Mariquita Farm

Tomato & Pumpkin & Weird Winter Squash Upick Day Sunday, Sept 23rd, 2007

RAIN OR SHINE! Join us in any case.

9am to 1pm

Cash only please.

tomatoes will be 50 cents a pound

other produce will be available: including a pumpkin patch!

directions to Hollister

Lena's Cards will be available


a butternut-type winter squash. Great for decoration too!

genovese basil for PESTO!
Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
click to enlarge Greg Muck showing off the bee-rich honeycomb
Tomato pickers from 2003.


Countdown from Andy

Thrust is what a rocket needs to overcome the force of gravity and propel itself into space— lots of thrust. To reach escape velocity rockets burn liquid oxygen and nitrogen . I’m not sure what kind of fuel the chefs we sell vegetables to in San Francisco could burn to get out of the City— maybe a mixture of time and caffeine. There’s a powerful force field in that town that keeps chefs orbiting their stoves. They have access to the caffeine— it’s the time to mix it with that they lack.

It takes ninety minutes to reach our farm from San Francisco, driving at legal speeds, and some chefs with a lot of thrust have made it. Tiny Maes, for one, when he was cooking at Rose Pistola, came down one afternoon. Quite by accident he picked the hottest day of the decade. The heat was radiating off the rows in waves so thick we could have surfed them if we’d had asbestos boards.

“Man,” Tiny said. “I can’t believe you work in this every day.”

“We don’t,” I said. “The afternoon is the hottest part of the day, so we start at six and get most of the harvesting done by noon.” That seemed incredible to Tiny, because he’s a night owl.

Joseph Manzare from Zuppa has come down a couple of times. It probably only took him fifty minutes, but Joseph has a lot of escape velocity. He loaded his car up with produce and was moaning that he didn’t have a pick-up truck. But then he has three restaurants. He wanted lunch, so we went down the road to Dunneville and got tri-tip sandwiches. There’s no “ville” in Dunneville, just the corner market. Their tri-tip sandwiches are good, and there’s plenty of cold drinks. I wished that I’d of known Joseph was coming, because then I would have stopped on the way to the farm from home and gotten some tamales at Marshall’s Store in Aromas. I don’t live at the farm. I rent the land I farm and I live thirty four miles away in Watsonville.

Bruce Hill from Picco came down with his friend James Ormsby, who was cooking at Plumpjack Café then. They had to get back in time for dinner prep, so they couldn’t stay all day. I taught them how to pick pimientos de Padrón, which are these tiny little Spanish peppers that taste so good when they’re toasted up in a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Just to make things fun I whipped out a camp stove, some olive oil, and some sea salt, and I had two of the best chefs in San Francisco frying Padrón peppers for me in the shade. They had a lot of fun too, rushing straight from the plant to the pan— their only regret was that we didn’t have glasses of cool dry golden sherry to sip.

This weekend all of you are invited down for a u-pick, and you ought to learn from the chefs. Come down in the morning while the temperatures are still mild and it’s comfortable to work, Bring a big enough car so that you can haul off all you need, and by all means bring a stove, a pan, some olive oil, and some sea salt, because besides tomatoes we’re going to have Padrón peppers. I believe that ours will be the first and only Padrón u-pick to have ever happened in the U.S. Plus, our bee-keeper, neighbor and friend Greg will be there with fresh honey and answers to your questions about bees, and there will be a miniature farmers market under the tree with some of the potatoes we’re growing in a field next door. Prepare for lift off. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-t0mato U-pick!

Tomato and Pumpkin and Weird Winter Squash Upick Sunday Sept 23rd, 2007 9am to 1pm. Bring clothes to protect you from the sun; bring drinking water; bring shoes that can stand a bit of dirt or even mud.

directions to Hollister

For details and directions to these events, call us at (831) 761-8380, or email us at

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