When I saw Christine Farren's comment come through my blog yesterday, I felt like I'd been kicked. I had just been to the market on Tuesday, and have been enjoying Ella Bella Farm's Early Girl tomatoes all week.
Get their produce while you can...Ella Bella is moving to Hawaii at the end of October to begin farming on land they can afford to own. The Watsonville-area land they currently farm on will be leased by Driscoll's organics, to grow organic berries. We will be sad to lose them!
Ella Bella has been one of my favorite market stops for years, and I am going to be so sad to see them go.
Eating locally has so many benefits, but one of my favorite benefits is the attachment we create to our farmers and our food. I was just a customer to the farmers of Ella Bella. They don't know me by name, and I say hi to them, but have no strong relationship. Yet, through the process of purchasing their food on a constant basis, they have become a part of my family. And just as if a dear friend were moving away, I cried at the news of their move.
I'm a glass-half-full kind of woman -- I am sure that Ella Bella Farm will be replaced by another fantastic farm. The few farm departures that have occurred in the past few years at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market seem to bring in new farms that I learn to love.
It's unfortunate that Ella Bella needs to move in order to be able to afford their land. It's unfortunate that a beautiful, polycultural farm is going to be replaced with a monocrop of corporate strawberries (albeit an organic monocrop). And it's unfortunate that we will be losing the Ella Bella color in our patchwork quilt of Bay Area farmers.