Blue House Farm sits at the eastern end of the coastal agricultural valley behind Pescadero, California, 48 miles from Mission Pie and steps away from the entrance to Butano Canyon. Blue House Farm is a certified organic farm whose mild climate allows for an incredible diversity of crops for local markets. Ryan Casey takes special pride in producing the freshest greens, tasty strawberries, and dry-farmed tomatoes.
We have enjoyed a working relationship with Blue House farm since 2008, and have been most inspired by watching their young farm business grow in production and marketing breadth. We purchase about 1/3 of the season’s strawberries from Blue House, and many vegetable ingredients for our savory menu, as well as flowers that bring summer beauty into our shop.
There are many benefits to sourcing produce directly from farms, and we have direct purchase relationships with several, though none more developed and multi-faceted than with Blue House Farm. Buying direct from a farm reduces the transit time for produce, and generally allows for harvest when fruits are at their ripest. Secondly, when we buy direct from a farm, that farmer gains a larger fraction of the food dollar, which can be particularly meaningful for smaller scale farmers with less access to the wholesale market. We enjoy buying from farms where the scale of our purchasing represents a meaningful contribution to the stability and health of that farm’s economy.
We seek opportunities to take these direct market relationships a step further. For example, in late 2009, we committed to buy young rhubarb plants to support Blue House Farm in Pescadero to step into rhubarb production. It turned out that part of the reason we were having trouble sourcing rhubarb locally is because the investment in plants and/or time for them to reach maturity is an impediment for farmers. We realized we could commit to parking the resources in the ground and being patient while those plants grew to harvestable size – your loyalty as customers enables us to support our farmers in the same way. Spring 2012 will yield the reward – thousands of pounds of rhubarb grown only 50 miles away!