In order to bring our customers the high-quality produce theyve come to expect from Market Hall Produce over the years, while still offering good prices and as many local items as possible, we bring in our produce two different ways: daily from wholesale produce markets and direct from farms to our door.
At the Market
Every morning, our Produce Buyer, Farshad Abad, wakes up at 2am, heads out to wholesale produce markets across the Bay Area and hand-picks the best-looking, best-tasting fruit and vegetables he can find. The first thing he looks for is quality - how it looks and tastes. Then he looks for local. Not only does buying local support our local economy, but also, since transportation costs are lower, it means a lower price for the consumer. Unfortunately, California cant grow every fruit and vegetable all year round, but this is why we go to the markets. All of the produce there is labeled with where its packed and where its farmed, so we always know where were getting our produce.
Direct from the Farm
The rest of our produce comes in direct from local farms. We work off and on (because of seasonality and quality) throughout the year with 15-20 different farms. Weve developed our relationships with these farms over many years, trust their opinions on the quality of their current crops and make our decisions from there.
Here are just a few of the farms we work with:
Happy Boy Farm
What we get: Baby spinach, spring mix, baby carrots, dry farm tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, frisée
Greg Beccio began farming in 1988 on only two acres of land. After expanding to over 1000 acres and selling that first company, he began farming specialty vegetables as Happy Boy Farms in 1996, with the aim of providing the freshest high quality produce to local consumers. He currently farms 100 acres, all Certified Organic, in Watsonville, San Juan Bautista, Giddy and Chow Chilla. With the different soil types and climates of those locations, Greg is able to offer an incredible array of crops year-round, many of which are specialty or heirloom varieties. The farm offers over 40 varieties of heirloom tomatoes alone!
Happy Boy Farms uses its own organic compost, produced on-site, to nourish the plants. Most weeding and harvesting is done by hand, to ensure gentle handling and to keep the vegetables free from harmful pesticides. Greg and his employees harvest, wash and pack their produce on the same day that they deliver to ensure the produce is as fresh as can be.
Terra Firma Farm
What we get: Carrots, leeks, spinach, cauliflower, winter squash, mandarins, watermelon, grapefruit, apricots
Our farming practices do not just follow the letter of the National Organic Program law or the minimum standards set by our organic certifier, CCOF. Rather, in the spirit of the organic farming movement, we continually strive to practice ecologically sustainable agriculture that protects and builds the soil, provides habitat for wildlife, conserves energy and water, and produces healthier, more nutritious fruits and vegetables. Terra Firma also has a commitment to providing sustainable employment and encouraging local economic development. We provide full-time, year-round employment for our workers. We employ roughly ten times as many people per acre as most farms in our region
Full Belly Farm
What we get: Spring onions, melons, green onions, lettuce, garlic onions, heirloom tomatoes, spinach, early girl tomatoes, cherry tomatoes
Full Belly Farm is a 300-acre certified organic farm located in the beautiful Capay Valley of Northern California, an hour northwest of Sacramento. Full Belly has been farmed using organic practices since 1985 and is certified by California Certified Organic Farmers.
By implementing strategies such as growing over 80 different crops, using cover crops that fix nitrogen and provide organic matter for the soil, and planting habitat areas for beneficial insects and wildlife, Full Belly smoothly integrates farm production with longer-term environmental goals.
Full Belly is also home to many outreach activities, including educational tours, school group visits, and the much-acclaimed annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival. The Hoes Down Festival celebrates rural life and educates the public about growing food in a sustainable manner. Through such programs to the general public, Full Belly seeks to create awareness of farm realities and to stress the importance of farms in the fabric of our society.
What We Get: Organic strawberries, raspberries, gold raspberries and blackberries
Medina Berry Farms stretch across 28 acres, with seven of those acres being dedicated to organic farming. Though the farms grow other fruits and veggies as well, the berries are the Medinas pride and joy. Having grown berries for more than 30 years, the farm is now run by the second and third generation of Medinas, who are hoping to pass on the family legacy to the fourth generation.
A few years ago, Pedro Medina, Jr. convinced his father to branch out into organic farming because of the high demand in the Bay Area. They have also recently added greenhouse-like tunnels to cover the berries, since berries are so easily damaged by rain. With these changes and improvements, Medina Berry Farms can bring their delicious, pesticide-free berries to customers, with more options and less interruption.