Family Farm Joins Bay Meadows Farmers Market

How can home chefs achieve a quality close to that found at such top restaurants as Quince, Nopa, Lazy Bear or Torc Napa? Start with fresh, thoughtfully cultivated ingredients, of course.

And you’ll get your chance to shop for said ingredients at the new Farmers Market at Bay Meadows starting May 20th.

We’re delighted to announce that Iacopi Farms from Half Moon Bay has joined the lineup of vendors for our new market. In addition to selling at numerous farmers markets in the area, Iacopi Farms also supplies produce to chefs and eateries from Napa to the South Bay, including the aforementioned signature restaurants.

Legumes such as sugar snap peas, English peas, fava beans plus varietals of dried beans are specialties of Iacopi Farms. But don’t forget about their artichokes, chard or kale, which are also prized produce for discerning chefs.

To learn more, we spoke to Mike Iacopi. Mike is the third generation of Iacopi men to work this family farm. In the midst of the farm’s busiest time, Mike took a break from his schedule to fill us in on what it means to be a local farmer in the Bay Area.

When his grandfather immigrated from Italy to Pescadero in the 1930s to work as a chef at Cascade Ranch, he brought with him seeds that Iacopi Farms continues to germinate from today: heirloom varieties of butter, borlotti and Manchurian beans. Mike even makes an Italian bean chili, a legacy of his ancestors (recipe here).

He needs the hearty nutrition such dishes offer; Mike and his dad Louis work very hard, seven days a week. Maintaining 200 acres of agricultural fields amid such challenges as drought, labor, land and other costs is more than a full-time job.

While Mike acknowledges that he rarely has extra time to enjoy such simple pleasures as attending sports games, he also lights up as he describes engaging with customers at farmers markets. “You see the same customers over time and get to know them and what they look for in their produce. It’s very satisfying for me and for the customer, I think, to have that relationship.”

A distinction in Iacopi Farms’ growing method is what’s known as “dry-farming.” Since the beginning, the Iacopis have practiced this unique technique on much of their cropland, depending only on rainfall and fog for moisture. The method allows them to extend their planting season and enables Iacopi Farms to supply things like English Peas for longer periods of time than most other producers.

So, when you attend the Farmers Market at Bay Meadows, swing by Iacopi Farms’ booth. You’ll not only see their beautiful products, but you might have a chance to say “hi” to Mike and learn more about this special local family business.

Featuring best-in-class retailers such as Tin Pot Creamery and Blue Bottle Coffee, Bay Meadows’ Town Square is the ideal gathering place with more ground-floor retail, outdoor dining and pop-ups to come. Home to a stunning sculpture from internationally-renowned artist Jeppe Hein, the Town Square is the dynamic core of our Midurban village. The Town Square is the perfect place to relax outside for a beer or wine at Fieldwork Brewing Company’s beer garden after a day of shopping and entertainment at Hillsdale Center. Take a turn on the porch swings or challenge a friend to table-tennis in the outdoor ping-pong court. Join the Bay Meadows email list to stay on top of the latest.