Califonia Bountiful

On location: Things to do in Hollister and San Benito County

November/December 2019 California Bountiful magazine

Plan a weekend getaway to one of California's hidden gems

Created in 1874, this county sprang from northern Monterey County. It's named for San Benito Valley, itself named for St. Benedict, patron saint of the married. The historically inclined can visit Mission San Juan Bautista, which gave its name to the surrounding town. Vegetables, especially lettuce and peppers, dominate the local farming scene.





Richard Bianchi, Hollister

The San Benito County native and his father ran a dairy until the late 1990s, when Richard moved to the vegetable world. He oversees all aspects of production at his company, which grows lettuce, romaine, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cilantro, beets, leeks and chards, among other things. Bianchi's family has farmed for four generations.





Bourdet's Christmas Tree Farm, Hollister

From the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, you can play lumberjack and cut down your own tree. You can also chat with Santa Claus, take a sleigh ride, visit the petting zoo and let the children blow off steam at the playground.




B&R Farms, Hollister

The Rossi family has been farming for 85 years and four generations. Their orchard is home to the increasingly rare Blenheim apricot, which you'll find in many different forms in the farm store—dried, chocolate-covered, pureed, or as a spread or fruit preserve.



Farmhouse Café, Hollister

Part of the Farmhouse Foods community-supported agriculture program, this breakfast-and-lunch spot serves sandwiches, burritos and salads using seasonal ingredients from local organic farmers. Owner Becky Herbert is a fifth-generation agricultural professional.




Pinnacle Organically Grown Produce, San Juan Bautista

The farm grows lettuce, cabbage, sweet corn, garlic, onions, melons and other produce on ranches in San Juan Bautista and Hollister. The family runs a farm stand Saturday mornings in San Juan Bautista, and sells at farmers markets in Hollister and elsewhere.


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