Today, I finally finished adding many new colorful nerikomi pots by Sakai Mika in my shop that you can browse from the link here->.
Mika’s cheerful ceramics are a perfect antidote to the gloomy weather that we have recently been experiencing here in San Diego. The locals call these spring months “May gray” and “June gloom”, and this time of the year can be quite cloudy and cool in coastal Southern California. This spring has felt especially cold to me, and I’ve been longing for the arrival of a sunny summer after having experienced an exceptionally wet winter.
But today, the sun finally made a rare appearance, so I got motivated to head out to Chino Farm, the famed local farm in Rancho Santa Fe, which is about a 20 minute drive from my house. Chino Farm was started in 1969 by Junzo Chino, who came to the U.S. from Hashigui in Wakayama prefecture, Japan, in the early 1920s. The farm was made world-famous by chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley for the exceptional quality and freshness of its fruit and vegetables.
Every time I go to the Chino Nojo (which is their official name meaning farm) stand, I tell myself that I should come here more often because they grow so many varieties and make them available for us. I often discover new types of vegetables and fruits, and learn what is truly in season here in Southern California.
Today at the farm stand, there were many different kinds of lettuces. I bought a head of frisée, and, of course, it’s strawberry season so I got some pearly little Mara Des Bois strawberries. These fragrantly soft and delicious harbingers of summer are probably only grown by the Chinos around here. I find that their distinct aroma reminds me a little of… Japanese ramune soda.
If you are ever in San Diego, I urge you to make time to visit the legendary Chino Farm Stand in Rancho Santa Fe. Make sure to bring cash or a check, and now they also even accept Venmo!
Chino Farm Stand
6123 Calzada Del Bosque, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091 (Click for Google Maps)