeup & Hair by Amanda Beczner; Photos by Elizabeth Messina; Gown by Elizabeth Fillmore; Bridesmaid Dress by Vera Wang; Invitations by A Little Card Company; Cake by Paula Le Duc; Favors: Bear Flag Farm Olive Oil

Andrea + Nico: Featured on Style Me Pretty

We often say that Bear Flag Farm looks as if it were plucked from the French countryside.  On Andrea and Nico’s wedding day it was especially so, since Nico is French-native and half of the guests were international. The entire wedding was conducted in French and English with paper goods to match the cultural affair. Andrea and Nico felt like good friends instantly and hosting their August wedding at the farm was an absolute pleasure of ours; we’re loving that today’s Style Me Pretty feature is giving us the chance to relive the day! Enjoy the photo spread by Meg Smith Photography.

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“Bear Flag Farm provided the perfect wedding experience for us.  We wanted something simple, yet elegant, with exceptional food.  Tina guided us every step of the way and introduced us to a team of wonderful vendors.  With Tina, you know everything will be smooth and well executed; she has impeccable taste.  Bear Flag Farm is such a beautiful property and has so much to offer in terms of setting (lavender fields, olive trees, stone fruit orchards, vineyards, etc.), It’s impossible not to enjoy the experience from top to bottom.  Our guests still comment about how ours was the most beautiful and well organized wedding they’ve ever attended.”

-Bride, Andrea

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Christi + Tom: Rustic Sophistication

Our hearts are full as we look back at this stunning album of Christi and Tom’s September wedding.  Jose Villa captured their sweetness, the soft California light, and every bit of rustic sophistication in his perfect way. The joy of the day and these unforgettable memories are the very reason we love designing weddings.


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Warm and pleasant, that September day was as beautiful as it gets. Eager guests arrived early and strolled the grounds to take in the beauty of the farm.

The décor was suited perfectly for the pair, meshing Tom’s love for wildlife and the outdoors with Christi’s taste in design.  From the “duck stamp” escort cards to the custom made wooden menus, every detail was accounted for. The ceremony flowed seamlessly and once the tears of joy dried up ,the crowd moved to the “Orangerie” for a cocktail hour, followed by dinner and dancing under a beautiful sailcloth tent canopy right next to the vineyard. It was a party that left everyone saying their only complaint was that it couldn’t last for days…

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Fare: What’s in Season

Even though we live at the source- we still love our trips to the farmers market to grab what we don’t have in our own field.  We are delighted by the  beautiful array of spring produce from our nearby friends. There is SO much in season right now: green onions, carrots, collard greens, asparagus, beets, berries, oh my!  Happy Spring!


Anna + Matt: Featured on Snippet & Ink!

It is difficult to express in words, what a pure joy it was to host Anna and Matt, and their family and friends, on a sunny day last June. We fell in love with them upon meeting… and their vision of a ‘romantic carnival in the French countryside’ was a designer’s dream.  The pair met in Cambridge while starting their PhDs at Harvard; and a few years later Matt proposed to Anna on a trip to France! The vision unfolded from there.  We’re so happy to announce that Snippet & Ink featured their story and these unforgettable photographs by Lisa Lefkowitz… enjoy every last drop of color and whimsy!


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Fare: Chic Easter | Ham + Collards Small Plate

For this Easter’s meal, we thought we’d inspire with a chic, spicy, and delish serving suggestion for a recipe steeped in tradition.  We started with this baked picnic ham recipe from A Taste of Southern, added a bed of sautéed collards and small plate styling, then topped it with a Bear Flag Farm favorite: Colman’s mustard. ham1ham2ham3


Recipe: Sautéed Collard Greens 

One large bunch of fresh collard greens
2 large scallions
1/2 fresh lemon
white wine
kosher salt
olive oil

Wash and remove the stems from the collard greens.  Then – I ciffonade (pronounced “chiff-ah-nod”) to get nicely uniformed strips.  I like to use a big wok! Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle a bit of salt into the wok.  Heat up the wok (but don’t let the oil start to smoke).  Add the diced scallions and sauté until golden brown. Toss in the fresh collard leaves with a splash of white wine and allow the leaves to steam. Once they’re nice and wilted – they’re done!  Remove from heat and finish off with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a dash of kosher salt & pepper. This is the perfect pairing for the ham.  The collards offer just the right amount of bitter to offset the sweetness of the pineapple used in the ham glaze.


