Have you driven Highway 80 lately? If you were traveling to Sacramento or Lake Tahoe, you may have noticed an exciting new attraction along the way. The Nut Tree in Vacaville — a part of the history of the area since the 1920’s — has reopened and has new retail stores, restaurants, and rides for children.

One of the new shops in the “Nut Tree Village” is the Capay Valley Valley Farm Shop. The Capay Valley is an area of Yolo County, approximately 100 miles northeast of San Francisco. It’s an abundant growing region where fruit and vegetable crops in addition to wheat, wine, beef, lamb, olive oil, honey, walnuts and almonds are produced. Farmers of the Capay Valley joined together to create the Capay Valley Farm Shop in a location convenient to the many drivers on Highway 80.

That the Farm Shop is located in the historic Nut Tree complex is fitting. The Nut Tree history is integral to the California food movement, and Alice Waters has praised the Nut Tree for being important in the creation of California Cuisine. It started as a fruit stand, and eventually became a stopping point for dignitaries, travelers, and locals alike who were looking for good, fresh food and innovative cuisine.

Visitors to the Farm Shop will find Capay Valley produce, seasonally prepared foods including salads and sandwiches, and gift items such as lavender products, honey, and jam. Over the course of a year, the Farm Shop will feature products from 42 Capay Valley farms. Thomas Nelson, a co-owner of the shop, says that the Farm Shop is modeled after the farm shop concept in England, where it is common to have shops convenient for customers with carefully selected local produce and other items.

I visited the Farm Shop several weeks ago, and was excited to have a brick-and-mortar location to pick up some of my favorite Capay Valley items including dried wheat berries from Full Belly Farm, fresh figs, and potatoes. This location is a quick and convenient stop-off for produce, cheese, crackers, wine and sandwiches on any trips east of San Francisco.

For more information:
SF Chronicle, Nut Tree Nostalgia, Feb 25 2005.
Capay Valley Farm Shop, Participating Farmers
Capay Valley Grown Project

Capay Valley Farm Shop at the Nut Tree 25 September,2007Jennifer Maiser

  • ann

    we stopped by on Sat 4/19/08 and Copay Valley Farm Shop is Gone! Closed up shop. So sad I never got to check it out. Heard from Made in Calif store owner that they’ll be some 4 eateries in the Red Marketplace and her shop will be bigger.


Jennifer Maiser

“My passion for food began young.”

I am the editor of the influential website www.EatLocalChallenge.com which encourages readers to support local farmers and producers.

I began my personal website, Life Begins at 30, in 2003.

I have been published in Edible San Francisco and Fine Cooking, write regularly for Bay Area Bites, Serious Eats, and have been quoted in many nationwide publications. Photography is a passion, and I have had photos printed in National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure.

I contributed to a Williams-Sonoma cookbook: Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, which was released in February 2010.

I live in San Francisco, California and can often be found at local farmers markets seeking out the best of what’s in season and chatting with farmers.

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