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Sonoma: Hardin Gardens - Pretty eggs and heirloom produce - five varieties of spectacular lettuce


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Sonoma: Hardin Gardens - Pretty eggs and heirloom produce - five varieties of spectacular lettuce

rworange | | Jun 15, 2009 01:18 PM

Picture the ideal family farm … or better yet, stop by Hardin Gardens and see it. It is one of my favorite farms.

Turn onto the gravel road to the little shaded grove surrounded by the farm. Just-picked produce is carefully laid out on a few tables. Lettuce and herbs, almost as pretty as flowers, are in containers of water to keep them fresh and perky.

Their specialty is tomatoes and in season there are 20-30 varieties. However, there are usually multiple varieties of all types of heirloom produce and there are new varieties every year.

I still remember last year’s great Biker Billy jalapenos and a variety of garlic that didn’t have cloves … pungent and a joy to chop. There are usually squash with blossoms attached.

Just a few varieties of tomatoes they grow: Odorikos, Abraham Lincoln, Ananais Noire, Chianti Rose, Coustralee, Eva's Purple Ball, Flamme, Garden Peach, Moskovich, Omar's Lebanese, Black Trifele, Kellog's Breakfast, Marianna's Peace, Better boy, Early Girl, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Black from Tula, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, Japanese Mortgage Lifter, San Marzano, Striped German, Sweet Tangerine, Hillbilly.

This week it was lettuce … tiny Tom Thumb, vibrant-colored Green Ice (not iceberg), wildly beautiful red-tipped Merveilles Des Quatre Saisons, sturdy early-season Little Caesar Romaine, showy, delicate Continuity.

They also sell beautiful, multi-colored, VERY free-range eggs. Their chickens include Barred-Rock, Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Cuckoo Maran, Americana, and Leghorn. Prices are terrific. A half dozen is about $2.50 depending on size.

The girls have been busy this year as there were quite a few cartons of eggs. If you click on the website (in the link ay the end) there are pictures of the ladies.

They just started selling eggs last year and sometimes it was a race with other customers to snag some. It is best to get to Hardin at noon to get the best selection of produce.

They have some pygmy goats, but the milk is used to make soap.

Prices are excellent. Squash was $1.50 lb, lettuce 90 cents - $1.75 and last year tomatoes were $2.15. There is a discount for buying over 10lbs and over 20 lbs it was only $1.50 lb. Don’t know what the prices will be this year as it is a few weeks before tomatoes will be available.

Some photos of the lettuce from a Google search

Tom Thumb – An English heirloom mild-flavored butter lettuce with a gentle crunch.

Continuity – Gorgeous heirloom dating to around 1900 with delicate leaves with a touch of sorrel sourness

Four Seasons – A French heirloom introduced 1885. It has a pleasant touch of bitter with a faint sorrel-sourness. So pretty

Green ice – Stunning bright green with a delicate flavor

Hardin Gardens
22656 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476