Trinity River Farm hugs Highway 96 about 2 1/2 miles north of Willow Creek. Its farm stand welcomes visitors with a "Honk for Service" sign out front. The late May sun shone brightly in the cloudless sky when I visited, but the temperature was kept to a pleasant level by a breeze that gently swayed the trees around the stand and neighboring old barn.
I knew I would not find produce because the season starts in June, but I had the chance to get some eggs, browse the greenhouses teeming with starters of edible and garden plants, and talk to the farmer, Tom O'Gorman. On a photo collage hanging on the wall opposite the cash register I saw the evolution of the farm stand from the initial structure built in 1971 to now.
A farm stand allows a more personal, usually more relaxed interaction with the farmer than the farmers' market. It's a shopping option on non-market days and can offer some special treats, like a perfectly ripe item too delicate or not available in large enough quantities to bring to the larger venue. The abundance of some fruit or vegetable — from apples, plums and peaches to tomatoes, green beans and more — inspires me to can or otherwise preserve it for later. Plum preserves or strained roasted tomatoes are my favorite antidote to short, gloomy days.
Each farm stand is different in terms of what's available, hours of operation and duration of the season. When I inquired about plans for the season for the farm stand, the recurring answer was: It all depends on the weather — the great decider of what gets ripe when and in what amount. Hence, the dates are not set in stone. If you are making a special trip to a farm stand or are interested in a specific item, like raspberries, peaches, sweet corn or your favorite variety of tomato, call ahead.
City of Arcata's Bayside Park Farm
930 Old Arcata Road 822-7091
Now until the end of October, every Wednesday noon-6 p.m.
Vegetables and pick-your-own herbs, flowers and leafy greens.
Clendenen's Cider Works
96 South 12th St., Fortuna 725-2123
Early August until February,
Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.,
Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Many varieties of apples and fresh cider.
The Corn Crib
Avenue of the Giants, Pepperwood
(The corn-yellow stand is about 2 miles down from southbound U.S. 101 Exit 674)
Gene and Ginger Sarvinski
From late June or early July until November, Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Vegetables, including sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, summer and winter squashes, peas and green beans.
Flood Plain Produce
31117 Avenue of the Giants, Pepperwood
Holly and Mel Kreb
From mid-July until September, daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Fruit and vegetables, including peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, brassica, lettuce, melons and summer and winter squash.
High Oak Farm
105 Shelter Cove Road, Whitethorn
(Even though the address is in Whitethorn, turn toward Shelter Cove at the Shelter Cove Road junction — the road to the farm is just past the junction.) 986-7481
Open now until late summer, daily 10 a.m. until dark
Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
Kneeland Glen Farm Stand
5851 Myrtle Ave., Eureka 496-0459
Open daily noon-6 p.m.
Produce, eggs, handmade items and cottage-industry foods and crafts from about 20 vendors.
At the McIntosh Farm County Store
1264 Giuntoli Lane, Arcata 822-0487
From mid-June or early July until November, Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.,
Saturday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Also at the farm on Seely McIntosh Road, Willow Creek
Open from mid-June or early July until October, daily
Fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, stone fruit, persimmons and chestnuts.
Organic Matters Ranch
6743 Myrtle Ave., Eureka 407-3276
Heather Plaza and John Gary
Summer dates and hours TBA.
120466 U.S. 101, Orick
Open now until October, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday (possibly Saturday) from 10 a.m. (closing time depends on availability of produce)
Vegetables, strawberries and eggs.
Redwood Roots Farm
Jacoby Creek Road, Bayside (Look for the banner off Old Arcata Road) 826-0261
Open from early June until October, Tuesday and Thursday noon-6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Vegetables and pick-your-own flowers and strawberries.
Eel River Drive, Fortuna (Go south on Eel River Drive from the Kenmar Exit off U.S. 101) 845-3930
Chan Yan Saechao
Open now until July, or until the strawberries run out, daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m., depending on the amount of berries.
Trinity River Farm
2443 State Route 96, Willow Creek
Kay Walstad and Tom O'Gorman
Open at the farm now until the end of October, daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
In Willow Creek (across from Renner Petroleum), from the beginning of July (when peach season starts) until October, daily 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Vegetables and fruits, including tomatoes, peaches and figs.
Simona Carini also writes about her adventures in the kitchen on her blog:www.pulcetta.com.