Mellow's Farm and Nursery
Tony Mellow's family has been farming in the Silicon Valley for four generations, since the 1800s. His grandparents started the first of the family farms, growing apricots, prunes, and pears for the local canneries. His father continued the tradition, adding farms spread across the San Francisco Bay area to grow walnuts and fruit for local canneries and prune dehydrators. Tony always knew he wanted to be a farmer and has been farming since he was 12. In 1966, he started growing pumpkins and miscellaneous vegetables and by 1977 he owned his own ranch in Morgan Hill. He went to the Garden City Farmers' Market in San Jose when it opened. "That was the first of the local farmers' markets, before farmers markets got big" he remembers. Today, he has built his business around farmers markets and says they are the only way small and medium sized farms will survive in an urban area. He has been selling at Heart of the City Farmers Market since the very first day and remembers the huge crowd of people who were lined up before dawn on opening day. There was nowhere else to buy produce if you lived in this neighborhood in 1981, and today is much the same. A painting of Tony selling his goods is incorporated in a mural on Taylor street, which was created as a celebration of neighborhood pride. After 30 years selling here, Tony and his produce are an important part of this neighborhood. It's obvious he loves what he does. Tony is also a very important part of this market, he is a dedicated volunteer on our Board of Directors and is currently serving as Board Treasurer. He helped start the discussion of a Friday market day with the Board that has grown into our August 3 Friday Market grand opening.