One missed flight and two delayed flights later, I am home again in Winnipeg after a POMtastically wonderful Blogger Harvest Tour at the POM Wonderful orchards in California. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
The latter part of Day Two
After picking pomegranates on Tuesday, Janel gave a talk about the role antioxidants play as an anti-aging superpower. Her health and nutrition philosophy is the twin of my own. It was beautiful to hear her stressing the importance of eating real, whole foods. I had to restrain myself from jumping up and giving her a gigantic hug partway through her talk!
Then it was time for dinner at The Vintage Press. It ever you go to California- no matter what part you’re in- make a detour to Visalia so that you can eat at The Vintage Press restaurant. The interior is gorgeous, the owner is kindness in human form, and the food… I’ll be dreaming of the deliciousness of that meal for days:
Random things on a stick. They were tasty. That’s all that really matters anyways, right? I believe these were mostly vegetables and a mozzarella ball in some kind of oil/vinegar sauce
Bacon-wrapped almond-stuffed date, crusty whole wheat bread, and melty cheese in puff pastry
Cream cheese and pomegranate arils layered on top of a fig
Mushrooms between layers of puff pastry with cream sauce
Sliced pears and mixed greens with pomegranate arils
Pistachio-crusted salmon in a white wine/lemon sauce
I enjoyed the meal with Kristy and Eric (I had so much fun with them the evening before that I really wanted to spend a lot more time with those two!), and Heather and Janel. The conversation was engaging and the company, perfect. I’d be understating to say that it was a complete pleasure and delight to talk to them.
Me and Heather
Kristy and I
Jeff gave an incredibly touching speech about the POM Wonderful-blogger relationship which I think had us all choked up. He and Andrea were the most amazing hosts any of us could have asked for! Then we went on a quick tour of the restaurant.
The whole place was beautiful, but I especially loved the piano at the top of this winding staircase
Roni suggested the idea of walking back to the hotel, so some of us walked/stumbled back. I crashed as soon as I got to my room.
I woke up early for some quickie strength training and an interval workout on the treadmill to burn off at least two bites of that decadently rich dinner from the previous night. Once we’d all eaten breakfast together, we packed up and drove to the POM plant for our tour.
There’s quite an involved process for ensuring that each pomegranate is in pristine condition, but essentially what happens is that each pomegranate moves along the conveyer belt…
…and then it gets a pretty heart-shaped POM sticker further on down the line. Aww!
This is one of the biggest pomegranates ever! It’s about 5.5 inches in diameter
There were big banners hanging all over the processing plant with motivational phrases such as “Everyone matters at POM” and “Every drop of juice counts”. I loved the friendliness of the atmosphere.
It was also fascinating to see how the bottles are made and the juicing system itself. The bottles are made with recycled materials and even the husk of the pomegranate is squeezed for juice, so POM is very efficient in using every part of the pomegranate. I was impressed at how little goes to waste.
Every minute of this trip was unbelievable. The only thing I would have changed would be for it to have lasted longer- there was so much more to learn and so much more time I wished I could have spent with the other bloggers! It was nice to meet these fantastic people who have such an interest in health and food. Shirley explained to me all about the gluten-free philosophy, which I had known nothing about before. And I have to say that it was a lot of fun to meet the girl behind the infamous breakfast cookie, Gina, too- now I finally know how to make one.