Chino's Produce Stand

IMG_1227Located on 45 densely cultivated acres in the San Dieguito River Valley sits a tiny produce stand at the corner of Via De Santa Fe and Calzada Del Bosque. If you blink you might miss it, but do yourself a favor and keep your eyes wide open. Chino’s sells some of the most unique and flavorful produce in all of Southern California.
The farm was started in 1969 by Japanese immigrants Hatsuyo Noda and Junzo Chino. They originally grew commodity crops for the wholesale market. In 1972 they began experimenting with heirloom varieties and creating their own hybrid cultivations. The Chino Ranch gained national prominence in 1978 when their exquisite produce was discovered by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse. She began having weekly shipments of produce delivered via Greyhound bus to her Berkeley restaurant. By 1979 the Chino’s stopped selling wholesale altogether and were focused exclusively on specialty crops which they sold to restaurants and direct to customers via the little produce stand. Today they have a near fanatical following of esteemed chefs and local foodies and home cooks.
IMG_1234They grow over 60 varieties of lettuce, microgreens and herbs. The flawless variety of vegetables and herbs are all hand-picked, washed and lovingly displayed the day they are sold. The corn on the cob has reached cult status. Martha Stewart even raved about it when she was in San Diego for a visit. So next when you want to treat yourself to something special, stop by Chino’s and you will see what all the fuss is about. You will, however, want to get there early and leave your American Express card at home. They are only open until 3:00 p.m. daily  and on a cash only basis.
To learn more about Chinos watch this video

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