I got the opportunity to meet Marc through my friend Megan last time I was visiting California. We immediately found common interest in Agriculture and the need for opening up our barn doors in Agriculture… over beers, of course! Marc grew up farming rice in the Sacramento Valley and has recently returned to his roots in rice. Marc regularly shares his musings over on his blog Farm to Cocktails as well as some great photos from the Northern Sacramento Valley. Marc shared this recipe for Chili Verde Rice with me. It is a fantastic side dish that could also be made a main course. I mean, you can’t go wrong with a pint of sour cream.
- What brought you into farming?
I grew up in the farming industry. My family has farmed rice in the Sacramento Valley for three generations on a small farm located in Woodland, CA. Because of the relative size of the family operation, I had to look to other opportunities in the industry upon graduating from Chico State (Go Wildcat’s!). I acquired my California State Pest Controllers License and consulted on numerous crops grown in Northern California. This lead me to the farm management field which I continue in today.
- What is the most satisfying part of farming for you?
A lot of people tend to dwell on what is hard about farming. It like most industries has its ups and downs and risks and rewards. I like to focus more on why I have made a career out of this profession and why no matter how tough things can be due to the possibility of high expenses, low crop returns, unpredictable weather and government regulations I wake up with a smile on my face knowing that the soil and mother nature is my office and there is a new challenge and reward awaiting me every day. You can’t put a price on what makes you happy.
- What is your favorite thing to do with the food crop you grow?
I am a big sushi fan and if you have ever ate it in the United States, chances are you have probably enjoyed some California rice. We grow predominately medium and short grain varieties which have the sticky properties and unique flavor that is coveted by sushi chefs across the country.
- What is one message you would like to get across to the general public about what you do?
The image that people tend to think of when describing a “farmer” is an older man in plaid and coveralls with a piece of straw in his mouth who drives a tractor all day and spends the rest of his time receiving his local and world news at the local café. While there is nothing wrong with this stereotype and may fit a small portion of our population, the majority of us come from all backgrounds of life. Most people in the agricultural industry are college graduates who are just as comfortable in the boardroom as we are in a tractor. We use cutting edge technologies and know our way around a smart phone just as well as a shovel. We are men and women, young and old, we may farm conventionally as well as organically, we keep up with the commodities market as well as the Kardashians and most importantly we produce the food that feeds not only ourselves and our neighbors but also the United States and the world!
A pint of sour cream, some peppers, and rice. This dish is simple yet so full of flavor. This chili verde rice would be wonderful with some shredded chicken in it. A full meal or a perfect side dish.
- 1 pint sour cream (preferably Clover brand)
- 1 small can of chopped green chiles (More to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups cooked California Medium Grain Rice
- ¼ lb. Monterey Jack cheese (preferably Rumiano brand)
- ¼ lb. Pepper Jack cheese (preferably Rumiano brand)
- Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. In a 1 ½ QT. casserole layer ½ rice, then ½ sour cream mixture. Repeat. Top with cheese mixture.
- Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
This post is part of my Thirty Days of Food series where I am writing about food and farming for the entire month of November, to find out more about it all or how to follow along, visit my Thirty Days of Food page or click the photo below to find more great recipes with farmer features!