I met Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager, at her Agoura Hills “office,” a trailer full or produce in an industrial park. She greeted us with a farmers market basket that included figs, macadamia nuts, dried apricots and Anna’s Daughters’ Bark, rye crisps dipped in dark chocolate, which of course melted in the 102-degree heat. We set forth for Ojai, home to an impressive Sunday farmers market and surrounding feeder farms. After leaving Ojai Arcade Plaza, we swung by Earthtrine Farm, where Robert “BD” Dautch preaches biodiversity in the shadow of pink hued Topa Topa mountains; and Churchill Orchard, a farm known for tangerines and rare citrus varietals like Buddha’s hand.
Kerry Clasby, who goes by the Intuitive Forager, sources produce for leading chefs like Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, Mario Batali.
Ojai Certified Farmers Market sets up shop in Ojai Arcade Plaza, one block off the bohemian town’s main drag.
Lemon cucumbers are a new variety (to me) that don’t actually taste tart.
Clasby said that black tomatoes became popular after a seed company made them available to farmers, but she prefers other varieties.
Peacock Family Farms brought brilliant summer peppers.
Farmer Steve Sprinkel and cook Olivia Chase run Farmer and the Cook in Ojai, and they sell their produce at the market.
The Farmer and Cook furnished colorful tomatoes for market goers.
The Farmer and the Cook Tomato Juice ($3) incorporates Himalayan pink sea salt and organic garlic.
The Fat Uncle Farms logo may make the man look lazy, but the farm’s known to produce high quality almonds.
The Iron Mountain Boys serenaded market goers with bluegrass music.
Dillon Miskiewicz from Ventura’s Centri Coffee sells bags of beans at the Ojai Farmers Market, but can’t brew.
Knead Baking Company, a café where we later enjoyed brunch, sells baked goods at the market like date bars, macaroons and raspberry boule.
Kim Redman of Ocean Ranch Organics sells several varieties of granola at Ojai Farmers Market.
In addition to produce and prepared foods, Ojai Farmers Market also dispenses free hugs. Several people took the woman up on her offer.
On Earthtrine Farm, biodiverse farmer Robert “BD” Dautch rotates crops like papalo, kumquats and tomatillos.