These days, a trip to the grocery store can resemble a visit to the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone, while the empty shelves suggest a time trip back to the USSR in the 1970s. Many Topanga families are looking for home delivery options or curbside pickup. Farm boxes are a practical option, offering a week’s worth of fresh fruits and vegetables direct from the growers, and a way to help local farmers stay in business. Some farms offer add-ons, including bread, dairy, and eggs. Local farms may offer curbside pickup, all deliver right to door via FedEx.
I wrote a feature on grocery shopping options for the final issue of the Messenger Mountain News. Since then, I’ve found many more local options, including delivery services that feature bread, dairy, eggs, and even prepared meals and meal kits.
Stay safe, be well, and eat your veggies!
The Abundant Table in Oxnard, offers drop-off points in Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village—still a drive, but closer to home. theabundanttable.org.
Farm Fresh to You is a family-owned CSA—Community Supported Agriculture—service that operates out of the Capay Valley near Sacramento. They ship weekly or biweekly farm boxes, with a choice of fruits, vegetables, or a mix of both. Extra options like eggs and dairy are available. www.farmfreshtoyou.com
Fig Tree Ranch. This Malibu farm stand offers a selection of organic fruits and vegetables curated by Kerry Clasby, aka the Intuitive Forager (www.intuitiveforager.com). Pick up daily at the farm stand, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 29127 Pacific Coast Highway (opposite Heathercliff Drive), or order in advance for curbside pick up. www.facebook.com/IntuitiveForager/
Röckenwagner Market, famed for its bread, has farm boxes with produce and stables in addition to a selection of bread and pastries. Also available are prepared meals, a selection of wine, and Dear John’s TV dinners—a gourmet take on the old frozen-dinners-in-a-metal-tray from the 1960s. Orders can be picked up in town at the bakery’s Washington Blvd. location, or shipped: Röckenwagner Market, 12835 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066, rockenwagnermarket.com
Thorne Family Farm. This much-loved Malibu farm offers online ordering with curbside pickup in front of the farm on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, as well as delivery. Customers can choose from a menu of locally grown and sourced produce that currently includes strawberries, blueberries, stone fruit, broccoli, heirloom carrots, farm tomatoes, fresh herbs and locally sourced eggs. Thorne Family Farm works with Tartine and Varsity bakers to supply fresh-baked bread and pastries like fruit tartlets and muffins. Malibu Farm meal boxes and prepared food are also available. All orders must be placed and paid for in advance. 6043 Bonsall Drive, just east of Zuma. www.thornefamilyfarm.com.
Underwood Family Farms. Weekly farm boxes that can be delivered or picked up curbside. All FedEx orders received after 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday will be shipped out on the following Monday. Underwood also has two well-stocked farm stand locations in Moorpark, 3370 Sunset Valley Road, and Somis: 5696 E. Los Angeles Ave. underwoodfamilyfarms.com
Earth Matterz. A Topanga-based farm box company that offers delivery and pickup in Topanga and throughout the Westside. Kali Star, who created Earth Matterz, currently has a waitlist but is giving priority to her Topanga neighbors. www.earthmatterz.com.
Edible Gardens L.A. Founder Lauri Kranz is an advocate for planting and growing edible gardens, and the author of A Garden Can Be Anywhere. Her company offers farm boxes with produce sourced from her own L.A. farm, as well as other local growers and producers. www.ediblegardensla.com
Imperfect Foods. The mission of this San Francisco-based company is getting perfectly good but cosmetically imperfect produce to customers and keeping it out of landfills. In addition to produce, Imperfect Food boxes can be customized with dry goods like coffee and quinoa. Dairy products and eggs are also available. Unlike many farm box offerings, subscribers can select what they wish to receive based on what is available—the selection changes frequently. www.imperfectfoods.com
Social distancing measures at farmers markets include wide spacing, hand-washing stations, and traffic cones and tape to guide patrons where to stand. Customers indicate what they wish to purchase, and vendors package it for them. The only point of direct contact is during payment. Masks are required, and all participants—vendors and customers—are requested to observe the six-foot-social distancing requirement at all times.
Calabasas Farmers Market Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., 23504 Calabasas Rd. www.facebook.com/CalabasasFM/
Malibu Farmers Market Sunday mornings from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The focus is on produce, but prepared foods like pies and bread have returned on a limited basis. mfmtogo.square.site
Santa Monica Farmers Market Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., and Wednesday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Both markets continue offering CalFresh/EBT. Patrons are asked to enter the market on 2nd Street, or from Arizona Avenue at Third. www.smgov.net/portals/farmersmarket/
Westlake Village Farmers Market Sundays, 10 a.m.-2p.m., 2797 Agoura Rd, Westlake Village, California 91361, www.facebook.com/WestlakeVillageFM/.
For Topanga residents who would like to enjoy farmers market produce without the hassle of actually going to one, Canyon Gourmet owner Peter Kagan visits the Santa Monica Farmers Market twice weekly, selecting a carefully curated variety of produce, and he also has a network of small local farms that sell directly to him. Kagan recently announced that Gjusta Bakery would be providing fresh-baked artisan bread at the store seven days a week. Canyon Gourmet is located at 120 S Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, 90290, (310) 455-4200, www.canyongourmet.com