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3/10/2011 5:00:00 PM
Van Dyke farm stand feeds valley with fresh fruit and vegetables
The Van Dyke Co. farm stand provides fresh produce to valley residents
Arturo Castro picks fresh cabbage out front of the Van Dyke Co. farm stand on 18th Avenue.
Arturo Castro picks fresh cabbage out front of the Van Dyke Co. farm stand on 18th Avenue.
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Van Dyke Co. Farm Stand

Marty Bachman

BLYTHE - For nine years the Van Dyke Co. produce store on 18th Avenue has been providing fresh fruits and vegetables to locals in the Palo Verde Valley. What began as an EZ-UP and an ice chest out front of the Van Dyke home, has evolved into an indoor farm stand open to the public seven days a week.

"We grow as much of the product as we can," said Priscilla Van Dyke. "That which we can't grow we know who does grow it and we go to those growers for those items. We're very fortunate, as my husband was a farmer for many years, we know a lot of the people in the vegetable industry."

Products at the store are mostly seasonal with an abundance of citrus that at any time could include oranges, tangerines,, grapefruits, pears, apples, bananas, melons and strawberries.

Vegetable shelves are filled with lettuce, including romaine and red leaf, white and orange cauliflower, tomatoes, different varieties of cucumbers, spinach, many different potatoes, a variety of onions, carrots, herbs and much more.

Van Dyke said that now is the season to buy cabbage and there is a beautiful stock of it now on the shelves.

The store also carries its own line of sugar-free jams and jellies, hot sauces and salsas. Nuts are also stocked on the shelves, flavored and straight.

Priscilla Van Dyke retired from the school district nine years ago and her husband, Joe, is a retired farmer, but the family still farms 850 acres and their son, Joe, has taken over the responsibility.

Melons take up 150 of the acres and most of the rest is consumed by alfalfa and cotton. The Van Dyke's also grow broccoli later in the year.

"One of the great things about being in the farm stand business is that I know everything is fresh," Van Dyke said. "I know that if you go to a grocery store, you're going to be paying more money for product that is probably two to three weeks old or more. Ours comes in daily on many things. Other things we have to pick them up from other growers. We go directly to the grower; it was picked that day and then brought back to us. So that makes everything very fresh.

Van Dyke said she can't always beat ad prices but she can surely give freshness and quality. Also, on Fridays, the store often offers food that is cooked for customers who shop then.

The Van Dyke Co. farm stand is located at 9510 18th Avenue.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011
Article comment by: Kay Ridley

I am a winter visitor and we discovered Van Dyke's about 4 years ago. We visit at least once a week in the winter. The produce is always fresh and excellent. Don't even bother to buy any produce anywhere else. Keep up the good work, Van Dykes!!!!

Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2011
Article comment by: chef anthony vidal

Hash House a Go Go loves buying locally, and having fresh produce availabe for our guests. Van Dyke has been our vendor for the past 4 years, and we now use them in our three current locations, soon to be more.

Posted: Friday, March 11, 2011
Article comment by: Charles the Wise

Van Dyke farms is awesome!! They provide so much and the produce is excellent!! Albertsons is so bad with their produce and the prices at Albertsons are OUTRAGEOUS!! I hope to see Van Dyke Farms Stand continue on for many more years to come!

Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011
Article comment by: B. H.

I was there this morning with another volunteer to pick up donated produce for Harmony Kitchen. They are wonderful! I had a sample of some fresh dates they had set out..delicious! Thank you Van Dyke Farms!

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