Michael Pollan wrote that “Ripe vegetables are magic to me.” Coke Farms at the Menlo Park Farmers Market gets my vote for “magical vegetables.”
Every week I hear customers proclaim their produce is either “the most beautiful” or “the best.” Their lettuce is truly a work of art. And the variety is extraordinary, with many items you will find no where else in the market. But who is Coke Farm?
Dale Coke began the business in 1981, in part, to prove the business viability of growing organic strawberries (which he did). Within a year Chez Panisse and many Bay Area restaurants were loyal customers. Today, the Farm is primarily focused on its wholesale accounts for its 300+ acres of organic produce. Menlo Park is most fortunate to be one of only two markets they serve.
Dale, Christine, and their two children, Jamille (on the right in photo above), and Olivier are all active in the business. Jamille can be seen almost every Sunday helping move the queue of appreciative customers. Christine Coke, Dale’s wife, shared with me their vision for the Farm: “Produce quality and consistency.”
These photos hardly do justice to the beauty of their produce. Check them out at the Market, or online – their “Photo” tab is especially worth a look.