Three Dog Night

This morning we walked out on the balcony of the timeshare and soaked up the view of the Pacific Ocean.  As much as I wanted to jump on my bike and ride the coast, today was not the day.  Elisa’s sister Carmen invited us to spend the day at her good friends Benedicta and Marwin’s avocado farm.  I’ve never really been a fan of avocados, but as an east coaster the avocado is so foreign to me that I wanted to see where they grow and what a west coast farm would look like.

Walking to the car from the timeshare, I noticed a suspicious guy at a van next to our car.  As we got into the car he walked away from the van with a a laptop bag.  Shannon immediately pointed out that our car had been rifled through.  Interestingly, we all had the same strange feeling about the guy, but by now he was long gone.  It was my own fault for forgetting to lock the doors.  David, I owe you some new two way radios, and Shannon a new coat.  We drove about 1 1/2 hours toward the farm into some incredibly steep mountains.  Best was the muddy rutted steep driveway that finally made the AWD Volvo pay off.  We reached the 20 acre farm at what seemed like the highest point around with an incredible 360 degree view.

To call this place an avocado farm is a serious understatement.  Benadicta and Marwin dabble in just about everything: livestock, dog breeding, fruit, and vegetables.  When we arrived, the animals immediately got the most attention: goats, sheep, chickens, and Anatolian Shepherds.  Especially the recently born lambs.  Feeling the temperature change from the coast to the mountains, and seeing the dogs huddled together on the porch, I got a better sense of the phrase three dog night.Then not only did they have avocados, but grapefruit, lemons, cherimoya, and a huge vegetable garden.  I was most interested in trying the cherimoya, which I had never heard of, but disappointingly they were not quite ripe.  We all loaded up on everything else.  So, the only unanswered question I walked away with is whether the avocado is a fruit or vegetable?Stocked with enough fruits and vegetables to last a life time, or maybe just a few days for someone healthier than me, Carmen and her friends prepared us all the most amazing lunch.  It was like an international Thanksgiving with numerous Peruvian and Filipino dishes.  Most importantly, Carmen made huancaina, or spicy cheese sauce…my absolute favorite.  Meanwhile, Marwin grilled tuna steaks over a wood fire.

As we ate lunch, word came back that a baby lamb had just been born.  When we got up there, I was looking for the baby?  I feel bad for the mother, I would have expected him to be a lot smaller than that.

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About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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14 Responses to Three Dog Night

  1. Mary Beer says:

    Bret,
    I got an email from your dad today that you look forward to people responding to your blogs….so here goes. Jim and I read your blog almost everyday…..what a wonderful journey. How are you all not rolling around gaining a bizillion poounds with all the fabulous food that you’ve been showing on your page…..I’ve gained 5 pounds just looking at your pictures.
    What a special gift you are giving us all by sharing this trip. You are an amazing young man and I always knew what a great job your mom and did in raising you three boys….you are a testament to great love.
    I spoke Marianne Borelli today and she only has three more radiation Rx….you have been a great inspiration to her…to us all. She is hoping that the predicted storms do not delay her sessions for she is ready to be done.
    We are bracing for another snow storm here in Rochester….actually Marianne has had it worse in Mass. than we have this year.
    Loved the pictures of the lamb….the one with your neice is wonderful. So glad your family has had the opportunity to spend this journey with you and Shannon. I hope that we can get the whole family together when you return to the area.
    I am praying for you everyday as are many, many people. You are a well loved man…more so than most people ever get to know.
    I hope you get to San Diego….it’s my favorite spot.
    Take care
    Mary

  2. Cousin Michelle, Mario, and Simona says:

    Dude Avacado’s are totally VEGETABLES!!!!
    What a cool farm to visit.

    Shannon- no worries on the coat, a trip to NYC for some shopping and we will have that problem solved in no time!

  3. Shan (Shannon Hoefen) says:

    Bretly, do you think we could get one of those baby lambs and some chickens for Pultneyville? What would our neighbors think?

  4. Johnny Z says:

    Shan I don’t think the neighbors would mind if there was enough food for everyone. I volunteer to help cook.

    Looks like you guys are having a blast, I can’t wait to catch up with the Hoefen gang again. See you soon.

  5. David and Laraine says:

    Shannon and Bret-
    The neighbors to your east would LOVE it!!! 🙂
    Be safe!!

  6. HP says:

    4 out of 5 Texans say that the avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable. 🙂 Actually, avocados may be one of those weird items that is somehow categorized as a nut. You know who would probably know the answer to this? Yep, my Dad. 🙂

    Love catching up with you guys via blog. And I think Pultneyville totally needs chickens and sheep!

    Love to all of you.

  7. Darren Kemp says:

    The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to the State of Puebla in Mexico,[1] classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit (a large berry that contains a large seed[2]) of the tree, which may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped or spherical.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avocado

  8. scott says:

    A saying my high school wrestling coach used: “Trust in God, but lock your car!”

