Nursery day trip: Livermore, CA

Where to find the freshest fruits and the best blooms

Alden Lane Nursery

Emily Nathan

Getting there

  • Take I-580 to the N. Livermore Ave. exit. Alden Lane is 2 miles south of downtown. Most wineries are a few minutes outside town via Tesla Rd. or Arroyo Rd.

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Why go in spring: Spring doesn’t get any better than this. Grapevines leafing out and roses in mad bloom leave you itching to get your hands in the earth.

The new agriculture: Wine and rodeos put Livermore on the map, but now everyone’s talking about olive oil and backyard veggie gardens.

Number of olive oil producers: 10

Overheard at the nursery: “What’s the kind of pomegranate in the juice again? ‘Wonderful’? Let’s get one of those trees!”

Need coffee? Sketch out planting plans downtown at Panama Red Coffee Co. (2115 First St.; 925/245-1700). Great chai too.

Best outdoor meal: Sunday brunch or sunset supper (with plenty of local produce) on the patio at the Restaurant at Wente Vineyards ($$$$; 5050 Arroyo Rd.; 925/456- 2450).

More tastes of sunshine: Locals say the farmstand near the corner of Concannon Boulevard and South Livermore Avenue has the sweetest strawberries mid-April through June. If you see signs, it’s open.


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