Here in Contra Costa County when we talk about “locally-grown,” we really mean local! The County is a great place to find fresh locally-grown fruits and vegetables, nuts, eggs, herbs, honey, wine, olive oils, and more.
Sad to say, many children have never visited a farm and don’t actually know where their food comes from. Agriculture plays a very important role in our lives and yet we take it for granted that there will always be an abundance of fruits and vegetables available. Farmland is slowly disappearing and it makes you wonder where we’ll get our fresh fruits and vegetables in the future.
What better way to spend a family-oriented “staycation” weekend than to find local treasures right in your own backyard! The kids will learn about where their food actually comes from, maybe inspire them to grow their own vegetables, and maybe even become small farmers themselves. For this fun, inexpensive, and educational weekend take the whole family for a short drive to some of these wonderful u-pick farms and farm stands in the Brentwood area:
- Smith Family Farm for amazing tomatoes
- Dwelley Farms with corn, stone fruit, green beans, & more
- Tachella Farms for stone fruit and apples
- Chan’s Fruit Stand for plump juicy strawberries
- Lon’s Farm Stand for a variety of peppers, melons, & more
- Olio Bello d’Olivo for fantastic extra virgin olive oils (by appointment)
- Enos Family Farm for crunchy fresh-picked almonds
- Shelly’s Garden for fresh herbs and fresh eggs (by appointment)
In other parts of the County there are a surprising number of enterprising farmers:
- Alhambra Valley Farms in Martinez with luscious pears
- Mangini Farms in Pleasant Hill with fresh corn
- Diablo Creek Apiaries in Clayton with local honey
- Sterling Albert Winery with wine grapes near Mt. Diablo, storefront in Concord
These farms are all participants in area farmers’ markets, so check with them for what’s available this summer. For more information on Brentwood u-pick farms and farm stands visit www.harvest4you.com to download a harvest map and get farm information and directions.
Here’s a tasty way to enjoy your just-picked locally-grown Brentwood corn. Gather the family, get out the grill, and cook up something fresh! You know where it came from, you know when it was picked, and you know you’re supporting local farms! How delicious is that!
Deb’s Grilled Chipotle Parmesan Corn
4 ears fresh Brentwood corn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
Scant salt and pepper (to taste)
Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil on each ear of corn. Sprinkle evenly with chipotle powder, salt and pepper. Grill for 12 to 15 minutes, moving the corn to a cooler part of the grill as they become slightly blackened. Remove from the grill and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve hot. Yum! Recipe: Debra Morris, PCFMA
Inspire your own children by taking them to the farm and educating them on how that meal appears on their plate. Get to know your local farmers and thank them for their hard work and dedication to bringing you the best locally-grown produce to you and your farmers’ market. Here’s to good summer eatin’ fresh from your farmers’ market (and your local farms!). Remember to buy fresh and buy local!