Monday, June 6, 2011

Farm-fresh fruits, vegetables abound in Solano County

Farm-fresh fruits,
vegetables abound
in Solano County

By Kimberly K. Fu/

Posted: 06/06/2011 01:03:52 AM PDT

As a kid, nothing compared to cavorting outside on
a sunshiny day, plucking ripe fruits and veggies
from the garden and popping as many in my mouth
as in designated baskets.

The garden's since gone kaput but, thankfully, in
Solano County there's an abundance of places to
round up farm-fresh produce whenever the mood

That means even when the skies are gray -- such as
today -- and when temperatures resemble winter
more than spring. But weather forecasts promise a
warmer atmosphere come Tuesday, with highs in the
80s and nothing but sun predicted throughout the
week. So pack a jacket if need be, grab a pal or two
and head outdoors for a few hours of tasty bliss.

In Vacaville, locals flock to the Certified Farmer's
Market in the 300 block of Main Street between
Parker and Dobbins streets.

Open Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon through October,
it features produce galore, along with fresh flowers,
bakery and prepared foods, among other products
for sale. There's also live music at the Downtown
Vacaville Business Improvement District-sponsored
event, shops straddling both sides of the street and
eateries offering hearty meals or simple, savory

Go further north and you'll find Aliki's Produce,
where gigantic Brandywine tomatoes are legendary.
Don't be afraid to ask questions, as the folks are
always willing to answer. Who knows -- you might
try something new and actually like it. Aliki's is
located on the corner of Orchard Avenue and
Fruitvale Road

and it's open through October.
Sweet, sweet strawberries are ample in town and
definitely should not be missed. Whether small or
large, the ruby red fruit is always juicy and, well,
kids both young and young at heart love them.
There are at least two stands in the area that seem to
be open nearly every day. One is on Leisure Town
Road, just south of Elmira Road; the other is on
Fruitvale Road, just off Gibson Canyon Road.

Produce stands abound in either direction from

North of the city, you'll find Dixon and its Certified
Farmer's Market in the Women's Improvement Club
Park on North First and C streets.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through Sept.
24, local farmers exhibit aromatic cherries and
strawberries, lush peaches and nectarines,
brilliantly colored peppers, fat ears of corn and all
types of salad greens. The gathering, sponsored by
the Downtown Dixon Business Association, also
features food vendors, live musicians and more.

South of Vacaville, there's a farmer's market in
almost every adjacent city -- which could make for a
great day trip, as you make pit stops at one or more,
depending on how long you linger.

In Fairfield, the Certified Farmer's Market runs from
4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 6. Officials with
the Fairfield Main Street Association said the event
promotes locally grown offerings from produce to
honey. There's fresh-popped kettle corn, too, along
with live entertainment.

In nearby Cordelia, Erickson Ranch at 2482 Cordelia
Road is open through October. On the menu are
Blenheim apricots and more than 20 varieties of
white and yellow nectarines and peaches. You can
also pick your own fruit here.

Next door is Suisun City, which boasts a Certified
Farmer's Market in Harbor Plaza, at Main and Solano
streets. It's open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Fridays
through September.

Not free on Fridays, you say? Well drive a few miles
into Suisun Valley and enjoy fresh fruits and
veggies to your heart's content.

Larry's Produce at 4606 Suisun Valley Road is a
longtime destination favorite. Open through
December, Larry and company offer all types of
produce and flowers, some of which you can pick
yourself. There are also special events throughout
the growing season, including a Haunted House
and pumpkin patch in October. Once, crop circles
were found here. Turns out aliens weren't the
culprit, but that's another story.

The Vegetable Patch on Rockville Road is open year-
round. Aside from produce that you can pick y
ourself, there's a variety of local jams, vinegars,
dried fruits, nuts, fresh salsa, organic farm fresh
eggs and more. There are also seasonal activities,
such as a pumpkin patch around Halloween.

Castaneda Bros. Produce at 4075 Green Valley Road
is a relatively new venue and will be open July
through November. Expect to find squash, heirloom
tomatoes, 15 types of cherry tomatoes, tomatillos,
melons, cucumbers, peppers and fresh Mexican
blue corn. If you have the urge, you can also pick
your own produce.

For more information on Suisun Valley growers, go
online to

There's are more farms and growers throughout the
county. Check out for Farm
Trails maps of participants in Suisun Valley, as well
as Pleasants Valley in rural Vacaville.