+
Restaurants & Bars

Valley End Farm Stand in Santa Rosa (Rohnert Park border)

Melanie Wong | Oct 2, 200612:06 AM     10

Some of you may recognize the name, Valley End Farm, as one of the suppliers to Planet Organics. On Friday afternoon I stopped by its farm stand on the east side of Petaluma Hill Road, just north of Rohnert Park Expressway and south of Crane Ranch. Not having been on the stretch of road for a while, I didn't know it was here and pulled over while driving by. It's not much of a stand, actually, just a couple rickety tables and an ancient scale under a tattered plastic canopy. And there's no sign identifying it, only a few handwritten lists of produce on torn-apart cardboard boxes out on the road.

While it may not look like much, what is impressive is the freshness of the produce. The Crane melons are incredibly fragrant even outdoors in the breeze. I tried a sample and bought three for the weekend. The heirloom tomatoes smell wonderful too. And you can't help but appreciate the fact it's grown right here and workers pick a few zucchini, for example, at a time to replenish the display. Can't get any fresher than that. Besides the melons, nothing's too exotic, but what is rare is the pricing. Everything's a buck a pound, and garlic is 50¢ a head. Yes, Brandywine tomatoes for $1/lb.

I had asked the young woman manning the stand to pick out three melons for me to consume over three days. She did a good job of judging ripeness. The elephant garlic is super juicy and fresh, and has much more intensity than other large clove types I've tried before. I sauteed some of the summer squashes with the garlic for lunch today and they carmelized at low heat in the pan, I guess from higher sugar content than usual. Again, nothing fancy, just good, fresh and easy on the budget.

Image of produce display (upper) and close-up of Crane melons (lower) -
http://static.flickr.com/81/255956767...

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

BBQ 101: How to Grill for Beginners
Guides

BBQ 101: How to Grill for Beginners

by Greg Stegeman | The weather is getting nicer, Memorial Day is on the horizon, and summer is right around the corner...

The Best Grills, BBQ Tools, and Grill Accessories
Guides

The Best Grills, BBQ Tools, and Grill Accessories

by Jen Wheeler | If you're in the market for a new grill, grill brush, or basically any other BBQ tool, grill accessory...

A Comprehensive Guide to Barbecue Sauce Across the Country
Guides

A Comprehensive Guide to Barbecue Sauce Across the Country

by Greg Stegeman | Barbecue sauce is a blanket term that doesn't necessarily do justice to all the regional styles of...

Battle of the BBQ: Where Can You Find the Best in the South?
Guides

Battle of the BBQ: Where Can You Find the Best in the South?

by Joey Skladany | As a self-proclaimed sauce connoisseur and fan of barbecue varieties specifically, I was more than...

See what's new!

View latest discussions ›

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.