    Being in the food business, I get into “discussions” all the time about food facts. Here is a brief synopsis with supporting facts about your avocado question. First, the difference between fruits and vegetables (a sort-of gray area).

    Fruit
    1. the developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts, as the pea pod, nut, tomato, or pineapple.
    2. the edible part of a plant developed from a flower, with any accessory tissues, as the peach, mulberry, or banana

    Vegetable
    1. A plant cultivated for an edible part, such as the root of the beet, the leaf of spinach, or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower.

    That being said, an avacado is a fruit, as the edible part is the area surrounding the pit, or the ovary. So, in conclusion, fruit does not necessarily describe the entire food object, fruit is merely a description of the edible part that surrounds the reproductive ovary of the plant, which is meant to provide sustenance for the organism which is why we often classify fruits and nuts in the same discussions, fruit does not always require a descriptive word such as sweet…

    Here’s an interesting list of fruits that are often thought to be vegetables:

    * tomatoes
    * cucumbers
    * squashes and zucchini
    * avocados
    * green, red, and yellow peppers
    * peapods
    * pumpkins
    * olives
    * eggplants
    * corn kernals

    source: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Fruit_vs_Vegetable#ixzz1CjcDHg67

  9. scott says:

    A saying my high school wrestling coach used: “Trust in God, but lock your car!”

    Being in the food business, I get into “discussions” all the time about food facts. Here is a brief synopsis with supporting facts about your avocado question. First, the difference between fruits and vegetables (a sort-of gray area).

    Fruit
    1. the developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts, as the pea pod, nut, tomato, or pineapple.
    2. the edible part of a plant developed from a flower, with any accessory tissues, as the peach, mulberry, or banana

    Vegetable
    1. A plant cultivated for an edible part, such as the root of the beet, the leaf of spinach, or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower.

    That being said, an avacado is a fruit, as the edible part is the area surrounding the pit, or the ovary. So, in conclusion, fruit does not necessarily describe the entire food object, fruit is merely a description of the edible part that surrounds the reproductive ovary of the plant, which is meant to provide sustenance for the organism which is why we often classify fruits and nuts in the same discussions, fruit does not always require a descriptive word such as sweet…

    Here’s an interesting list of fruits that are often thought to be vegetables:

    * tomatoes
    * cucumbers
    * squashes and zucchini
    * avocados
    * green, red, and yellow peppers
    * peapods
    * pumpkins
    * olives
    * eggplants
    * corn kernals

    source: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Fruit_vs_Vegetable#ixzz1CjcDHg67

  10. Mark E says:

    Cheramoya (sp?) are absolutely delicious. Pear like taste with very creamy/custardy texture is the best description I could give…find one and enjoy!

  11. Marianne Borrelli says:

    I can totally relate to your frustration with the weather in the North East. I ve worked only 3 days each week for the entire month of Jan. because of it. I really am not complaining!!! It’s nice to hear in the morning that you can return to the warmth of your covers for a time!
    I was in Florida last week after that last storm when you were in Boston. The warm ocean breeze and 70 temperatures rejuvinated my mind and body! But I still like the change of seasons. Several short visits throughout the winter holds me over until spring hits us in CT. We can actually plant at the end of April unlike Memorial Day in Rochester!!!!!
    I will take all this new and interesting info about fruits and veggies back to my class. THey don’t even know what fruits and veggies are!!!!! And have rarely eaten them. I try to give them opportunities to try them once in awhile.
    So glad you made it to California. Keep riding in a good direction with your chin up. Thinking about you all daily. Wish I could join you!

    Love Auntie Cuz,
    Marianne

  12. Daniel says:

    To hell with the taxonomy of the avacado, you had me AT avacado. Those suckers are exquisite and I imagine accompanied with some fresh goat cheese on toasted baguette, oh my, well that’s just a little slice of heaven.

    In regards to the rapscallion who made off with your belongings, I’d be happy to fashion a voodoo doll or cast some bag mojo on the fiend, just say the word Bret and I will so go all “The Craft” on him.

    P.S. The olive is my favorite fruit!

  13. Reggie & Mary Lee says:

    Avocados are YUMMY any way they are prepared and especially guacamole! And yes they are a fruit as they have a pit! I would love to pick them once… and to have as many as I want to eat! Wegman’s had them for $2 each last week but it must be the season as Walmart & Aldi’s now have them for less than a dollar! So I loaded up! I also love artichokes… so check out when they are harvested in Ca. Your mom will be right on them if it is soon! Enjoy the sun our storm is about to hit!

  14. david says:

    bummer on the car getting broken into, definately don’t sweat the radios :), i inherited them anyway, i love avacado…..

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