Last week we made our annual Thanksgiving trip down to Northern California (Redding area) to meet up with my mom’s extended family. It was great to visit with my cousins and eat until I was about to explode, but like every year, one of the highlights was our excursion to the Chico Farmers’ market and the farm stand at Heath Ranch Organics.
We picked up our standard loot at the market: pomegranates, persimmons, almond butter, lemons, cheese, pistachios, dried apricots, and a bunch of papadum from the Indian food booth where they force feed you samples as long as you hang around (which is mostly awesome).
The folks behind Pulliam’s Pistachios (the Pulliams themselves, I think) recognized us coming down the aisle, and we had a nice long talk about nuts, droughts, orcharding, and all sorts of other things. They really are wonderful people with an irresistible product. If you’re in the Chico area, you should buy some pistachios from them at the market, but if you’re not in Chico, call 530-345-8585 to place an order, and they’ll ship them to you.
Our second stop of the day was the Heath Ranch Organics farm stand. We’ve been stopping by Heath Ranch at least once a year for the last nine years to load up on citrus, olives, and olive oil. (See photos from past visits here and here.)
Apparently there was a major wind storm in the Orland area recently, and a lot of Heath Ranch’s almost-ripe fruit was blemished in the fray. That means they have hundreds of pounds of deliciously tasty, but not-quite-perfect-looking mandarins and naval oranges for sale at a deep discount. (I think 60¢/pound for mandarins and 30¢/pound for navals.) It doesn’t get much better than that, folks, especially for super fresh, certified organic citrus.
We were trying hard not too over buy this year, so we only brought home two big bags of naval oranges and a couple jars of really good cured green olives. As usually, the Heath folks were super nice. (Hi, Marisa!)
If you’re traveling through Northern California on I-5, you must stop in and get yourself some good stuff.
Heath Ranch Organics:
4814 County Road 99W
Orland, CA 95963