POINT REYES STATION, Calif. — Marin County, just north of San Francisco, offers visitors an abundance of choices for seasonal menus and summer adventure amid the dairies, ranches, shops and produce stands in this storied agricultural region.
As vacation season comes into full swing, Marin County farmers and producers are once again inviting travelers and shoppers to sample and purchase just-picked fruits and vegetables, grass-grazed beef and lamb, Tomales Bay shellfish, farm-fresh eggs, specialty cheeses, sweet honey and other regional delicacies.
Some of the best places to find farm-fresh food are listed in this Buy Local guide, a free publication from the non-profit Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), that points the way to renowned specialty meat sources such as Rossotti, Fallon Hills, Tomales Bay Pastures, Chi’ken City by Kitty and Stemple Creek; seasonal shellfish from Hog Island Oyster Co.; local honey from Sola Bee Farms; and summer produce from Farmer Joy and Little Wing Farm.
Farm Stands and Markets
Marin County producers also sell their wares at summer farm stands and farmers markets. For example, MALT is a sponsor of the Point Reyes Farmers Market, held Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Toby’s Feed Barn, and operated by the Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM).
Now in its 26th year, the organic-oriented Point Reyes market is open now and runs through Nov. 5. For similar gatherings on other days of the week, AIM’s website has farmers market schedules for Marin County and for Bay Area locations.
Trails for Hiking and for Cheese
For those travelers who’d like a close-up look at West Marin’s flora and fauna during their visit, the MALT blog lists several hiking trails near Point Reyes Station that are open to the public.
But travelers who come for the outstanding regional cheeses might prefer instead to follow the Marin leg of the California Cheese Trail. The online source has maps, driving directions and destinations to visit, including the world-famous Cowgirl Creamery, as well as Point Reyes Farmstead Co, Nicasio Valley, Marin French Cheese, and Tomales Farmstead Creamery.
“Now is a great time to ‘buy local’ in Marin County,” said Jennifer Carlin, interim executive director of MALT. “Our farmers and producers are passionate about what they do, and it shows in the goodness of their fresh, flavorful produce, dairy products and meats — and in the pleasure these delicious products bring to the meals on your summer table.”
Marin Agricultural Land Trust is a nonprofit organization created in 1980 to permanently preserve Marin County farmland and establish Marin County as a thriving agricultural community in a healthy and diverse natural environment. Some of the Bay Area’s most highly acclaimed dairy and meat products and organic crops are produced on farmland protected by MALT, which totals more than 54,000 acres. To learn more about MALT, visit malt.org.
–Marin Agricultural Land Trust