How to Get Farm Fresh Produce in the Age of COVID-19

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Spruce up next week’s meal plan with these fresh, local options

This summer is a little different in Irvine, California. Gone are the days (for now) of breezing into your packed, bustling neighborhood farmers market with friends and neighbors to grab your weekly produce haul. Who would have thought we’d miss bumping into strangers trying to pick out the perfect bunch of tomatoes?

Even though it takes a bit more planning and effort up front, there are still great alternatives available to support local farming and get some of Orange County’s freshest seasonal produce within close reach of our Main Street Village apartment homes. Check out the below options to grab yours this weekend!

Tanaka Farms

8 minute drive from our community

This farm, founded back in 1940, is just a short drive away from our Irvine apartments. They boast top notch responsible farming practices and do their part to run their farm sustainably for their workers, the community and the environment.

They’ve also acted fast to adapt their model to support current social distancing practices. You can visit their newly-rebuilt drive-thru produce market stand, which offers dozens of fresh options that are harvested daily from both their own farm and some partners. There’s something for everyone — selections range from bok choy and pineapple to fresh corn tortillas and strawberry habanero jam. You can also pre-select your produce online ahead of time for curbside pickup.

Looking for something more hands on? Tanaka Farms is now open for strawberry picking and U-pick around the farm by reservation only so that you can enjoy time in the farm with members of your household. Make sure to bring your mask and wear it through the duration of your picking!

Manassero Farms

tomatoes

Photo: https://www.manasserofarms.com/locations/#bwg36/639

10 minute drive from our community

With four Orange County locations, the Original Manassero Farms have been operating as a family business for more than 97 years. More than just a farm, their business normally includes a fresh market, a gift shop and an event venue. This market is great for those that want to shop local with a classy, luxurious, elegant feel.

In adjusting their business for COVID-19, they’re now offering patrons to order weekly produce boxes for curbside pickup. During this time, Manassero Farms practices strict social distancing and ensures compliance with all CDC guidelines.

Whether you’re looking to stash up on local fruits and veggies or get a few high quality specialty food products, Manassero Farms is a great place to find it all.

Irvine Farmers Market

Photo of Irvine Farmers Market - Irvine, CA, United States

Photo: https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/irvine-farmers-market-irvine?select=WrqzYbLymBkEsFk5PfFyBQ

12 minute drive away from our community

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy some farm fresh local food from Orange County farmers in the comfort of your car, the Irvine Farmers Market is for you.

While the typical farmers market experience isn’t an option, the Irvine Farmers Market remains open for drive-thru. They’ve taken precautions to ensure vendors are spaced out to comply with current social distancing regulations and all visitors must remain in their vehicles.

From the service to the flow of traffic, this market has really sealed in a new and improved strategy to keep things moving efficiently. At this market, you know exactly what to expect before you arrive.

While the other farms have longer availability, make sure you plan in advance for this market — they’re only open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m

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Are you new to shopping local for your produce or a longtime supporter of nearby farms and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)s? At Main Street Village apartments, we love to shop from our neighbors and know where our food comes from; we’re lucky to have so many nearby options! From our team to you, happy eating! 

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