Tag Archives: Chico

Farm Star Pizza

There is this great local pizza place here in Chico, they pride themselves on using local and organic ingredients. Although the very first time I went there to try it (about a year and a half ago), it immediately got my attention with its decorations.

The first time I went into this pizza joint this was on the wall. You guys know how I feel about fear mongering right? (and you know this corn/fish is not a real thing, right?)

The first time I went into this pizza joint this was on the wall. You guys know how I feel about fear mongering right? (and you know this corn/fish is not a real thing, right?)


The more I thought about that poster the more upset I became. So I did what any person in my generation would do, I left them a comment on their facebook page. Well a few other local farmers/ranchers saw that comment and poster and they also chimed in. A conversation was had and Farm Star realized that perhaps fear mongering was not a proper way to support local farmers and ranchers. All was well for a long time. I enjoyed Farm Star pizza’s occasionally, life was good.

Then a couple days ago something Farm Star posted on their page got my attention again.

The claim that organic  is "tastier, but it's also better for you and the environment" is one I would like to debate.

The claim that organic is “tastier, but it’s also better for you and the environment” is one I would like to talk about I mean just because something is organic does that mean it is healthy? Organic cookies are healthy? Organic pizza is healthy?.

And I did try to have a conversation with Farm Star but, internet happens, and other consumers got involved.

And I did try to have a conversation with Farm Star but, internet happens, and other consumers got involved.

This did make me LOL, Jenny does have a point that Butte County doesn't produce that much wheat and probably even less "organic" wheat.

This did make me LOL, Jenny does have a point that Butte County doesn’t produce that much wheat and probably even less “organic” wheat.

This is me suggesting that more farmers and ranchers should be asked.

This is me suggesting that more farmers and ranchers should be asked.

May I be snarky for just a second? Working on 1 farm for a season, isn't going to teach you everthing, it's just not. I've been in the ag industry for 30 years amd I still feel like I know nothing.

May I be snarky for just a second? Working on 1 farm for a season, isn’t going to teach you everthing, it’s just not. I’ve been in the ag industry for 30 years and I still feel like I know nothing.

Sometimes trying to have a calm conversation on the internet can be really hard. The internet seems to give people license to be a little more nasty, and that is easy to do when you aren’t face to face with someone. People also don’t like when something they “know” is “true” is questioned. I know it certainly bugs me when people that are not involved in production agriculture tell me all about it (especially when they are quoting a popular anti-ag book or movie).

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Over the past couple of years, I have grown a lot better at having online conversations with people. I went from basically “um, you are wrong, I am right” to “well why do you think that? Because my experience in the field has been different, let’s talk”. Especially now that I have sought treatment for my anxiety, my communication skills are about 100% better. True, I can be snarky sometimes, but after a certain point, everyone runs out of patience sometimes, especially when people start to name calling or try to go off topic. Despite it all, I sent every single one of these ladies a friend request, I really was trying to have a discussion where we all could learn something, only one accepted.

It was really important to me that Farm Star didn’t think I am a “local disgruntled farmer” (I consider myself a rancher, and I’m not disgruntled, I just want people to know what they are talking about). So I went in there to talk to them about their post. I know they didn’t mean to open a can of worms with it, but since they want to support local agriculture, I wanted them to know that not only organic agriculture is beneficial. Like I said above in my comments, ag is not that simple- organic, just like conventional ag has its positives and negatives.

I really like this place and was excited to talk to them!

I really like this place and was excited to talk to them!

Walking into Farm Star this time, they had a lovely picture of a 4-H member, LOVE IT!

Walking into Farm Star this time, they had a lovely picture of a 4-H member, LOVE IT!

I spoke to Robert at Farm Star. I apologized for high jacking the thread, and tried to tell him who I am. Sometimes it helps when I explain to people that in fact I did earn an advanced ag degree, I ranch, I work very hard for local ag, I write for all ag, I have a blog. He said he didn’t mind that there was some drama, it was basically free advertising for them. I was glad he felt that way, because I really do admire them for using local products (when they can).
I tried to explain that I really didn’t want to get into the conventional vs organic debate, because it just should not be debated. All agriculture is important, and it’s wonderful that we have a choice! I think Robert understood.

I got myself a Porky Pig!

I got myself a Porky Pig!

