J & P Cosentino Family Farm – Cambrian area, San Jose

Have you ever been to the J & P Cosentino Family Farm? If you’re a foodie who’s been in the Bay Area for a while, you might remember the incomparable quality of groceries at the Cosentino’s Markets or the insightful broadcasts on KLIV radio’s Produce Report by Mr. Produce himself, Phil Cosentino. While the famous fresh food family has stepped back from the spotlight in its members retirement years, you can still enjoy the taste of delicious Cosentino quality produce from the J & P Cosentino Family Farm!

 

J & P Cosentino Family Farm stand in Cambrian

(more…)

The Valley of Heart’s Delight Video Providing a Peek into the Agricultural Past of Silicon Valley

Awhile back I found this fabulous 18 minute video online, Valley of Heart’s Delight, complete with an embed code so that it can be shared. I hope you enjoy it! Apprently it’s a 1948 remake of a 1925 look into Santa Clara County’s agricultural industry of days gone by. Interesting images of the orchards, blossoms, San Jose neighborhoods, Moffett Field, Santa Clara University & Mission, San Jose State, Stanford University, and business of yesteryear. It is much like a promotional video, showing current day Silicon Valley in its most flattering light.

 

 

Images and audio include:

Orchards
hillside views
downtown San Jose
Alum Rock Park (with a pool!)
Mt Madonna
The Rosegarden
Mission Santa Clara
Santa Clara University
San Jose State University
Stanford University
Santa Cruz Beach

 

 

 

The Valley of Heart’s Delight, Silicon Valley’s Old Nickname

Silicon Valley was once called The Valley of Heart’s Delight

Where is it?

Silicon Valley,a region known for high tech (semiconductors, computers, biotech, software & more), mostly resides within Santa Clara County, is at the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California.  Silicon Valley does not have strict geographical boundaries and includes a bit of the neighboring counties: Alameda County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County.<br<

 


View Larger Map

 

The weather is good
The weather is mild – it’s a subtropical climate and the palm and redwood trees will back that up. At one time, during the orchard heyday, it came to be known as The Valley of the Heart’s Delight because of the fertility of the valley and the fabulous produce grown here.  Eventually the vineyards, fruit and nut trees gave way to housing in the post World War II boom, and as high tech and then biotech slowly took over as the regional industry, the moniker changed to Silicon Valley due to the making of semiconductors or chips here. (“Chips” are no longer manufactured here, though.)

Why we love it
The people who live in Silicon Valley love many things about it, including the weather, of course!  The level of education is high, the population delightfully diverse, and crime is low.  San Jose has about a million people and the rest of Santa Clara County has about 800,000 more, so we have many of the benefits of big city living – but without so much crowding as the valley is fairly spread out.

Add to that a close proximity to San Francisco (an hour north by car or train), Berkeley and Oakland (ditto the time up the East Bay by car or BART), the beach at Santa Cruz (about a half hour), Monterey/Carmel (90 minutes), etc. You can drive to Napa or Sonoma for wine tasting – or you could do it within a couple of miles of the airport at the J Lohr Wine Tasting Room just off The Alameda. Of course, our hills have plenty of wineries too, and they are found closer in (Los Gatos and Cupertino and the east foothills of San Jose). In other words, there are a lot of reasons why “The Valley of Heart’s Delight” still applies.

The Challenges
Every area has its plusses and its challenges.  Here the difficulties are few but not insignificant. The biggest complaint is the cost of housing, which is perhaps the most expensive in the nation (if not, it’s close to the top).  It’s hard enough on locals but a really unpleasant surprise for transferees who relocate to Silicon Valley.  The second problematic area is traffic.

For both of these, we tend to have some “work arounds”.  Avoiding traffic is something we do by scheduling trips across the valley between 9:30am and 3pm if at all possible.  Many employees here telecommute at least some of the time.  Several large companies, such as Google, provide shuttles so that their employees can carpool – often during “off hours”.

Housing in the San Jose, Los Gatos and Campbell areas (among others) can be trickier.  Entry level
houses in decent areas start at around $500,000 and if you want good schools, it is more like $600,000.  Need it to be turnkey and remodeled? That will push it into the $700,000 range – and we are talking about a small 1200- 1400 square foot house.  The price depends largely on the location, though, so if schools are not a big issue, a house can be purchased for less.  If you want that same house in Los Gatos or Saratoga and with the best schools, it will be upwards of a million dollars.

What are the workarounds?  Sometimes transferees will purchase a townhouse or condominium instead of a house.  This can enable them to get into the areas or schools they want and still do it in budget.  Many people will simply purchase real estate that needs updating or remodeling, and do it over time (rather than getting a perfect home when they move in).  It requires a shift in expectations…. Others, of course, will opt to rent, or instead to purchase in remote locations such as Brentwood or Mountain House and endure a fairly difficult commute.

 

 

 

Campbell, California: Once the Heart of the Fruit Canning Industry

The city of Campbell, California,  was founded by Benjamin Campbell and local history of the region as “Campbell” goes back over 150 years. His first land purchase there occurred in 1851, and he planted it with grain and hay. This was a busy place during the orchard and fruit canning eras of the valley; it boasted three canneries in what is now the city of Campbell. Situated perfectly along the railroad line to Los Gatos, the Campbell area became a shipping center for the prized produce of The Valley of Hearts Delight.

Interestingly, while the city’s origins go back to the orchard era, Campbell was not incorporated until 1952. As with many other incorporations in Santa Clara County at that time, it was largely as a defensive maneuver against being swallowed up by the fast growing city of San Jose.

Today Campbell has a small town feel while offering a quaint downtown area, good schools, and more affordably  priced homes (for our valley, anyway). Crime is low and there’s great community spirit. Downtown Campbell is a destination for many with some excellent restaurants, shops, art galleries and museums. Campbell is also home to several excellent parks and movie theaters and recently became tied in to the light rail system too, making it not just a great place to live, but also a great location for businesses who want to be more “green” and give its employees a better shot at using public transit.

See more articles on Campbell within this blog – the Campbell real estate market, events, photos and much more.

For more information about Campbell, visit the city’s official website at http://www.ci.campbell.ca.us.