Simple, Natural, Beautiful: Briar Rose Farm

Written by Steph Rodriguez
Photos courtesy of Briar Rose Farm

Want to order a few pasture-raised broiler chickens from Briar Rose Farm? Find Briar Rose Farm Lamb on Facebook and contact Jane Scheuermann.

Briar Rose Turkeys
Turkeys at Briar Rose Farm

Life on the farm is simply paradise for Jane and David Scheuermann. Together, they tend to the 40 acres of Briar Rose Farm in Oroville, Calif., where they pasture-raise chickens, cows, lambs and a few goats just for good measure.

“Where we live used to be an old dairy farm, and there’s an old rose bush that — I kid you not — is as big as a small shed. It’s been there maybe 60 years,” Jane says. “It’s an old-fashioned, huge rose bush that blooms once a year, and it’s covered in white blooms. It’s a wild thing, and that’s how I came up with the name of the farm.”

In 2013, the couple started to sell their livestock to a few clients by word of mouth, then at local farmers’ markets, and now Jane has a weekly route on Thursdays where she delivers her naturally raised broiler chickens, raw cow’s milk, and dozens of farm-fresh eggs to regular customers. Although raw milk has its misconceptions, Jane says it all boils down to knowing your farmer because there’s nothing like the taste of fresh milk, without any additives.

Briar Rose Farms
Briar Rose Farms

In fact, it was additives and preservatives in a majority of grocery store products that steered Jane toward raising healthy farm animals in the first place.

“You start looking at labels and you say, ‘Oh my gosh! There’s no food in the food I just bought,’” Jane says. “There’s chemicals in a lot of ingredients. I also found out how they were processing chickens, and then I couldn’t buy chicken at the store anymore, even if it was cheap. So we just started doing this for ourselves and then decided to offer it to other people.”

All animals who live at Briar Rose Farm have the lay of the land. The chickens live in a mobile chicken coop that she drives from pasture to pasture to ensure her chickens have ample room to stretch their wings and cluck happily. Jane and her husband use electric netting to keep predators such as coyotes, foxes, and skunks away from their brood.

“We move the egg house and we move the electric netting to a fresh pasture, and then they have that for a little while,” Jane says. “After a week or so, we move it all again so that they’re always rotating.”

Briar Mobile Egg House
The mobile egg house at Briar Rose Farm

Another perk of farm life for the Scheuermanns is lambing season. Jane is no stranger to spending all night in the barn watching carefully over ewes bringing new lives into the world. Each year, Briar Rose Farm expects up to 50 lambs and sells them once they’ve reach five months of age. With cute lambs and their wobbly legs scattered about, Jane can’t help but get attached from time to time, and she admits that she’s kept her fair share of animals as longtime companions, from chickens to a wether lamb nicknamed Tyler the Terrible.

“Sometimes you have to bottle feed them, and you get attached,” Jane says. “We have Tyler the Terrible. He was very sick when he was little, so I brought him up because his mom wasn’t a very good mom. He came up to the house and lived in a playpen in the living room. He wasn’t a very good eater, but we discovered the one thing he really did like was orange sherbet until I finally got him to drink some milk.”

Jane and Tyler at Farm City Harvest Celebration
Jane Scheuermann and Tyler the Terrible at the Farm City Harvest Celebration

In addition to its lambs, Briar Rose Farms sells about 1,000 broiler chickens a year and upwards of 20 dozen eggs each week. And with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, Jane imagines they’ll also sell about 25 pasture-raised turkeys. It’s a lifestyle that she says she wouldn’t change for the world. It’s a home she’s built with her husband over the past 30 years that they now share with their daughter, Maggie, and her two twin daughters. There’s nothing quite like life on the farm.

Briar Rose Granddaughters
The Scheuermanns’ granddaughters spend lots of time at Briar Rose Farm

The “It’s not about getting rich, that’s for sure. It’s a lot of hard work, but I wouldn’t trade the life I live with all the animals and having the kids be able to be here,” Jane says. “That rural lifestyle, it’s worth it. It’s just so worth it.”

