Marcia Muzzi decided about 4 years ago that she wanted be in business for herself. Her husband, Nando, was already running a successful farm along the coast highway in Pescadero, 28 miles south of Half Moon Bay. Just as her idea was gestating, the Bay Area farmers' markets were just beginning to get off the ground. So a natural connection was made and Farmer's Wife Produce was formed.
Nando Rossi, the son of an Italian family that came to the USA from southern Italy, started farming along the Pescadero coast soon after graduating from high school more than 27 years ago and he has been there ever since. Today he has a 200-acre operation which is split by the Coast Highway. His artichoke fields are only 500 yards from the Pacific Ocean! Rossi Farms grows a full range of cool-weather vegetables. While Nando sells mainly to wholesale distributors, Marcia, originally from the U.K., sells from her Farmer's Wife Produce stand at various farmers' markets around the Bay Area:
|Artichokes||Season runs from July to May. There's an assortment of sizes
-- from baby chokes to jumbos that are ideal for using in Italian-style Stuffed Jumbo Artichokes.
|Fava Beans||It was surprising to learn that season runs from May to November. She
explained that's because the Rossi farm is right along the cool and foggy Pescadero coast
which keeps the fava bean plants from bolting in the summer and allows them to continue
producing tender pods for 9 months each year. (Ditty's Ethereal Cassoulet recipe.)
|Brussel Sprouts||They're available from July - March. Marcia brings 3 foot stalks of
sprouts to the market at the peak of the season to give people a first hand look at how
the Brussel sprouts grow. Sprouts that are still on the stalk are for sale and will stay
fresh for as long as 3 weeks if kept in a cool place (about 50 deg F).
|Leeks||There's a seemingly endless season for leeks from the Rossi farm, though
Marcia admits that there might be15 days each year she may not have leeks available.
|Sweet English Peas||Just coming into to season now.
|Romano Italian Green Beans||Marcia is one of the few vendors at the Ferry Plaza Market to offer these wonderfully meaty beans.|
A Mother and Her Daughters
Once Marcia's daughters saw how successful her business was becoming, they were eager to follow in her footsteps. As soon as they were old enough to get a driver's license, under Marcia's guidance, they went out on the road in their own trucks loaded with whatever was in season - off to various farmers' markets around the Bay Area. Marcia is proud that through the experience at selling at farmers' markets her daughters have been able to learn direct marketing and handling consumers and she believes that this experience will encourage set up have their own business after they finish their education. You'll find Marcia or one of her daughters at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market every Saturday of the year and at 5 other farmers' markets around the Bay Area on other days of the week. She will also ship produce to customers throughout the state of California, Alaska and Hawaii via UPS.
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