Travel just a few miles up Pico and out La Plata to Villa Romano Green Farms and you suddenly find yourself transported to a rustic old-Italian farmstead. And these days when most of us are striving to provide our families with the freshest, healthiest foods, the smaller the distance from the farm to the table the better. With this 2-½ acre organic oasis just down the road, the effort just became that much easier.
VR Farms, for short, is located just inside the entrance to the Bella Collina Towne and Golf Club. The farm is open to the public every Saturday from 10am to 1pm. And this isn’t your average produce stand, far from it. VR Farms owns the bragging rights to the seeds of over 30 vegetables with a lineage that can be traced back 150 years to Sicily. Their offerings include vegetables from Fava Beans to Zucchini Blossoms and everything in between.
Besides growing their delicious organic fruits and vegetables the farm offers an assortment of honeys coveted by several local chefs. The variety includes pear, mango and cinnamon cream to name a few.
“At the moment our most popular is the raspberry cream honey, it sold-out in 20 minutes last Saturday,” said Nick Romano, Owner of VR Farms. “We use Italian honey bees, they are the hardest working and produce the best honey.”
VR Farms also houses an impressive Artisan bakery. The fresh baked all natural preservative-free breads are baked fresh daily. The menu features an impressive assortment including Fig/Honey, Rosemary, Olive and occasionally pizza dough.
VR Farms operates under the notion we are all one big Italiano Famiglia and in that spirit they open up their home to the community for the extremely unique experience of harvesting and enjoying the delights from the garden prepared in the outdoor kitchen nestled among the vineyards and row crops. They invite you to join their Italian Famaglia and get your hands dirty with the volunteer group any Thursday from 2pm until sunset. You’ll have a lot of fun meeting new people and learning about growing fresh vegetables. This group always ends up at the farm table with an informal “mangia.”
“We love to have children come out and experience the farm. They are always welcome,” says Romano, “we offer some really cool educational programs for youth groups. “
Planning a party? The facility easily accommodates up to 200 guests but they welcome small group celebrations as well. What a cool way to celebrate. They will happily customize any party to your choice of farming experience or level of cooking. It’s all hands on, or if you choose sit back and enjoy a sip while the chef prepares your bounty. Either way it’s a win-win.
So what are you doing next Saturday? How about taking a short trip out Pico for a visit to this amazing local farm. If you like to plan ahead, we suggest taking advantage of VR Farms weekly basket, ready for pick-up every Saturday. For about $29 you’ll get a handpicked and packed basket filled with an assortment of 10-12 seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs all depending on what is the freshest and ripest that week. You can place your order directly from the website www.vrgreenfarms.com