Steph Rodriguez is an award-winning freelance journalist who keeps a close eye on the food and music scene in Sacramento. With more than 10 years’ experience as a writer, she crafts stories that mirror the vast and diverse culture of the region. From entertainment and lifestyle features to profiles with a farm-to-fork interest, she aims to capture the best of Sacramento.

No tricks here: Halloween recipes easy to create and share.

Written by Tamara Berg

Halloween is in the air. Leaves are piling up on the ground, pumpkins are everywhere, and maybe you’re still searching for the perfect costume. If you need that costume for a party, you probably need to bring a treat with you. As my invites piled up, I wondered what kind of appetizer I could bring that’s easy yet shockingly good. If you’re like me and your costume requires plenty of makeup or assembly, you probably want to spend minimal time working in the kitchen. So I sat down with food stylist Patty Mastracco from as she picked out some of her simplest recipes for a sweet and savory Halloween.

Mastracco says Halloween is all about having fun in the kitchen. She has two items that are staples in her fridge for the holiday.

“I like to use chocolate and cheese. These items are easy to work with, and it’s all about keeping things simple, savory, and sweet,” Mastracco says.

All recipes courtesy of Patty Mastracco, recipe developer in Granite Bay.

Ranch Cheddar Pumpkin Sandwiches

(Serves 8 to 12)


1 package Alouette ranch cheddar spreadable cheese
12 slices thick-cut French bread
12 small pieces celery
1 chopped red bell pepper, or 3 to 4 mini peppers
1 can black olives

Spread cheese onto bread slices. Using edge of a knife, make curved lines from top to bottom to make pumpkin ridges. Place celery at the top to make stem. Cut red pepper into small, curved pieces, and place on pumpkin to make mouth. Cut olives into triangles or slices to make eyes and nose. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Spiders

(Serves 6 to 8)


1 bag large pretzel twists
8 chocolate-covered marshmallow cookies

1 package candy eyes

1 bar baking chocolate, melted

Break pretzels into 1½-inch curved pieces, using 4 for each spider. Carefully press into lower part of each cookie. Dab the back of candy eyes with a tiny bit of melted chocolate using a toothpick and press onto spider. Store in refrigerator or serve immediately.


Cheesy Monsters

(Serves 8 to 12)


8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup green onions,chopped
¼ real bacon bits
24 small pretzel sticks
24 large candy eyes

Stir together equal amounts of cream cheese and cheddar cheese, then stir in a little green onion and bacon bits. Shape into 1½-inch balls and roll each in more shredded cheddar cheese. Place small amount of cream cheese on one end of pretzel sticks and use to glue on candy eyes. Press into cheese monsters.Serve chilled.

Note: Monsters may be prepared 1 day ahead, but add pretzel eyes at the last minute as they’ll become soggy if stored overnight.

You can find more recipes created by Mastracco at her website, Mastracco is available for catering, recipe creation, and cooking segments.



You may recognize Tamara Berg’s name if you’re a local news viewer. Berg is the weekday morning meteorologist at KCRA 3. When she’s not tracking storms, Berg enjoys eating some of the best foods from around the region. She’s been writing restaurant reports around Northern California for more than five years. Berg loves being outdoors with her husband and atte

Digging into New Projects and Fresh Fall Flavor

Written by Madison Lisle

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Today I felt a change in the air that I have been looking forward to for a month. That time between summer and fall is one of anticipation and expectance. I felt the shift today and everything has changed. Apples are now the fruit of choice and red wine is starting to sound more appetizing than white (red in the winter, white in the summer, am I right?).

As the heat fades, I have started to make my time indoors the time to pick up projects I have not seen in a year. Reading books that feel cozy in a comfy chair with a cup of tea. Knitting a sweater still half-finished from the winter before that is begging to be completed. There’s something about autumn that makes turning over a new leaf not just a part of the weather change, but an essential part of creating a better you at the beginning of a new phase of the year. Fall may be the precursor to the hibernation of winter, but there’s no reason not start something new just in time to enjoy it for the rest of the season. Whether it’s morning yoga or finishing that sweater, fall is the perfect time to make it happen.

