Growing up back East, I remember the best ears of corn and melons were from the produce stands on the side of the road in the summertime. During the pandemic, Hiddenbrooke restaurant chef Michael Warring shared that his local source for organic produce was now selling direct to the general public. We first met Courtney and Mike at Wilkinson Acres when we went to pick up our first “mystery box”. We visited their certified organic farm stand in Fairfield and came home with a bounty of fresh fruit and exotic vegetables that were as fine as anything we’d eaten in gourmet restaurants. Because it WAS the same stuff we had enjoyed in fine dining places. It was neat to have our own backdoor connection to the good stuff. We thought we knew all about local fresh produce from wheeling a barrow around Larry’s Produce and walking the Vallejo Farmers Market, but the quality from Wilkinson Acres is always a step waaay beyond anywhere else.
We enjoyed what the Wilkinsons’ grew so much that when the mystery boxes ended, we joined their CSA (Community Sourced Agriculture) which gave us a reason for weekly visits to their farm to pick up our share of whatever they harvested that week for a set membership fee. The first week we panicked when they handed us a large box of peppers in various sizes and colors. I do not like especially spicy peppers so I’ve spent most of my life avoiding all peppers at Mexican restaurants. Yet, here we were, and my wife Tiger welcomed the challenge. Mike was quick to assure us that all the peppers that week were “sweet,” not spicy. Indeed, they were. We enjoyed learning what to cook with them… and I got a little braver about trying the spicy stuff… like their mostly-mild shishito pepper grilled simply and tossed with olive oil from nearby Il Fiorello Olive Oil Company and lemon juice from our backyard tree, or the red sweet “cheese” peppers which we stuff with lamb sausage from Hanson Family Farms that we pick-up at the Vallejo Farmers Market. In subsequent visits to pick up our CSA share at their farm, we met like-minded local food providers like Brutha’s Honey of Vallejo and Delta Microgreens of Suisun City. We will have to write posts about all of them in the future because this story is about the Wilkinsons.
We just renewed our CSA membership with Wilkinson Acres and our first pick-up is set for April 28-29. Wilkinson Acres have moved their farm to an expanded Fairfield location behind Village 360. By the way, they are the only California Certified Organic Farm in Fairfield. They are promising to continue selling direct to people like us in addition to their sales to fussy restaurant chefs. Mike and Courtney have also recently expanded their family. We have enjoyed how they’ve shared their joy in welcoming and raising their daughter, Olive, with us in their newsletter and during our farm visits. To learn more about their farm and join the CSA, visit www.wilkinsonacres.com
UPDATE on April 24, 2023: Wilkinson Acres says they are closing CSA member sales on April 24 to give them enough time prepare for the first harvest deliveries on April 28-29. However, anyone (member or not) may visit them at their new farm stand at Village 360 on weekends, starting April 28 from 2pm-5pm, and April 29 and 30 from 9am-1pm.
UPDATE on May 2, 2023: The Farm Stand is open to the general public every weekend (Fridays 2pm-5pm, and Saturdays and Sunday from 9am-1pm) In the courtyard of Village 360, 4949 Suisun Valley Road in Fairfield.
UPDATE on June 26, 2023: Wilkinson Acres is excited to offer its 12-week CSA this Summer from July 28 through October 14. Check out the details at https://www.wilkinsonacres.com/what-is-a-csa