America’s Lettuce Palace

For the freshest vegetables, go straight to this Carmel area farm.

A visit to Earthbound Farm is a bit like visiting royalty. Yes, we know, it’s a mere farm stand. But stick with us here… Earthbound Farm has to be one of the more common labels in the produce section of the grocery store. It is what you might call “the queen of prewashed lettuce.” You’ll quickly realize that she’s really down to earth, once you visit the roadside stand in Carmel (although headquarters are bigger and not in Carmel Valley anymore).

The farm stand itself is small: an inconspicuous wood building set off a main highway with a market and a cafe. Behind it are demonstration gardens of herbs, chamomile, and lavender, and a labyrinth that appeals to children. The acres are meant to visually explain aspects of organic gardening, including the role bugs play.

Inside the stand, you can order sandwiches, salads, soups, shakes, fresh fruits, and even a nutty smoothie. It also carries organic flowers, olive oils, freshly baked bread (often still hot), and local products like Big Sur-made soaps. Of course, there is lettuce. Carry your food to one of the tables outside and celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month this October.

Farm Stand Open Sign

Photos courtesy of Earthbound Farm