LOVE: Local farm gets big-time exposure


Friday, November 4, 2011

After finishing college, David and Tina Barnes traveled around the world getting to know the place. They ate great seafood in Thailand and Indonesia and amazing produce in New Zealand and Australia.

“Delicious meals cooked over campfires,” longtime local David Barnes, 47, says. “Simple and easy, but you have to start with good ingredients.”

Thus was a passion born, in his case organic farming. Now that passion has gone global because he and his life’s work, Crows Pass Farm, were included in a recent episode of the TV show “Cuisine Culture.”

Barnes, by the way, is one of several locals who’ve been TV stars recently. Allen Craig of Temecula’s Chaparral High School was a World Series hero. Nathan and Justin Brewer of Temecula were big in “The X Factor,” a new musical reality show competition. Wow, wonder who’ll be next to go big time from our small world?

“Cuisine Culture” claims to feature some of the best chefs in the world and that it will teach you how to “eat like a celebrity.” Obviously any farmer on this show is in good stead. Plus the local farm is the only American grower featured on the show, Tina Barnes proudly says.

The farm started in 1991 and now grows about 40 varieties of fruits and vegetables. Its organic produce is featured at the Temecula Farmer’s Market and restaurants the locals sell to.

“More than an organic movement, I think people are tired of tasteless produce,” David Barnes says. “Soft mushy apples, tasteless strawberries, people want something with snap and robust flavor.”

Clearly that’s what they’ll get from Del Mar chef Paul McCabe, who buys produce from the couple and is the star of the “Cuisine Culture” episode.

After the opening, the show shifts to Temecula, which we are told is known for fine wines. The chefs stride through the farm with David Barnes as they look for beets.

He talks on camera about how much he enjoys what he does.

“You’re waking up in the morning doing what you love to do,”something we should all be blessed with – and how it’s turned into something even profitable.

From there the program is focused on McCabe and the show’s host, chef Ashley Charles James, producing various dishes, including the beets and carrots they say they picked up from Crows Pass. They also say they use Temecula Olive Oil Company oil. Have to love those local plugs.

David Barnes’s camera time is just a few minutes but he’s not bothered, given that it’s a cooking show, not a farming one. It’s the first time he’s ever been on TV and he says it’s quite the thrill.

He already has had good feedback and it can only help his business, which includes delivering produce twice a week to about 50 restaurants throughout Southern California. A picture of the beet salad McCabe whipped up on TV already is on the farm’s website.

Like most locals, David Barnes may be new to this TV game, but he already knows how to capitalize on it.

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