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Cheap(er) Produce in the Peninsula/on the coast

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Hi all --

We are moving to La Honda in August and just fishing for information before we get there. I do a fair amount of canning and jam-making and was wondering -- where might one find not-too expensive produce within a half-hour drive of, say, Palo Alto or La Honda. I'm not afraid to drive for reasonable produce, especially for canning.

Thanks!

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  1. Farmer's Markets offer the cheapest, as well as the best quality in my estimation. Check out this link for a location(s) near you.
    http://sfgate.com/food/farmersmarkets/
    Happy hunting!

    bbqman

    1. The Milk Pail Market on San Antonio Road in Mountain View would be a good place to look ( http://www.milkpail.com/ ). Also, farther away (in Bernal Heights neighborhood of SF) but perhaps worth the trip is the Alemany Farmer's market on saturday mornings, where you can get some really good deals on tasty local produce.

      1. I would second the Milk Pail. They got some great produce - super fresh and at a very reasonable price. Its off California near San Antonio in Palo Alto/Mountain View border. Definitely worth the drive.

        1. There's a farmers market at College of San Mateo on Wednesdays and Saturdays:

          http://www.pcfma.com/marketdetail.php...

          1. The weekend FM in downtown Mountain View is pretty good. I'd also ask/look around in Pescadero since there's a bunch of farms and produce stands out that way.

            1. Webb Ranch in Menlo Park.
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/322929

              Hope you will update us if you try it. It seems like the next generation took over so there's a lot of improvement. There are also hints for other nearby places in that link.

              If you are willing to drive more there are tons of places within 1 - 2 hours ... i know that last sounds like a lot but i'm thinking of Margarita's u-pick tomatoes in August-September. You really aren't a 1/2 hour from the coast I don't think but Half Moon Bay and a drive down Highway 1 will yield a lot of farms. There's more if you are interested in more of a drive.

              3 Replies
              1. re: rworange

                we're definitely into driving for the right produce -- good to know that highway 1 has some options. we're hoping to make highway 1 our saturday morning regular drive.

                Webb Ranch - we'll definitely look into it.

                1. re: piedsdesanges

                  Are you moving from a different location in the Bay Area, or are you familiar with farms/markets in other areas? I can also throw in some North and East Bay places.

                  Anyway, some of this will be past season in August, but you can keep in mind for last year.

                  Mariquita's u-picks especially for tomatoes should be high .... high on your list. Absolutely top-quality produce at unbelievable prices
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/326588
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/319687

                  Another tomato place I want to try alot is Love Farm in Ben Lomand. Here's a link from the California board
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/311332

                  On route 1 is Swanton Berry Farm. Lots of links discussing it on the California Board, here's a few;
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/89006
                  http://www.chowhound.com/search?board...

                  Not produce, but on your way down Route 1 a stop in Pescadero will take you to Harley goat cheese and Phipps country farm for dried beans ... astounding variety
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/87642
                  http://www.phippscountry.com/

                  Harley reminds me that on Saturday morning in Half Moon Bay there is a tiny farmers market in Half Moon Bay in the Cetrella parking lot. Harley sells there.

                  There are a number of cherry / apricot farms in Gilroy. Here's a few links

                  Bing Cherries from Christopher Ranch in Gilroy
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/403338

                  Nature's Gift Cherries, Gilroy
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/46855

                  OK ... East Bay but not that much of a detour off of 101 from Sunnyvale, J.E.Perry organic farms
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40010

                  Some links to u-pick places and farms around the bay area
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/17084
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/313911
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/334488

                  Great link for all California farmers markets
                  http://www.cafarmersmarkets.com/search/

                  Hope you will report back on Chowhound about how you like these places and some of your own finds.

                2. re: rworange

                  ps -- I'll be blogging my cooking all year -- http://omnivoreherbivorecarnivore.blo...

                3. If you happen to be heading north on hyw. 1 on wed. between 2:30-6:30pm stop in Pacifica at the new farmer's market located on hyw. 1 in rockaway beach (across the street from the shell station). It's small but has some nice produce , brownies, locks and roti chicken ( rotisseried & yummy)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ellenbh

                    thanks everyone for these amazing suggestions. we are on it.

                    we're moving from los angeles back to the bay area but we've never lived this close to the coast. we're also going to be living up in a fairly isolated cabin - i want to hone my canning and stocking up skills this year, try to get a lot more local and a lot more green in an everyday way.

                    thanks again--

                    pda

                  2. When I was at CJ Olson in Sunnyvale yesterday getting my yearly apricot / plum / cherry fix, I picked up a free map from Country Crossroads that lists farmes in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties.

                    There was no online map but if you can't get to Olson to pick one up, send a stamped self-addressed envelope to

                    Santa Clara County Farm Bureau
                    Mailing Address: 605 Tennant Avenue, Suite H, Morgan Hill, CA 95037-5533
                    Phone: (408) 776-1684
                    Fax: (408) 776-7804
                    E-mail: farmers@sccfarmbureau.org

                    http://www.cfbf.com/counties/?id=43