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San Clemente Journal

Sundays at the Farmers’ Market

Dec 18, 2023 01:22PM ● By Nina Welch

Brian Hofshi from Eli’s Farms offers fresh non-GMO vegetables and fruit.

by Nina Welch

Eli’s Farms
Home to Hard-working Young Farmers

On a Sunday stroll through the San Clemente Farmer’s Market a stop at Eli’s Farms with its array of colorful fruits and vegetables (seasonal for the winter) is a must. Customers can choose from farm-fresh produce including grapes, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, figs, eggplant, spinach, lettuce, garlic, onions, and, of course, the ever-popular honey. 

This family farm, located in Fallbrook, California, is run by Eli Hofshi and his two sons, Joseph, age 25, and Brian, age 15. The farm is certified USDA, and consists of individual properties where vegetables, citrus, and avocado trees are cultivated. There is also a nursery where the trees are propagated, which are then sold to commercial growers. Each property also contains bee-boxes used to house a colony for harvesting honey. They use all natural and sustainable growing, non-GMO (genetically modified organisms), practices. All the produce is naturally grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers.

According to Joseph, his dad began farming 30 years ago and started selling in the Farmer’s Markets around the same time. They sell in Corona del Mar on Saturdays and San Clemente on Sundays. The young farmers grew up on the farm, and they learned everything from their dad. Their never-ending duties include driving a tractor, planting, picking, irrigating, beekeeping, delivering, and selling on weekends. 

When asked if he sees the same shoppers each week, Joseph says, “All our customers are loyal.” Just then a woman ordered a half gallon of honey. “This is the best honey I ever had,” she commented. Joseph also handed a satisfied customer a bag of green skin avocados, saying, “You won’t find these in the stores.” The youthful entrepreneur’s goal is to be “farmer of the month” in Avocado Magazine. 

When not working the farm or selling at the markets, Joseph and Brian’s hobbies include fishing on long range tuna boats and dirt bike riding in the desert. Along with Eli, Joseph, and Brian, additional family farm members include mother Sylvia, and sister Kayla, who work the farm stand at 2929 East Mission Road, Fallbrook on Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30am-5pm.

Visit Eli’s Farms at the San Clemente Farmer’s Market on Sundays from 9am-1pm to stock up on farm-fresh produce and honey. Go to for information on CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscriptions.

Halaby Farms brings seasonal produce to the market every Sunday.

 Halaby/Verni Farms
22 Years at Farmer’s Markets

The Farmers Market on Del Mar is buzzing every with San Clemente locals and visitors toting empty, ready-to-be filled bags, pushing strollers and walking their dogs. It’s an old-fashioned setting not unlike the atmosphere at a Los Angeles marketplace in the 1800s. In the old days, “meet me at the market” was what customers would say before their shopping excursion for high-quality fresh produce. The San Clemente vendors are proud to be a part of the rich history making sure their customers are fed and nourished.

Adam Halaby is one of those helpful vendors. Halaby Farms combined with Verni Farms has been their family business, and they’ve sold at Farmer’s Markets for 22 years. Their farms are located in Fresno, California, and they sell in markets throughout Orange, Los Angeles, and Ventura Counties. They drive down from Fresno every week to present fresh produce to their weekly customers. The farms are certified by the California Agriculture Department, and their commercial kitchen, located in Pasadena, is state approved. 

Halaby’s produce is seasonal. In the summer, choices for fruit lovers are cherries, white and yellow peaches and white and yellow nectarines. In November, apples, persimmons, and grapes, are delectably fresh and plump. Dried fruit, almonds, and almond butter are available all year long. At Verni Farms, they grow and cure black and green olives, and they produce their own cold-pressed olive oil. 

Gift baskets are available for the holidays, which include almond butter, orange honey almonds, coconut honey almonds and home-made apricot and strawberry jams.  

The social interaction is relevant on Avenida Del Mar where loyal customers gather around the farm-fresh produce. Food shopping and camaraderie usually don’t go together, but at the Halaby stand, it’s abundant. Adam gestured to two young boys, ages eight and ten, with their dad. “I remember when they were in strollers, and I would cut up fruit and give it to them,” says Adam.

Another regular customer, Laura, stopped by to say hello and do her weekly shopping. “I never go to a grocery store. I’ve lived in San Clemente for 40 years, and have been coming to the market since the beginning rain or shine just like they do,” she says.

Visit the Halaby/Verni’s Farm stand on Sundays from 9am-1pm on Avenida Del Mar. Tara and Reza will be happy to greet you.