Hello! We are the Presidio Heritage Garden interns, students at Anacapa School. This semester we have four students helping out: Neeva, Kelly, Nichole, and Jae Heun. We are quite an interesting group and very diverse. Kelly and Jae Heun are international students. Neeva is from Nepal and Nichole is half Colombian. Three of the interns are finishing up their last semester at Anacapa School.
Over the past few weeks, we have planted many vegetables such as squashes and corn. We harvested fava beans and some Christmas lima beans. We also cleared out weeds for the highly anticipated chickens which are going to arrive in July.
We got to help set up for the Presidio by Candlelight program, when we put up over fifty luminarias around the Presidio. We were very excited for the Presidio’s Early California Days program when Neeva and Kelly dressed up in traditional clothing.
One of our projects was planting clippings from the grape vines. First we cut the small branches and peeled a strip of bark from the base of each branch to expose the cambium. Then we cut the branch bases at a diagonal angle. Finally, we rolled each branch in root growth hormone powder and potted them individually.
Tending to the cabbage.
Spending time with the sheep at the Early California Days program.
Although we have had times where we might be missing a few interns, we are never short on enthusiasm.
Checking the onions.
We got to watch the squash and watermelons grow. Recently, a new batch of bananas have started to grow. We planted marigolds, which added some golden colors to the Presidio. We were lucky to have worked at the Presidio during spring and summer because we got to enjoy all the fruits and vegetables that had grown. We got to eat Valencia oranges, lemons, avocados, cabbages and carrots.
We’ve enjoyed working with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation these past few months, and were be sad to go after our last few weeks in May. We appreciate Mike Imwalle for making the last few months of senior (and junior) year fun for us all.
Every year the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation welcomes several interns from Anacapa School to work in our heritage gardens. During their internship they get plenty dirty and learn a lot about crops and gardening in Early California!
On April 25, 2015 the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation celebrated the 233rd Anniversary of the founding of Santa Barbara at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park. The community enjoyed a service in the Chapel, a wonderful ceremony, including a reenactment of the founding of the Presidio with the Soldados de Cuera, dancing by Las Fiesteras, birthday cake courtesy of Reina del Mar Parlor No. 126, Native Daughters of the Golden West, the debut of this year’s Saint Barbara, living history demonstrations, and a gathering of Presidio descendants! Enjoy the wonderful photos by Myriah Nina Photography, Margaret Celaya Mira, Debra Prescot Waterfall, and Michael Imwalle on our Flickr page, here.
Artist and Higman Intern Madison Lowrey designed SBTHP’s entry in conjunction with Education Director Melissa Chatfield. This week Lowrey and fellow Higman Intern Dana Hughes worked on a test run before the big day on Saturday.
We hope you will come out to support our team and all the great entries at I Madonnari this year. Admission is free, and the festival runs from 10am – 6pm on May 23, 24 and 25.
Park Commissioners inside El Cuartel at El Presidio SHP. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Channel Coast District Superintendant Rich Rozzelle addresses the Commission during dinner. Photo by Mike Imwalle
The following day Park Commissioners met just south in Carpinteria where they heard several presentations about partnerships and local parks projects, and discussed issues of importance to the future of parks with members of the community.
The California State Parks and Recreation Commission is made up of nine appointees, who help establish policies for the guidance of the parks system, and report and make recommendations to the governor, via the director of State Parks, on the status of the parks.
SBTHP is proud to have been a part of the busy agenda of the Parks Commission’s recent visit.
…when local artist Charles G. Burggraf captures the guests at our upcoming Candlelight Dinner in the Historic Presidio Chapel on Friday April 24, 2015. If you are attending this spectacular evening, then you will be painted into the scene while enjoying a gourmet, period-themed meal and live entertainment. Interested in joining in? Click through to the link above for more information. This truly unique work of art will be auctioned off at the end of that memorable evening.
We also look forward to seeing everyone at the Founding Day Festival from noon-4:00 PM on Saturday April 25. This free, community event includes a reenactment of the founding of the Santa Barbara Presidio, interactive demonstrations for children and families, plenty of food, and performances throughout the afternoon on two stages. Join us again that evening for Rancho Roundup from 4:00 – 10:00 PM, with a concert by headliners Double Wide Kings and food from Georgia’s Smokehouse.
On March 26, 2015, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation unveiled a plaque on the Presidio Northwest Corner defense wall commemorating the 1995 visit by Prince Felipe of Spain to Santa Barbara. The plaque is also the first of several which together will serve as the donor acknowledgement wall for El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park. Spanish Consul General Javier Francisco Vallaure and Mayor Helen Schneider were among the dignitaries present at the unveiling. For many more photos of this beautiful Santa Barbara evening, visit our Flickr set here.
Charles Johnson, Director of the Research Library at the Museum of Ventura County, joined us at Casa de la Guerra on Thursday evening, March 12, to share the intriguing tale of an historic bookstore in Santa Barbara that, despite boasting a collection of some of the finest rare books, remains unknown to most: George M. Millard Books. Johnson offered a glimpse into the past, recounting the story of Alice Parsons Millard, a woman whose passion for books, fierce attention to aesthetics, and shrewd business sense gave birth to a collection of some of the world’s most finely crafted books. He came across her while conducting research on what he thought was a different business, the Tecolote Bookshop, formerly housed in El Paseo de la Guerra (currently located in Montecito).