And none of the autumn vibes would be complete without the hearty and warming produce of the season. Colorful squashes, protein-rich beans, juicy apples, and softened kale grace the table with jewel tones and velvety textures.

So dust off your fluffiest scarf, excavate your wool sweater, start something new, and while you’re at it, dig in to the season’s best produce over candlelight with your beloved.

Full Belly Farm (Guinda):

  • Dino/lacinato kale
  • Collard greens
  • Green chard


Sierra Nevada Cheese Co. (Willows):

  • Hatch chile jack ultra creamy and smooth texture that melts beautifully with a pleasantly mild taste. Full of flavor without the spice!
  • Crème fraiche made from local cream, rich in fat (about 40 percent), and cultured to a slightly nutty, tangy/tart flavor. Its texture is thick and silky.

Elegant Beans and Beyond (Sacramento):

  • Black Valentine medium-sized black bean, turning purple-black when cooked. Meaty texture, nutty flavor, cooks quickly.
  • Green black-eyed peas Earthy, sweet flavor and buttery texture.
  • Green flageolet small, pale green bean used often in French cooking. Holds shape well when cooked.
  • Hisatsu red a Native American bean originally from North Dakota. Nutty flavor, dark red color, medium size, and similar in texture to kidney beans.
  • Jacob’s cattle plum, white-and-red speckled, kidney-shaped bean. Full flavored with rich aroma. Holds shape under long cooking.
  • Pebbles colors ranging from white to black. Tender skin and mild flavors, makes an excellent salad bean.
  • Runner cannellini very smooth texture, full body, and nutty flavor.
  • Snow cap white and tan coloring and creamy texture. These beautiful beans retain markings after cooking.
  • Sunset runner Medium-sized purple and black bean with a creamy texture and distinct flavor. Excellent when used as a baked bean.
  • Christmas Lima large, flat bean, bicolor-cream with dark maroon splotches. Has a buttery texture and chestnut-like flavor.
  • Black Calypso distinct white and black markings with a nutty, slightly oniony flavor and texture that is more crumbly than creamy. Best for baking and soups; simmer slowly so they don’t break.

Larsen Apple Barn (Camino, Ca):

  • Gala apples
  • Jonathan apples
  • Golden delicious apples
  • Mutsu apples
  • Jonagold apples
  • Granny Smith apples
  • Rome apples

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Stillwater Orchard (Courtland):

  • Bartlett pears
  • Red stark crimson pears
  • Bosc pears
  • Comice pears
  • French butter pears
  • Seckel pears

Ray Yeung Heirloom Tomatoes (West Sacramento):

  • Red kuri squash
  • Kabocha squash
  • Delicata squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Acorn squash
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Toy box tomato case
  • Green tomatoes
  • Green zebra tomato
  • Carolina gold tomato
  • Pink brandywine tomato
  • Cherokee purple tomato
  • Black prince tomato
  • Shady lady true vine ripe tomato
  • True vine Roma tomato
  • Slim Roma tomato
  • Pineapple tomato
  • Black pineapple tomato
  • Black zebra tomato
  • Giant black zebra tomato
  • Evergreen tomato
  • Patty's striped beefsteak tomato

acorn squash 1497141 1920

Del Rio Botanical-Organic (West Sacramento):

  • Finger limes, clamshell
  • Mixed medley cherry tomatoes
  • Baby mixed squash
  • Toy box squash
  • Squash blossoms
  • Salad mix with petals & herbs
  • Braising mix
  • Arugula
  • Red frisée

Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms (Sloughhouse):

  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Eryngii/trumpet royale mushrooms
  • Brown beech mushrooms
  • White beech
  • Lion's mane

Riverdog Farms-Organic (Guinda):

  • Mixed eggplant
  • Listada de gandia eggplant
  • Graffiti eggplant
  • Jimmy Nardello peppers
  • Gypsy peppers (colored)
  • Padron peppers
  • Shishito peppers
  • Yellow finn potatoes
  • German butterball potatoes
  • Nicola potatoes

Castaneda Bros. Produce (Vacaville):

  • Toy box case
  • Italian squash
  • Yellow squash
  • Gold bar squash
  • Sunburst squash
  • Summer squash
  • Ronde Nice

