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Apr 3, 2006 11:54 AM

Chino Farms, advice please!

  • g

I will be visiting San Diego next week and I am hoping to be able to drive over to Chino Farms for some great produce. Does anyone have any advice about what I absolutely must try? Unable to find much help on the Web, but wondering if any locals have been shopping there recently. Are there any spring fruits yet or still winter produce? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

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  1. p
    Professor Salt

    Bring cash. Haven't been recently, but here's a excerpt from my blog from March 27 2005.


    About ten miles further south, the Chino family produces unusual varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and famously supplies such temples of California cuisine as Los Angeles’ Spago and Berkeley’s Chez Panisse. Since strawberries are in season, I bought two small containers of the small French cultivar called mar du bois for a pricy $5 each. These small berries the size of my thumbtip packed with intense tart and sweet flavor make industrially farmed stawberries taste like flavorless red pulp. They grow every kind of produce for flavor, and pick at the height of ripeness to eat that day. Their boutique produce is very expensive, but you’ll know where your money goes.

    Chino Nojo (nojo being a Japanese word for farm) is well off the freeway in a still underdeveloped part of highly exclusive Rancho Santa Fe, and it’s worth going out of your way to buy the best produce grown in Southern California. Bring cash - lots of it - because they don’t take credit cards.

    Chino Nojo
    6123 Calzada Del Bosque
    (exit the 5 fwy at Via del Valle east, go about 5 miles and turn right after “The Vegetable Stand” sign)
    Rancho Santa Fe, CA


    1. It's impossible to tell what's going to be there on any given day, but whatever IS there is bound to be good. Be openminded, remember that prices can vary from customer to customer (so be nice and ask polite questions), AND, as Professor Salt so wisely advised, bring lots of cash!

      1. g

        Thanks for the advice, I will try and limit the cash I bring so I don't buy everything I see! Will also report back with what I saw.

        1. Glazbrook - hope you got to visit "The Vegetable Shop" at Chino Farms. I just took a tour of the farm (bought at my daughter's school auction) which was fascinating - and delicious! We were eating fruits and veggies right off the vine - we even chowed down on raw sweet corn, which was the best thing I've ever tasted!

          1. If they have strawberries and corn, those are the best! They also usually have unsual vegetables, like fingerling potatoes and purple carrots, etc.