Updated 2009-06-15 23:33:06 ID=406:3

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2009 The Romantic Table, If you would like to have a quick visit to an all-in-one farmers market, stop in at the Jack Creek Ranch roadside stand on the north (right hand) side of Highway 46 West just before York Mountain Road going west 2009-06-15 22:58:35:154
©2009 The Romantic Table

If you'd like to have a quick visit to an "all-in-one farmers' market", stop in at the Jack Creek Ranch roadside stand on the north (right hand) side of Highway 46 West just before York Mountain Road going west.

Jack Creek Farms Roadside Stand


On our way to Morro Bay, traveling on highway 46 West, we past a long-time farmers' roadside stand-Jack Creek Farms. We both noticed a sign that said that they had fresh herbs, so we decided to stop on our way home. Boy were we ever in for a nice surprise by their offerings!

On our way back from Morro Bay after an appointment, we stopped at a "valuable find" for families and cooks alike!

We had just bought some gorgeous sea bass at Giovanni's Fresh Fish Market & Galley in Morro Bay. And we've been hungering for something like Swordfish with Sage and Wine Reduction. We noticed a sign on the way to Morro Bay advertising fresh cut spices. We stopped in to see if they had a bunch of really fresh sage. If so, we thought, this would be a food match from heaven!

When I asked them if they still had sage, you should have seen the picture-perfect bundle (for only $1.99) they showed me! A big enough bunch for not only the sea bass, but enough for a dinner of Chicken Saltimbocca!

Talking with the owners, the Barlogio family, we were excited to discover that Jack Creek Ranch grows an unbelievable number of crops! Right now they have gorgeous olallieberries all ready to pick yourself or buy from the roadside stand. They grow twenty kinds of apples, tomatoes, figs, nectarines, peaches, pears persimmons, pomegranates, plums, basil, chives, cilantro dill, mint, sage, rosemary, corn, squash, and their specialty-pumpkins. Their stand now includes a small health department certified kitchen which they use to bake treats made from apples, pumpkins, wheat, walnuts, olallieberries, and eggs all grown on their farm.

Jack Creek Ranch currently has nearly 300 fruit trees on the farm, the majority of which are old fashioned heirloom varieties.

In the summer they grow a number of garden vegetables including several varieties of summer squash, lemon cucumbers, eggplant, sweet onions, elephant and traditional garlic, artichokes, bell and sweet banana peppers, and lots of different varieties of tomatoes.

They have a u-pick herb garden and sell fresh herbs by the ounce. In particular they have been growing more heirloom vegetables. This year they are growing 40 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes alone.

All of their produce is allowed to vine ripen. After eating a vine-ripened tomato you will never want to go back to store bought again!

Their great-grandfather James Barlogio first immigrated from Switzerland in 1889. He settled in Green Valley near Harmony, California where he was a founding member of the Harmony Valley Creamery. The family raised and milked dairy cows and grew beans as well as hay to feed the cattle. While there, his son Miles was born in 1898. They flourished and eventually purchased property with the two-story Victorian house that's directly behind the town of Harmony. It is still owned by the family today, where fifth and sixth generations of Barlogios live.

Son Miles continued the family tradition of dairying and farming. After Miles married their great-grandmother Helen Couchman he settled on the east side of the hill, as the slightly drier/warmer climate eased his arthritis. He also found therapeutic the sulfur hot springs and mud baths in Paso Robles.

Miles had two children - David and Milene. David, born in 1934, still lives in the farmhouse where he grew up. His grandson Tim was born in 1956 and lives on the farm near David and Milene.

In the late 1950s is when the pumpkin legacy began. Miles was the first in their family to plant pumpkins along the fertile banks of Jack Creek. He opened his roadside stand in 1960 and offered pumpkins for sale to the public. His stand was known as the "Barlogio Pumpkin Center" and was located on what was then called York Mountain Road.

Tim, Joy, Becky and Mandy Barlogio that farm and run the roadside stand now are the fifth generation. They have tried to diversify their crops and offerings to appeal to families and serious cooks alike. Current farm activities include u-pick berries, flowers, vegetables and herbs. Farm animals are on site. Visitors can try roping a dummy steer, play checkers or pitch horseshoes. Kids can try their hand pumping water the old-fashioned way, or climb on a haystack. Guests will enjoy the demonstration gardens, the scarlet runner bean tepees, and the self guided antique farm equipment tour. There are lots of backdrops for great photo opportunities too!

So if you'd like to have a quick visit to an "all-in-one farmers' market", stop in at the Jack Creek Ranch roadside stand on the north (right hand) side of Highway 46 West just before York Mountain Road going west.

For more information on the Jack Creek Ranch, visit their web site at www.jackcreekfarms.com, or give them a call at: Farmstore: (805) 239-1915 - Home: (805) 238-3799 during Business Hours. Hours vary by season, call or check the website for times.




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A tip from Sue!

Mark perishable ingredients

When ever you bring home a brand new spice, oil, vinegar, flour, sugar or other perishable ingredient, mark the bottle/container with the day’s date with a felt tip pen. Most "permanent markers" will write on just about any container.

That way if you don’t use it very much, but it’s been opened, you know how fresh it is. For an important meal don’t “submarine yourself” by using past expiration ingredients that have long lost their fresh taste and flavor.