Always in Season: Fresh-picked for Restaurants Video_KeyFrameOnly_AIS_Muller

Always in Season: Fresh-picked for Restaurants

Always in Season: Fresh-picked for Restaurants
Find out where top restaurants get perfect produce

With more than 80 crops produced from its fertile soils, Full Belly Farm, located 56 miles/90 kilometers east of Sacramento in the fertile Capay Valley, stands out as premier source of top-quality organic produce. With help from about 60 employees, the farm produces an amazing diversity of vegetables, herbs, nuts, flowers, and fruits year-round. The farm also has a flock of chickens, plus sheep, goats, and several cows.

For co-owner Paul Muller, there’s no better place to be a farmer than California. “With its Mediterranean climate, unique soil characteristics, and abundant resources, you can just about grow anything.” According to Muller, one of the keys to growing superior produce is finding the crops that work best in the farm’s various microclimates—cooler pockets for some vegetables, more open stretches for sun-loving types, like tomatoes. But Full Belly Farm doesn’t produce just any tomato—it produces more than 25 types, many of them quite unique. “Some are heirlooms that are favorites in Italy, and others date back to Thomas Jefferson’s garden,” explains Muller. 

Full Belly Farm custom picks its produce so restaurants get exactly what they want, picked at its prime.

Another bounty crop is asparagus, with the farm's tender spears being a top draw for leading chefs like Chef Michael Tusk of Michelin-starred Quince Restaurant, in San Francisco. “At Quince, they really highlight and celebrate the subtleties and unique qualities of the crops we grow,” says Muller. You can taste these quality ingredients at Quince, and at special dinners held several times a year at Full Belly Farm; meals are prepared on site and served outdoors in picturesque settings (make reservations well in advance; events sell out quickly). 

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Laura Flippen

Central California

Discover the Central Valley

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47
December
Average (°F)
Dec - Feb
62°
High
38°
Low
Mar - May
84°
High
46°
Low
June - Aug
98°
High
62°
Low
Sept - Nov
91°
High
43°
Low

California’s heartland offers up one of the state’s most authentic and sensory-rich experiences, a chance to see—and taste—the state’s bounty at every turn. Follow oak-shaded country roads to farm stands overflowing with fresh produce, and meander along wine trails to some of the state’s most productive vineyards and low-key tasting rooms.

Peaches, plums, apricots, and tomatoes—just some of the ultra-fresh produce you will find at farm stands throughout the valley.

Throughout the broad valley, stretching for over 400 miles/644 kilometers down the middle of the state, are cities and towns rich with history, international culture, and “everyone’s welcome” charm. 

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Courtesy of the Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant

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