Remember the short-lived Saint Rose, Mark Malicki’s restaurant that opened first on South A Street and then moved to bigger digs in Sebastopol, where P/30 is now located? One of the most endearing parts of Saint Rose was its turntable and the growing collection of albums--real vinyl lps--that customers would drop off once they discovered it. When I walked into the store at Greenstring Farm yesterday, I was thrilled to see a turntable next to the counter, with a selection of albums and an invitation to customers to choose an album to listen to while shopping. I’m still smiling about this discovery.
Greenstring Farm was established in 2003 by long-time farmer Bob Cannard and Fred Cline of Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. Bob is probably best known for providing produce to Chez Panisse since the 1980s. The farm store opened in 2006 and has grown into one of the best farm stores around. It is open daily, except on major holidays. Although I usually recommend finding the farm stands closest to where you live, this one is worth additional driving, especially if you can combine a visit with trips to other nearby destinations.
There are several reasons I recommend Greenstring. Prices here are remarkably reasonable, for the most part well below what you see at farmers markets. The quality is high, much of what is sold is grown within yards of the store and what comes a distance doesn’t travel far. There are a couple of local cheeses, butter from Vella Cheese Company in Sonoma, local olive oil and red wine vinegar and jams and other preserves made using Greenstring produce. The farm’s outstanding eggs are gathered from the farm’s hens twice daily, at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The store also carries the best grass-fed beef I’ve tasted, though they are currently out. Bob was there yesterday and assured me they should have a new supply by October 7 at the latest.
Produce is harvested daily; for the biggest selection, visit after noon on a Tuesday or Friday.
There are frequent special events, too, including farm tours on the first Saturday of the month (that would be tomorrow) from 12 to 1:30 p.m. and family fun days every third Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m.
Greenstring Farm is located at 3571 Old Adobe Rd. is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can enter from Adobe Rd. or Frates Rd. For a complete list of products, an explanation of farming practices, photographs and more, visit the farm’s Web site.