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Aug 26, 2006 10:09 PM

bye-bye Small Potatoes

Wallace Condon of Small Potatoes Farm posted a sign at today's Ferry Plaza market announcing that he's retiring from farming and won't be back. Gracious as ever, he paused in the middle of a chess game with another customer to explain that the drive over Altamont Pass in the pre-dawn hours, and the sheer physical labor of farming, are getting to be more than he wants to put up with. I bought a few cloves of Lorz garlic--no vampires around HERE, I can tell you--thanked him for his fine produce through these past years and wished him a happy retirement. His email is

if anyone else wants to send good wishes.

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  1. Thanks so much for the notice. I will really miss Small Potatoes. They are one of the few vendors I make (made) a special trip to Ferry Plaza.

    The year before he was seriously into the heirloom garlic and was in the process of testing it out, I was one of his "unofficial" garlic tasters ... the regular customers he would give a clove of each variety and ask to tell him next week what we thought.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      He is still into heirloom garlic. I believe he is just tired of the trip, not tired of growing. He is willing to ship to customers. He was trying to set up a mailing list. I too, was one of his tasters.

      1. re: wally

        When we talked, he indicated he was retiring from farming too, though he probably still has some garlic available. I emailed him with thanks and good wishes; his answer confirmed he's packing it in completely.

        1. re: rootlesscosmo

          This is his second retirement, then. This is what he decided to do when he retired from teaching.

      I am amazed at Chow Hounds coverage of my retirement. I plan to offer Heirloom Garlics and Grey Shallots by email next year. I will send out details of varieties and prices as the crop nears maturity in May.
      Thanks for your kind words,
      Wallace Condon