The organic pizza was excellent! It had potatoes and bacon on it, a great combination! And the pizza was big enough that I will have leftovers tonight! Generally I cook or my parents cook for me, so pizza is a nice splurge and treat for for me.

The organic pizza was excellent! It had potatoes and bacon on it, a great combination! And the pizza was big enough that I will have leftovers tonight! Generally I cook or my parents cook for me, so pizza is a nice splurge and treat for for me.

If you are a local Chicoan and haven’t tried Farm Star, I say go try it! It’s yummy! I really love to support local businesses that support local farmers and ranchers, after all, we are all in this thing together!

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, Humor, photos, Rants, Uncategorized

THE Nazi Picture

Instead of going out Friday night (I’m told normal people my age do that a lot), I stayed home and went through some old pictures with my Dad. I literally have boxes and boxes of old pictures from his side of the family. Pretty much all of the are from the early 1900’s to the 1950’s. Pretty much all of the are just pictures of horses and cattle, but every once in a while I find some real gems. We found some gems on Friday.
As I was handing my Dad old pictures and having him tell me as much as he could about them, he noticed something that I never have.

Normal looking picture, right? Nice looking dude. Wait, what's that on the bottom of the frame?

Normal looking picture, right? Nice looking dude. Wait, what’s that on the bottom of the frame?


My Dad is a big WWII buff, he knows more than your normal cattle rancher about the topic. But he knew nothing about this picture, nothing. It is a form of torture for me, to not know stuff, I like to know stuff, especially about this family and these damn pictures (write on your pictures people! Generations of your descendants will thank you!). So I was forced to bring out the big guns, my friend Erin. Erin knows everything about history, I love e-mailing her because it is always a mini history lesson. I knew if anyone could help me, she could!
I sent Erin this picture hoping she would know SOMETHING!

I sent Erin this picture hoping she would know SOMETHING!


Sure enough, Erin knew stuff. First and foremost she calmed me down. My Dad didn’t seem to think the swastika was quite as interesting as I did, and that freaked me out a little. Erin explained that each generation has different view and reaction to that era, and there is a great deal of stigma attached to Germans of that time. She then went on the say it is easier for those of us farther removed from WWII to objectify the history. I agree.
Ok, now for the really interesting part. Erin said the swastika laying flat was used in the U.S. as a decorative symbol/good luck symbol on paper photo frames prior to WWII (more late 1800’s-early 1900’s). The Nazi swastika has a different orientation (turned to stand on one of its points).
Bad nazi swastika. See how it's oriented differently from the photo frame?

Bad nazi swastika. See how it’s oriented differently from the photo frame?


Erin told me to look through the rest of my old pictures and try and match his guy’s face with other pictures. I noticed that many of the formal Lucas pictures that do have writing on them mentioned Orient Street, which according to Erin, was where this photographer’s studio was at some point. This gave me hope that the man in the picture was a Lucas, which would make him a lot easier for me to identify. I looked back through the Lucas pictures and after searching through six shoes boxes of photos I found what could perhaps be an older picture of the same man. What do you think?
Look at the nose and add glasses.

Look at the nose and add glasses.


Add 20+ years  - it could be him? Maybe.

Add 20+ years – it could be him? Maybe. The hair is the same!


Well, Erin had much better luck finding out about the photographer than I did about the man in the picture. Turns out the photographer had a pretty interesting and relevant to Chico, life. Check out what Erin learned about him:
Charles Bruce Hemminger was born to a farming family in Pennsylvania on April 4, 1870. He grew up in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and married his wife, Laura Elwell, in approximately 1905 (exact date and location of marriage unknown at this time). Laura was born on April 2, 1872, in Iowa. Both the 1910 Federal Census and 1911 Chico City Directory show that the couple had settled in Chico, California, by 1910. Charles had established a photography studio in Chico, located at 320 Broadway Street, which he operated through about 1918.
This was his studio at 320 Broadway Street.

This was his studio at 320 Broadway Street.


Charles rented a home at 405 Orient Street from 1910 through 1913, then moved in about 1914 to 5 4th Street, where he remained through about 1918 (Chico City Directory listings). The Chico City Directory lists Charles and Laura as living on a rural route in 1920-1924, and the 1930 Federal Census lists them as owning a home and farm on Speedway Lane, where Charles is engaged in orchard work.
His rented home at 405 Orient Street.

His rented home at 405 Orient Street.


