Art & Ag June 2023, La Tourangelle, Woodland



A visit to LaTourangelle took Art & Ag artists to a property that combines the old, the new, and the sustainable. Located just outside Woodland city limits this artisanal oil production facility also features a regenerative edible garden dedicated to community use.

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Twenty years ago, Christine Polycarpe and Matthieu Kohlmeyer, originally from the Loire River Valley in France, moved to California and brought with them their centuries-old family craft of roasting and pressing nut kernels into specialty ‘finishing’ oils. These retain the intense flavor of the nuts and are used for a variety of culinary purposes including salad dressings and bread dipping. They source their nuts from ‘like-minded’ small and specialty growers and currently produce walnut, pistachio, almond, and hazelnut oil for select stores and restaurants.


Ten years ago they bought this property which was originally a tomato farm. Inspired by Alice Waters’ community garden in Berkeley, they dedicated one-acre of their land for educational projects and giving back to the community. They partnered with Yolo Farm to Fork, a pillar of edible school garden programs and farm-based education in Yolo County.
YF2F runs the field trip program on the property and also helps with distributing food from this garden directly to low-income families in the schools. Any extra produce goes to Yolo Food Bank and to UC Davis’ Student Freedge program. “When the students come on field trips and spend the morning here and I see the smiles and all they are learning – to me that is paradise. It’s where this all makes sense.” says Christine, who is currently a YF2F board member.

Artists set up in multiple places in the garden including under the gazebo near the pollinator wildflowers, next to the row crops surrounded by hedgerows which grow around the perimeter. They also explored the recently planted 19 acre olive orchard.  In a couple of years, La Tourangelle will use their processing skills for making olive oil onsite, pressing the fruit immediately after harvesting.

Learn More about La Tourangelle HERE+

Image (Top): Portrait of the farm owner Christine Polycarpe with Erin Morris, La Tourangelle small farm manager. Photo by Charles Vincent McDonald

All other photos courtesy of YoloArts

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