Dwelley Farms (Oakley)

  • Pluots
  • Cranberry beans
  • Bluelake beans
  • Romano beans
  • Yellow wax beans
  • French beans

Champagne Poached Pears

(courtesy of Scott Turnipseed, Chef, Produce Express in Sacramento)

4 Bosc pears halved, peeled (NOTE: Store in cold water with lemon juice while producing the poaching liquid.)

1 cup champagne or sparkling white wine

1 cup apple cider

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

1 stick Mexican cinnamon

TECHNIQUE: Bring the liquid to a boil, drain and add the pear halves and bring to a low simmer for 8-10 minutes. Pierce pears with a knife to check for tenderness, they will cool in their liquid so checking tenderness is vital. When the pears are cool, remove them from the poaching liquid, save the liquid and strain it through a sieve or cheesecloth. Bring the liquid back to a boil and thicken by reduction, or you can also thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry to your liking.

Raise A Glass To 150 Years Of Martinelli’s Ciders & Juices

Sponsored By: Visit Santa Cruz

Martinellis Company Store Photo Credit Garrick Ramirez 1 01

(Photo by Garrick Ramirez)

Beloved sparkling cider and apple juice producer S. Martinelli & Company is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018, and we’re bubbling over with excitement! Founded in Watsonville in 1868 — the same year Ulysses S. Grant was elected president — the effervescent company is still family owned, locally based, and making juice the way it always has: fresh and 100 percent natural. We’ve got the inside scoop below, and trust us, it gets juicy!

Martinellis Company Store Photo Credit Garrick Ramirez 2 01

(Photo by Garrick Ramirez)

It’s likely you were introduced to Martinelli’s via the iconic, coveted, apple-shaped glass bottle you begged your mom to buy on trips to the market. Then at Thanksgiving, you felt so cool filling your child’s cup with sparkling cider from a Champagne-style bottle … pinky up! You weren’t alone. It’s believed that Dean Martin would swig Martinelli’s — not martinis — onstage, and Martinelli’s cider doubled as Champagne in Hollywood movies during Prohibition.

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(Photo courtesy of S. Martinelli's & Co.)

But before the Rat Pack and the 18th amendment, there were the Swiss-born brothers, Stephano and Luigi Martinelli, who immigrated to the U.S. during the Gold Rush years and started farming apples in present-day Watsonville, just south of Santa Cruz, Calif. They introduced a fermented, or “hard,” cider in 1868, and by 1885, they were churning out 15,000 gallons a year (fast forward to 2017, Martinelli’s produced that much in less than two hours). The brothers began racking up gold medals for their cider at state fairs, which explains the medals you see on the labels today. In anticipation of Prohibition, Martinelli’s bottled its first unfermented — alcohol-free — apple juice in 1917. In 1933, the brand introduced its famous apple-shaped glass bottle with the slogan “Drink Your Apple a Day,” and the rest is history.

Martinellis Company Store Photo Credit Garrick Ramirez 3 01

(Photo by Garrick Ramirez)

Turns out, Martinelli’s was way ahead of its time, doing the local-artisan, farm-to-bottle thing. To this day, Martinelli’s produces fresh juices without any preservatives or sweeteners. Go ahead, pick up a bottle and count the ingredients: It’s just juice. No mystery ingredients or unpronounceable words. It’s why mom let you drink your apple a day.

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(Photo courtesy of S. Martinelli's & Co.)

During the early 20th century, that juice was hauled around in a classy 1932 Ford Model B truck with a giant cider bottle attached. In celebration of its 150th anniversary, Martinelli’s completely restored the truck for public appearances at local events throughout Northern California.

“This truck dates back to my grandfather’s era and was originally used for hauling apples and delivering juice to customers,” says John Martinelli, CEO and fourth-generation family member. “Using old photos as our guide, we restored the truck to look like it did 86 years ago.”

Martinellis Company Store Photo Credit Garrick Ramirez 5 01

(Photo by Garrick Ramirez)

Martinelli’s also slapped a special edition label on its sparkling cider, which you can nab at the memorabilia-filled Martinelli Company Store in Watsonville. Grab a stool at the wooden bar, where you’ll be treated to complimentary samples and introduced to the company’s many other tantalizing flavors, including sparkling juice blends of mango, marionberry, and pomegranate.

