Tide pools: You Say Tomato, I Say Dave’s

Barreling down 101 in early October, on my way from San Francisco to the Central Coast town of Cambria, I pulled off for a juicy stop in Morgan Hill.

For months I’d been hearing about Dave’s Tomatoes, a seasonal produce stand supplied and staffed entirely by Dave—he never gives a last name—at his ranch-style house on a residential street in Morgan Hill.

Dave grows and sells veggies. But with a rumored 2,000-plus tomato plants, it’s the Early Girls, Brandywines, and bushels of other heirloom varieties that draw the crowds. Here’s a shot of Dave’s offerings during his last week of the 2010 season for larger tomatoes:

Don't expect stories from Dave about the tomato-grower’s life. Taciturn only begins to describe the guy, though if you catch him on a particularly chatty day he may give you a sentence or two about his growing technique: Only water every 7 to 10 days.

The tomatoes are extraordinary. Colors ranging from striped green to orange, yellow, or red; juicy, except for the exceptionally good paste tomatoes for making sauce; big flavors. Exactly the kind of tomatoes you’re always hoping to find for your summertime BLT or salad but rarely do.

You’ll find Dave’s stand inside his gate at 15470 Murphy Ave., Morgan Hill; open every day from July until November, depending on growing season weather and availability.

Christopher Hall stopped in Morgan Hill while researching his article, "Pool party," which appears on the cover of the March/April issue of VIA.

This blog post was first published in January 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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[...] We made our maiden voyage to a tomato stand in town that food legends are made from … Dave’s Tomatoes.  I managed to score about 25 pounds of tomatoes that weren’t quite ‘purdy’ [...]