Mrs. Millard was a woman of exquisite taste, and her marriage to revered book dealer George Madison Millard afforded her the ability to interact directly with prominent artists and citizen collectors. The couple worked with renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright to build two custom homes, one in Oak Park, Illinois and the other in Pasadena, California. After her husband died in 1918, Alice continued to work in the world of rare books and became respected as a book dealer, travelling across the United States and Europe to assemble her inventory. As a woman book dealer, her mark in historical records is somewhat circumstantial, so Johnson walked audiences through the steps of his detective work, backtracking through rare book catalogues and cross-referencing listings in phone books. In so doing, he managed to trace the origin of the Tecolote Bookshop to the Mrs. Millard’s inventory through that of her late husband’s business partner.
Throughout the lecture, Johnson engaged the audience with historic maps, showing the location of Mrs. George M. Millard Books and the shops of prominent Santa Barbarans who worked in what is now El Paseo. Guests were pleased to learn that they were sitting very close to the one of the locations of the bookshop, as they made their way through the patios of El Paseo to the wine reception, hosted by Margerum Winery. Special thanks go out to Rani McLean of Margerum Winery and our guest speaker, Charles Johnson, for creating an exceptional evening of intellectual curiosity.
Madison Lowery was awarded SBTHP’s Sue Higman Internship and is working in SBTHP’s education department this spring.
Last month I had the honor of partaking at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual “Presidio Pastimes by Candlelight” event, where the birthplace of Santa Barbara is brought to life solely by candlelight for an evening full of historical demonstrations of Presidio life. I had the honor of running La Cocina, naturally, where SBTHP Receptionist Brittany Sundberg and I prepared pozole by candlelight. This was not an easy feat, but the hearty and warm recipe from California Rancho Cooking was a welcome treat at the end of the cold night. The next time you’ve got a little chill, this is the perfect dish to warm your body and soul.
2 cups canned hominy
2 lbs of pork (butt end of the loin, chopped)
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups onion (chopped)
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic (minced)
2 cups red chile sauce
2 bay leaves
1 cup water
4 poblano chiles (charred, peeled and chopped)
1 tsp black pepper
To begin, I thought I would give you a glimpse of our lighting conditions in La Cocina when Brittany S. and I prepared the pozole. As you can see, this picture showcases our “stovetop” which is a counter of ladrillo with a small cut-out for a fire, and copper pot on top. Settlers of El Presidio de Santa Barbara would have been in the same conditions if not worse to prepare their night time meals–based on first hand experience, it’s a challenge!
Begin by chopping the pork loin into bite-size chunks. As you can see by my chopped pork pieces, I like my stew “chunky.” Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large pot and add pork.
Different types of meat can be used in pozole, leaving hominy as the signature ingredient in the recipe. Hominy comes from maize, which was originally grown by the Aztecs in chinampas, or raised gardens.
This is our pile of hominy for the stew straight from the can. Settlers in Early California wouldn’t have simply had to open a can to get this ingredient, but instead would’ve have to soak maize kernels in mineral lime to get them to the nixtamal or hominy texture.
Allow pork to simmer for one and one half hours. Meanwhile, begin preparing the poblano peppers and other chopped ingredients.
Chili peppers are native to the New World, and were commonly used as spices by Native Americans.
Cook the poblano peppers on skillet until charred. Then, peel the charred skin off of the pepper. We used a comal, or iron skillet over a fire on our ladrillo stove top to char the peppers. This took about 5-10 minutes on each side.
Chili peppers have five different forms, with the three most popular being bell pepper, jalapeno, and cayenne.
Chop the pepper, onion, and garlic into fine pieces. My sous chef ever so carefully chopped ingredients as close to a candle as she can get in our dim lighting! Add hominy and all other ingredients, and stir continuously for 30 minutes or until the broth has thickened.
When Europeans first settled in Mexico, maize was considered to be any grain grown in a particular region, including other grains such as wheat and barley. Later, it was exclusively referred to as the corn we now consider maize today, which is soaked in an alkali treatment of lime mineral to create what we today call hominy, or formerly nixtamal. It was this treatment of maize that prevented the spread of pellagra, a disease of the skin caused by maize consumption, because it brought more nutrients within maize to the surface.
Here is the final product, which received rave reviews from our cold and hungry volunteers at the end of the evening. It was perfectly described as hearty with a kick! And just like that, you have a hearty, traditional stew! Serve hot, and prepare for some spice!
The Brittanys, seen here in traditional Early California dress, had a blast setting off smoke alarms and creating delicious aromas in La Cocina.
Foster, Nelson, and Linda S. Cordell. Chilies to Chocolate: Food the Americas Gave the World. Tucson: U of Arizona, 1992. 3-4+.
Johnson, Sylvia A. Tomatoes, Potatoes, Corn, and Beans: How the Foods of the Americas Changed Eating around the World. New York: Atheneum for Young Readers, 1997.
McMahan, Jacqueline Higuera. California Rancho Cooking: Mexican and Califorian Recipes. Seattle: Sasquatch, 2001.
Brittany Avila is Volunteer Maestra de Cocina for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
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