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Meredith McKenzie's Blog

By Meredith McKenzie | Agent in Pasadena, CA

Is Altadena the 'new' Berkeley?

With the opening of Altadena's new certified organic farmer's market, urban homesteaders and foodies are asking: Is Altadena the 'new' Berkeley? Even LA Times Critic Jonathan Gold noted the farmer's market appeal with 'small, local growers' in his 7/1 column on Farmer's Markets in Los Angeles.

Why this buzz? Could it be the amazing selection of fresh, locally grown produce and fruit at Altadena's weekly market, held each Wednesday from 3-7pm at Loma Alta Park?

Could it be the number of local Altadena residents who are getting their 'certified organic farmer' credential so they can sell their backyard 'forest food' which in most cases has been grown using permaculture principles?

Could it be the fantastic locally made artisan goat cheese and foothills honey that we locals all savor?

Could it be the planned opening of two Altadena restaurants in the next few months with a total 'locavore' vibe?

Perhaps it's all of the above, not to mention the amazing Altadena Bulgarini Gelato and nearby Mother Moo Creamery who aspires to be based in Altadena one day(no worries...you can find her and her fantastic organic home made ice cream at the Altadena Farmer's Market).

In addition, more and more homebuyers are choosing Altadena as their urban homesteading paradise, building organic gardens nourished with earthy manure from local equestrians and raising chickens for home-grown eggs.

One of my buyer clients, who actually found me on Trulia, is an executive chef, transforming his new home into an organic paradise where he hopes one day to create cuisine masterpieces all from ingredients found in his backyard.

Another one of my clients already has his permaculture garden in place supported by a hen house of laying chickens and fruit-bearing avocado and orange trees. I'm one of the few lucky recipients of his backyard eggs and, I promise you, you'll never enjoy store-bought eggs again once you've had 'home grown.' Still another client, an avid rider, is thrilled that he can 'board' his horse right in his own backyard, minutes from trails and the public equestrian arena.

What these new artisans have discovered is that LA County unincorporated Altadena offers large lots, charming homes and flexible zoning that makes local farming pretty easy. Add in the very affordable prices (it's still possible to find a darling place under $500,000, though prices have risen in the past year as Altadena has become 'discovered'), and it's easy to see why the buzz is about Altadena's new hip locavore scene.

With its great location nestled between the Angeles National Forest and the City of Pasadena, Altadena also offers an amazing urban-nature lifestyle ~ where you can be hiking the mountain trails in the afternoon and enjoying the happenings in Old Pasadena or Downtown LA via the Gold Line at night.

Altadena is still very affordable but this opportunity won't last for long. Interested in knowing more about the 'new' Berkeley? Drop me a line and I'm happy to give you the insider's tour!

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