A certified Bay Area Green Business and a peddler of greenery, Fuji Garden Center raises a wide variety of rare plants, exotic trees, and flowering delights in its expansive nursery. Floras running the gamut of Santa Barbara daisies ($6.50/1 gal. pot) to ornate Crimson Queen trees ($38.50) convert sunlight into energy and dirt patches into alluring gnome traps. Planting compost ($25/yd.) sets out a buffet table for hungry plants, inviting Tuscan Blue rosemary ($18/5 gal. pot) and lotus flowers ($6.75/1 gal. pot) to the feast. Garden keepers can also treat foliage to premium potting soil ($45/yd.), nutrient-packed to fuel any plant's extreme-sport-centered lifestyle.
The Garrone family, now in its fourth generation, has been selling their homegrown organic mushrooms at Bay Area farmers’ markets for over fifty years. Proudly keeping the tradition alive, they ship orders in from their own 60,000-square foot farm in Monterey Bay, where the steady ocean breeze and northern coastal fog preserve ideal growing conditions.
In addition to filling up market stands, they stock their storefront operation, Far West Fungi, with 42 varieties of mushroom. They also line the shelves with exotic food products such as saffron tagliatelle, truffle honey, domestic fennel pollen, and Tahitian vanilla bean. Here, customers can load up on specialty mushrooms in person or opt for next day air delivery via the online shop. The internet store also allows shoppers to peruse all manner of truffle-related products, including oils, sauces, and oversized foam fingers that read “down with morels”.
In place of the flickering florescent lights common to big-box grocery stores, sunshine illuminates the foods at Fresh from D'Vine, a farmer-focused indoor market in Salinas. Vibrant, in-season fruits and vegetables form little assemblages on wooden tables, as do bouquets of fresh-cut flowers. Most of the market's offerings come from growers in Monterey and neighboring counties, which helps to keep the store's carbon footprint to a minimum while ensuring that the freshness of its goods are at a maximum. Though the selection of produce changes with the seasons, some customer favorites include strawberries, artichokes, lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, raspberries, broccoli, and peaches.
Since 1982, three generations of a Santa Cruz farming family have opened the farm’s gates between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve to equip fellow community members with bountiful white and douglas firs for the holiday season. Families walk the fields to pick out their perfect tree and browse the selection of fresh wreaths and local honey, after which they set up a brought lunch at one of the picnic tables and enjoy the view.