So the farmer’s markets here in Santa Rosa are filled with produce I can’t afford to buy which is a huge disappointment. $5 per/lb for green beans is not in my budget. Neither is eggplant for $5 per/lb or even eggplant for $3 per/lb. $5 for a tiny head of lettuce? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Tomatoes can’t be had for less than $2 per/lb but most of them are upwards of $3 per/lb. Cucumbers are $2 per/lb here – I expect cucumber to be no more than 50 cents each! Corn is between 75 cents to $1 for one ear. ONE EAR OF CORN. Only some of this is organic. The green beans weren’t (I saw organic ones for $4 per/lb).
So I’ve been shopping the regular grocery store. The good news is that it’s not difficult to get mostly produce grown in California. In Oregon it’s much more difficult to get mostly Oregon produce at the big grocery stores – but who cares when they have such great farmer’s markets with produce being sold for really reasonable prices? The bad news is that even at big grocery store prices when produce is on special it isn’t affordable enough to can such produce in large quantities. While I’ve been hearing about all my friends’ food preserving escapades I’ve become increasingly jealous. I don’t feel right not preserving food at the end of summer. I was getting pretty bummed when a friend suggested I check prices at Imwalle Gardens. I’d been to Imwalle’s years ago when I lived here before but at that time I didn’t shop there much because farmer’s market produce was still reasonably priced.
So I went to Imwalle’s expecting to be disappointed.
I was so far from being disappointed – I hit the jackpot of affordable produce and the best thing of all is that this week they had 4 for $1 corn and they sell 20# of tomatoes for $12! Both of which are grown right outside their market. They’re a regular market in that they buy a lot of produce from other growers – mostly California growers (but not small farms necessarily) but they have their own farm and grow a few different kinds of peppers, corn, summer squash, Japanese eggplants, apples, and pickling cucumbers.
Imwalle Gardens is the BEST produce market in Santa Rosa. Here are some of their current prices: $1.49 per/lb for green beans, 99 cents per/lb for regular tomatoes, $1.99 per/lb for heirloom toms, 99 cents (or less) for a head of lettuce, 99 cents per/lb for hot peppers (that they grow – compared to $8 per/lb I saw at the farmer’s market), $1.19 per/lb for organic potatoes, 99 cents per/lb for summer squash (compared to $2 or more at farmer’s market), 49 cents each for regular cucumbers, and $1.19 per/lb for pickling cucumbers.
For $56 I came home with 60 lbs of really gorgeous tomatoes and 80 ears of super tasty corn. That was my first visit.
Yesterday we went back and got another 60 lbs of toms, 2 big bags of organic potatoes, some Hungarian wax peppers and some jalapenos, big bag of green beans, 6.5 lbs of pickling cucumbers, 2 heads of lettuce, big bag of zucchinis, big bag of onions, and a big bag of heirloom tomatoes for $67.50.
Here is their corn growing right outside the market.
So if you live in Santa Rosa I highly recommend that you shop at Imwalle Gardens for your produce. Some great super local produce, lots of California produce, reasonable prices, and all the staff is super nice. Imwalle’s is my new favorite place in Santa Rosa.
685 West 3rd Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401