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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Farmers Market Feature: Mello-dy Ranch

Mello-dy Ranch
Mello-dy Ranch booth
This week at the Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo College, I was attracted to some amazing apples and preserves at the Mello-dy Ranch vendor booth. Welcoming rows of green, yellow, and red apples greet you with their bright aroma as you approach this tent on the second row of the market. The many apple varieties available from this family owned-farm include such varieties as Mutsu, Granny Smith, and Gala. Kyle, the friendly young man behind the register, suggested I try the Braeburn. It was crisp, sweet, and delicious.

Mello-dy Ranch

Also available from the Mello-dy booth are potatoes, lemons, and squash. While I was visiting the booth, many people came by to inquire about fresh chicken or duck eggs and to recycle their egg cartons. Although it was only about 9 am, the eggs were already gone. Kyle explained that there will be more eggs as the season progresses, and that the ranch has about 3,200 hens. These fresh eggs seem to be a very popular item, so if you want to sample them get to the market early!

Mello-dy Ranch

Mello-dy also offers a delicious looking line of preserves, toppings and sauces. I noticed applesauce, strawberry-rhubarb preserve, and at least one sugar-free variety of raspberry preserve. These were priced very reasonably at $5-$6 each.

Mello-dy Ranch

Mello-dy Ranch


After checking out all of the delicious items available, I talked to Kyle about his family’s ranch. This is Mello-dy’s 28th year at the Cabrillo market, making them one of the older vendors. Although Mello-dy is not organic, they are pesticide-free. Kyle explained that his family has been working on the lengthy organic certification process, but that the ranch has a dedicated customer base that know and trust their products. Kyle is actually the sixth generation of this ranching family. His ancestors came from the Azores of Portugal in the 1800’s, and settled in the farm’s current location in what is now Watsonville.

Mello-dy Ranch
I enjoyed talking to Kyle about his family’s farm and history. The apples I sampled were wonderful. I am intrigued by the popular eggs and also by the preserves and toppings. The Mello-dy Ranch booth at Aptos Farmer’s market has a great selection of fresh, local, pesticide-free fruit and other produce. This vendor has a great reputation at the market, so stop by and check out what they have to offer. Although the ranch does not have a website, you can find out more about Mello-dy in this article from the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets site.

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