Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10 -4, Sunday 10 -1, Closed Monday
30 minutes north of San Diego and 2 hours south of Los Angeles down a windy road is arguable the most celebrated fruit and vegetable farm in California. Chino Farm has a who’s who clientele including Wolfgang Puck and Alice Waters. When I decided to plan a trip to San Diego, I knew I had to make a stop at the farm on the way back up to LA and would recommend it to the culinary connoisseur for a better understanding of your foods’ source.
With a reputation so grand, you would only expect the farm to be organic, but it’s not. They do spray some of their harvest to some extent. I was surprised the first time I heard that, but they source to Chez Panisse so I can only assume they spray their crops with liquid cocaine.
They don’t have a website, so have included the hours that were posted on site. I read they extend the hours to five during the summer.
As I parked and walked around, you quickly notice their customer base is primarily the well-to-do with an expectation for the best. I sensed this from the luxury cars, the prices, and the clean feet, all contrary to what is witnessed at a farmers market.
(Pluots, Raspberries, Basil, Brussels Sprouts, Lima Beans)
(Bay Leaves, Sorrel, Parsley, Dill, Basil)
(Carrots, Squash, String Beans)
(Bay Leaves, Sorrel)
(Bell Peppers, Canteloupe, Radishes, Beets)
(Bok Choy, Peppers, Fennel, Radishes)
(Swiss Chard, Kale)
(Heirloom Tomato, Pluot)
A 53rd generation member of the Chino family helped us with goods to the car; I guess that’s where the other $30 went. Interestingly, I spoke to him for a few minutes and he mentioned that the family had nine children and left the farm to only four of the kids and a failed lawsuit ensued.
A trip to Chino Farms is warranted for the reputation, but a return trip and another $70 grocery bill is unlikely.