It appears Charles turned his career from photography to agriculture, voter registration records confirm this switch, but it is undetermined if Charles gave up photography completely during this time. A search at the County’s Recorder’s office may detail exactly where his orchard and property were located on Speedway Lane. In 1939 and 1940, Charles lists himself in the Chico City Directory again as a photographer with his studio listed at 218 West 3rd Street, but still residing at Speedway Lane. A listing in the Chico City Directory from 1937 lists Charles’ photography studio at 336 Broadway Street. The 1940 Federal Census confirms the duel livelihoods, photography and agriculture, with his wife Laura helping as an assistant in the photography studio. Between 1940 and 1944, Charles and Laura moved to Modesto, California, where Laura passed away on October 10, 1944. One of Charles’ brothers, Thomas Hemminger, had lived in Modesto and passed away in 1937. It appears two other brothers, William and John Hemminger, had also settled in Modesto by 1937. In 1948, Charles traveled back to Pennsylvania to visit his brother Dr. Robert Hemminger and other relatives living west of Harrisburg, whom he had not seen in over 40 years. The visit is mentioned in several articles in the Gettysburg Times in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Charles returned to Modesto and later passed away on October 3, 1959. He and his wife are both buried in Acacia Memorial Park in Modesto.

Even though I didn’t figure out who the man in the photo was, I still learned stuff. And I’m not giving up yet. Since the Lucas family is rather well documented I’m going to look through the Chico State Collection and see what I can find. And, who knows, maybe someone reading this blog will recognize him?! I’d like to thank my friend Erin for being so smart and always taking the time to answer my history related questions! Go follow her blog at http://knowledgeofourancestors.wordpress.com/

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, family, Guest Post, History, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized

Chico Enterprise Record: People on The Street

From the May 20, 2012 Chico Enterprise Record

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Filed under Ag, Beef, food, History, Media, photos, Rants, Uncategorized

The Wilson Family

As I mentioned before, my Mom found and gave me an old cedar box with a bunch of old newspaper clipping in it. Most of these clippings are just random ag related news stories from the 1950’s but I did find some treasures, including some obituaries and stories about the Ranch. One of the obituaries I found was for Helen May Wilson (aka Helen Lucas), my great great great grandmother.

Helen Wilson (Lucas) in her wedding picture.

Until I found this obituary, I had researched as far as I could go on the Wilson side of my family. I did not know her Parents’ names, or how she got to Chico, California. Helen’s obituary filled in some big holes I had in my family tree. It also created a lot more work for me! Now that I know who her Parents were and where they came from, I can continue on my crazy “where I come from” journey.

James and Julia Wilson

James and Julia both were born in New York State in 1832 and 1842, respectively. James served in an Illinois regiment in the Civil War. From Illinois, they found their way to Missouri. They traveled to California via a covered wagon. They had nine children, and out of those nine, seven lived. I know all the names of their seven living children, and when I have some free time (ha ha ha ha, free time), I plan on trying to plot out their family tree’s in hopes of finding more of my distant family members.

Lizzie Wilson (Dorrett) and her husband William Dorrett (my great great great aunt and uncle, and Helen’s sister)

Turns out Helen’s Parents, James and Julia came to California when Helen was five years old from Missouri. From Missouri they moved to Ventura County where James ran a large dairy. From Ventura Country they moved to Chico and built and operated the Economy Store. In 1896, they bought 160 acres on the Doe Mill Ridge near Forest Ranch, California.

James Wilson’s grave.

I’ve recently started visiting our local cemeteries to find my family members. It’s an incredible feeling to still be in the same town that my great, great, great, great grandparents helped settle and build. I’ve always felt very connected to this area, and I love my town. I guess this explains it.

Julia (Goodelle) Wilson’s grave. I’m willing to bet it had a stone at some point. This cemetery has had a lot of vandalism.

I know a lot of my family intermarried with other old Chico families. There is no doubt in my mind that I have lot of family still in Chico that I have never met and don’t know about. Chances are high that I am related to some of my local friends and don’t even know it! I think because I am an only child, and I don’t have a relationship with most of my family (because of the Ranch, death, land, jealously, money, bitterness, and alcohol. Sounds fun, huh?) finding family members that don’t hate me, or want to kill me, is very important to me.

