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Frais de Bois Along the CA Coast & Thank You

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Hello and thank you for any help!

My sons and I make jam in Colorado and we're driving up the coast of California in search of "Frais de Bois" or "Mara de Bois". We're going to be making jam along the way and I'm hoping some of you might share some ideas or favorite farms. We're starting out by Visiting Chino Nojo followed by the Santa Monica Farmers Market for Harries Berries, we'll hope to try some of Masumoto's peaches in Fresno and Swanton Family Farms followed by The Ferry Building Farmers Market in San Francisco...

If you have thoughts on our itinerary or could some suggest some "special" growers I'd be delighted and grateful.

Many thanks again.


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I suggest you check out various farmers' markets in towns as you travel. That's your best lead for finding good produce in quantity to make jam.

This is an old Chowhound msg board with sources in southern California for fraises du bois:

I have seen fraises du bois for sale at some SF Bay Area farmers markets (SF Ferry Bldg? Berkeley?--I can't recall.) They're quite expensive. Both the SF Ferry Bldg and Berkeley markets are what I call "boutique" markets, with beautiful, unusual, high-quality, expensive produce. If you're passing through SF, I suggest you also go to the Alemany farmers market, where the locals like to shop. More about Alemany:

These are some U-pick farms accessible from the SF Bay Area:

You haven't mentioned when you will be traveling, or how "coastal" your itinerary is. From what you've said here, you'll be traveling from the San Diego region to Santa Monica to Fresno--which is Central Valley--then to the Monterey region and SF. That's a big diversion from the coast to the Central Valley for some peaches. If you drive directly from Fresno to Monterey you will cut directly through the prime agricultural area of Watsonville/Salinas, but you will miss the stupendous Big Sur coastline on Highway One, roughly Monterey to Cambria. You'll miss a visit to the Hearst Castle at San Simeon, too. Just sayin'.

good luck with your visit! if you have a chance, let us know how it goes.

ETA: If you do decide to follow Highway One north from Santa Monica to SF, you will probably have to go inland 10 or more miles to find farms that sell fruits like apricots, cherries, or peaches. The weather by the ocean is cool and foggy, not warm enough for those fruits.

Edited by djyee100 (log)
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Fraises des bois and maras des bois are totally different. Maras are a hybrid, an exquisitely delicious hybrid, but you won't find them on the California coast. Or really in markets here, unfortunately.

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Amazing and thank you and yes I don't want to miss Big Sur and Pudwill Farms lets me order berries ahead of time to pickup at the Santa Monica Farmers Market!! Thank you for your thoughts and even more thanks for your resources...

So tentatively:

Colorado > Carlsbad > Sana Monica > Big Sur > Monterey, Coastways Ranch > San Francisco > Colorado

or Chino Nojo Farm > SM Farmers Market > Big Sur > Swanton Farm > Ferry Bldg & Alemany (plus any odd bits along the way...)

And eating at Farmshop and Big Sur Bakery and...

Many thanks again especially to djyee!

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You're welcome!

One suggestion about driving Big Sur--there are a limited number of gas stations along the way. Start off with a full tank if you can, and check your gas level as you come to a station. If you google "gas stations in big sur california" you'll get advice and a list of station locations. The Big Sur Bakery has a gas station right next to it.

have fun on your trip. Just thinking of Big Sur makes me want to jump in my car & drive down there. I'll have to find an excuse to go there soon. :wink:

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The San Luis Obispo county area has a large number of farmers markets that may serve your needs. I think the not to miss are Baywood/Los Osos, 2-4:30pm Monday afternoons, Downtown SLO 6:30-9p, Thursday and Avila Beach, 4-8pm on Fridays, Arroyo Grande 12-2:30p on Saturday,

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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The Santa Barbara certified Farmers market schedule gives you several choices for days to shop. The last time I shopped at the one in Montecito they had alpine strawberries, white raspberries and currants, including black currants. There was also one stand that had an exceptional offering of herb plants.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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