Fare: Bab’s Famous Lokshen Kugel Recipe

One of my favorite meals to prepare and host each year centers around the Jewish holiday of Pesach, or commonly known as Passover.  Each year we celebrate with family and include lots of friends (Jewish and non-Jewish) to share the seder meal with us. While the seder itself is quite lively, involved and filled with many ceremonial aspects – it’s the food that is shared that connects us even more to our loved ones.

My mother-in-law is always in charge of bringing kugel.  In her case, she prepares a noodle kugel (Lokshen Kugel) which is most like a bread pudding and could be served as dessert after the seder meal concludes.  As a dish served during Passover, we use Kosher for Passover egg noodles, which are an unleavened product and appropriate during this time.



12 oz package of (kosher for passover) wide egg noodles

1/2 C sugar

Kosher for Passover corn flakes (for topping)

1T cinnamon

3/4 C white raisins

16 oz cottage cheese

16 oz sour cream

6 eggs

4T butter


Bab’s Famous Lokshen Kugel Recipe:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Boil the pasta as instructed on package.  Melt butter and set aside. Whip the eggs until frothy. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, raisins, cottage cheese, sour cream and 1/2 of the melted butter into the egg mixture.  In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta with your wet mixture.  Once combined well, pour into a 12 x 16 baking dish.  You might also use two smaller baking dishes, if you wish to divide.

Crunch up the corn flakes to create a crumb texture.  Use your hands to get them just right.  Combine the rest of the melted butter with your crushed corn flakes for the crust.  Sprinkle liberally over the top of your noodle mixture.  If you like cinnamon, you can sprinkle a little over the top of the corn flakes as a final touch.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown on the top.  Reduce cooking time if you elect to divide the recipe into smaller baking dishes.


Melissa + Jay: Timeless Romance in Blush

When it came to Melissa and Jay’s nuptials, it was romance for days… The farm was decked from top to bottom in blush and ivory hues, complete with one of the most dreamy ceremony arbors we’ve ever designed. It is such a treat to have our landscape and design work documented by a very talented friend, Lisa Lefkowitz, who captured the day in ethereal, breathtaking photos. We love reminiscing about all of the sweet newlywed kisses our lavender field has seen, but Melissa and Jay’s portrait down below is truly heart-melting. Happy Wednesday to you; enjoy and pin away every drop of romance!

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Cheryl + Mike: An Enchanted Garden Real Wedding

Imagine an enchanted garden style fête amidst the rich beauty of the farm in summer…  The blooming landscape was adorned to the nines with lush florals and a palette of rich purples, burgundies, pops of gold and splashes of orange for Cheryl and Michael’s September nuptials…. the design was an exquisite nod to an overflowing, late summer flower garden.  The bride dressed in an unforgettable number by Vera Wang, while the bridesmaids looked lovely in soft pastel frocks by Donna Morgan.

The day was exquisite, yet effortless; timeless, yet punctuated by modern details.  Guests were charmed by the fresh outdoor appeal of the farm, and surrounded by luxury and elegance that made a lasting impression. Cheryl and Michael said their vows under a chuppah drenched in florals.  The ceremony was followed by a contemporary cocktail hour complete with designer linens,  a cozy lounge, and jaw-dropping late summer florals.  Guests were seated in style on the sunken cottage lawn, for an intimate garden party reception.  The evening was topped off with romance and whimsy… rides on the ferris wheel stationed on the property! Enjoy their stunning album photographed by Anna Kuperberg.

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