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Filed under Ag, History, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized

The Kennedy Ranch

The Kennedy Ranch. Or as we call it today, Sycamore Ranch, or The Chico Ranch. This ranch is still in our family, actually all the ranches mentioned in the article below are still in production.  A portion of it was sold off as an eminent domain in the 1980’s, but for the most part, this ranch is largely intact.  Quite frankly, this is one of the most beautiful ranches in Northern California.

It’s a couple of miles away from downtown Chico, right over the fence from Bidwell Park, and homes have been built on the portion that was taken away. But once you enter the gate, and go over the hill, you feel like civilization and all of your problems are hundreds of miles away. When I am there I imagine what it must have been like when my great grandparents bought it. I’m just starting to uncover the history behind these ranches, but I understand why my family chose to settle, live and die here.

My Mom recently gave me a box of newspaper clippings. This box was from either my Grandfather or from my Great Aunt. It contained mainly clipping about agriculture from 1954, but it did have some gems. These gems included the article posted below and some other clippings relevant to the Family. I’ll be posting them over the next several weeks because they are really cool. This article is about the purchase of the Kennedy Ranch.

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, Beef, family, History, Know a California Farmer, Media, Ranch life

John Henry Lucas Jr.

John Henry Lucas Jr. was my Great Grand Uncle. He was Jack and Helen’s son. He died in World War I. The Chico State Student that has been researching the Lucas family sent the obituaries (below) to me last weekend. I poked around on the internets for a few minutes and determined that John was on a memorial about three blocks from where I work. First thing this morning I trotted on down and took some pictures.

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 Funny, I’ve walked by that memorial my whole life and never knew my family was on it. I am so grateful and excited that Erin (the Student that is doing all this work) contacted me and is sharing all her knowledge. It is really amazing to know where you came from and how you got there. This whole experience is fueling my passion to share the Ranch’s and my history.

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Filed under History, photos

The Chico State Collection

 
I promise this is the last post for a couple of days. I’m really excited to uncover my past and social media makes it so easy to share my excitement with the rest of you. Of course learning about my family probably isn’t as exciting to you as it is to me, so I’ll cap my enthusiasm for a few days before I post again. My research has led me to the Meriam Library at Chico State. Turns out, they have quite a collection of Lucas family photos. I knew at one point Jack Lucas started Chico Meat Company, I knew it was located downtown, but I really wanted to see and know more. Thanks to the the Special Collections Dept. at Chico State I was able to find this picture and an address of the former meat shop. Guess what I’m going to look for on my lunch break today?

From John Nopel

I called the Special Collections Department and I’m going to take some of my old photos to share with them. I’ve always been interested in my family’s past, but never really started exploring it seriously until now. It’s just so amazing and interesting.

From Frank Farmer

I know Jack Lucas started two meat shops – Lucas & Morrison Meat Market at 229 Orient Street Chico, California and Chico Meat Market at 302 Broadway, at southwest corner of Third Street and Broadway. I love that I work downtown, and walk by these buildings every day. It’s a wonderful thing, to be connected to your community.

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Filed under Ag, History, photos

My Ass in Skinny Jeans Made It on FOX Sports. Oh Aaron Rodgers and The Make Are in It Too

Remember a couple months ago I posted The Make’s music video? Well today FOX Sports posted this:

It’s about Aaron Rodgers and Chico. It’s pretty awesome.

Seriously these are the nicest people in the world. This is really what it is like to be around them. And Chico, California is a lovely college town with good food. If you haven’t checked The Make out, you should. For reals. I have some fun video of a live show they did on my youtube channel.

OK, OK, I know you want to see my ass. So In the video at 4:44 look to the left, I’m in green.

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Filed under arts & crafts, Humor, Uncategorized

The Make

On a lighter note, recently I was able to be on set of a music video with a local band called The Make. You might know that Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers started a record label and The Make is their first band. Aaron is from the beautiful town of Chico, and a heck of a nice guy. Sugar Ray Bassist Murphy Karges directed the video. It features a ton of local cameos from Chico celebs including Daniel Taylor, Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Zachary, Me!, and Jimmy Richards. Feel free to check out the video below. I’m hard to spot – but I’m in there! The Make’s webpage is here -http://www.themakemusic.com/.

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Aaron Rodgers, Murphy Karges and dancing cops. Most random picture ever.

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Behind the scenes.

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Because Aaron Rodgers  and dancing cops in a bowling alley happens everyday in my world.

 

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Filed under arts & crafts, Media, photos, Uncategorized, Video