Martinellis Company Store Photo Credit Garrick Ramirez 4 01

(Photo by Garrick Ramirez)

Fun fact: It takes two apples to make one 10-ounce bottle of apple juice, but Martinelli’s juice actually is a blend of freshly pressed, locally grown apples, including Newtown Pippin, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Mutsu, and Honeycrisp. After being pasteurized, the juice is allowed to cool in the bottle to retain its naturally fresh flavor.

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(Photo courtesy of S. Martinelli's & Co.)

And because we know you’re dying to ask, what about the hard stuff? To commemorate its 150th year, Martinelli’s launched a brand-new hard cider that, like its prized juice, is made from fresh apples. For now, you can find it exclusively at Northern California Costco stores. So who’s ready to start drinking more apples?


Living in California, I think it’s safe to safe to say we’re surrounded by some of the best grapes around. And though grapes are great eaten fresh, if you’re like me, you think about grapes as wine. You see them hanging in the lush vineyards and wonder, when will that be pressed and ready to drink?


Freshly picked grapes

Read more: Off the Vine: Wine Harvest 2018


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August is a beautiful month that feels like the beginning of the end. With summer drawing to a close and autumn slowly creeping in (pumpkin-scented candles have already hit the shelves, as if we wouldn’t notice), it’s time to take advantage of the last of the summer fruits and feast on pears, cucumbers, and plums. Seasonal produce is just better. As much as I like a tropical guava in the middle of winter, there is nothing like seasonal pumpkin soup when golden leaves cover the ground outside.

Read more: What’s in season: Savor Late Summer Flavors

Bite into a crisp summer salad with these recipes.


On a recent trip to my neighborhood farmers’ market, I saw a woman carrying a bundle of deep purple beets tucked between her forearm and bicep. The beet greens were strikingly healthy, bigger than both palms of my hands and such a beautiful bright-green color with vibrant pink veins. It was at this moment when I had a craving for one of my most favorite summer dishes, a raw beet salad with julienned beet greens, sprinkles of goat cheese, diced walnuts, and a homemade orange vinaigrette. Simple and delicious.

Red beet


Read more: Summer salads

PLEASE NOTE: This blog post features an event that has already passed. Visit Granlibakken's website for future events.


At the Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival at Granlibakken TahoeAshley Aarti Cooper will be leading a forest-bathing, or shinrin-yoku, hike through the abundant forests that surround Granlibakken Tahoe in North Lake Tahoe.

Granlibakken SmithJones 0005HOME

When you walk into the forest, do you see a city of trees? Or do you see an ecosystem teeming with life both observable and microscopic? What you might not recognize immediately is the healing power of the forest — as a place to foster deeper connections with your sense of self, the world at large, and Mother Earth to arrive at a harmonious state of physical and mental well-being.

Read more: 5 Ways You Can Benefit From the Healing Power of Forest Bathing


beets oak park farmers market staff

The bounty on display at the Oak Park Farmers’ Market in Sacramento. Photo courtesy of Oak Park Farmers’ Market

Open-air farmers’ markets bring the bounty of seasonal harvests from the farms to the people. Farmers who sell baskets and bundles of homegrown fruits and veggies oftentimes pick a majority of the fresh produce on display early that morning, which ensures the crunchiest carrots and juiciest berries are up for grabs each week.


Read more: Farmers' Market Guide – Discover the Bounty of Sacramento


7 tips for turning an urban area into a garden oasis.

Spring has sprung, and you’re itching to get your green thumb into some dirt, but perhaps your spatial situation isn’t conducive to your gardening goals.

Fear not: If you have a wall or eave, or just a minimal amount of space, outdoors or in, you too can plant things this spring. Small spaces actually can be great for growing a multitude of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and even fruits, as they’re generally easy to maintain. Imagine getting all of your weeding and watering done simply by standing and spinning in a slow circle.

Hanging garden

Read more: Grow Big Flavors in Small Spaces