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15 years experience growing peppers and cucumbers

The Pepper People

Family Farming Specialty Peppers in the San Francisco Bay Area Since 1980

Happy Quail Farms Press

Local Entrepreneur Spotlight

Addicted to those tender, green pimientos de Padrón peppers that grace the menu of so many restaurants now? You have David Winsberg of Happy Quail Farms in East Palo Alto to thank.

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Dr. Pepper


At Happy Quail Farms, David Winsberg grows 30 varieties of peppers in seven sprawling back yards in East Palo Alto.
Red, heart-shaped ones perfect for roasting. Creamy white Hungarian ones ripe for pickling or stuffing. Opulent purple ones that dazzle in salads. And Dutch ones, super sweet and juicy, with the haunting hue of bittersweet chocolate.

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Freeway Farmer


In the shadow of 101, grower preserves East Palo Alto’s agricultural history

The tan, balding man is David Winsberg, a peculiarity even in the world of independent farming. Most of his neighbors at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this Saturday morning in early May have been awake for hours, some driving hundreds of miles from farms as large as 200 and 300 acres. Winsberg has zipped 32 miles up Highway 101 from East Palo Alto, where he runs a microfarm out of his backyard....

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Farms? In East Palo Alto?

Happy Quail Farms thrives on high-quality produce

No John Deere tractors rumble up and down endless rows stirring up plumes of fertile dust. No biplanes spray insecticide over tender crops. No crews of straw-hatted workers cut and pack truckloads of ripe vegetables.

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Spanish roulette

Mostly sweet—but sometimes not—Padrón peppers can pack serious heat.

Some pilgrims make the long trek to Spain’s Santiago de Compostela as a spiritual quest. Others, no less dedicated, come for the peppers: locally grown pimientos de Padrón that are scarfed down by the plateful at tapas bars all around the city.

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San Rafael couple have local eating down to a science, but aren't immune to cravings

You can't feel too sorry for Debbie and Rob Morse. It's not like their week long frugal-local experiment left them feeling deprived.

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One acre and independence

East Palo Alto's early incarnation as an agrarian utopia may be informing its success in the future

The chicken coops and greenhouses are long-gone, but if one knows just where to look, the City of East Palo Alto still bears some physical reminders of its agrarian past.

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The Reign of Spain

Specialty Spanish ingredients are spicing up kitchens throughout the Bay Area

Now that you've made a permanent place in your pantry for balsamic vinegar, Arborio rice, Tuscan olive oil and other Italian essentials, you'll need to clear space for the next must-haves: the flood of fine ingredients from Spain.

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Spanish chile has underground following

Chile heads can understand that Judy Sheldon carried a torch for a pepper that captured her heart in a foreign land long ago.

While in Spain on a walking tour in the early 1990s, the San Francisco gardener ventured into tapas bars where she met the muy simpatico pimiento de Padron. That mildly sweet green chile from the Galicia region, fried in olive oil and served by the plate, also headlines a village festival in its honor.

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When my cooking becomes too elaborate, memories of the pimientos de Padrón I have eaten in Galicia bring me back to my center

These tiny green peppers, a specialty of Spain's humid northwestern region, require no embellishment. All you need to bring out their refreshing grassy flavor - reminiscent of freshly picked asparagus - are the warm caress of olive oil and the rugged kiss of coarse sea salt.

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FOOD STUFF: Nibble These Chilies And One or Two Might Nibble Back

Pimientos de padrón, a tapa tradition in Galicia, in northwestern Spain, are now being grown in California.

These small fresh green chilies, not much bigger than grapes, are usually sautéed for about a minute in hot olive oil, dusted with sea salt and served as a nibble with a glass of white wine. Most have a mild, nicely vegetal flavor, but every now and then one turns up as hot as a jalapeño, making cocktail hour a sort of Spanish roulette.

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SF SuperFood: Chili Peppers

Happy Quail Farms received a mention as Your Best Bet for peppers at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

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