Jason Cosentino is in the thick of summer fruit season.
During the pandemic, 91-year-old patriarch Phil Cosentino—whose father bought the San Jose land that J&P Cosentino Family Farm sits on in 1945—passed the running of the farm to daughters Kari Cosentino, Janine Cosentino and Mary Forman. Since then, his grandson Jason (Janine’s son) has been working there full-time, harvesting from their 552 trees and manning the stand on the edge of the farm that locals flock to for the most delicious fruit in the South Bay.
“It’s just a hailstorm of fruit,” says Jason of the summer season. “In the short three months, all of a sudden you just hit the ground running. When we know berries are here [in May], it’s like ‘OK, it’s about to start.’ That’s the calm before the storm.”
When Jason is doing one of his Saturday fresh-baked pop-ups at the farm stand, as he will this Saturday, Aug. 13, it’s even crazier.
“I’m prepping the Monday before, because I like to get some sample photos up for social media,” he says. “I’m getting all the ingredients ready. But really it’s full steam ahead that Friday when I get done with the farm. I’m here ’til the afternoon, and then I’m baking ’til midnight, 2 o’clock to get ready, and then we’re back here at 6am to do all the harvesting and then get set up for the pop-up.”
But having formerly been a chef, this kind of pace is what he prefers.
“I actually thrive in that environment,” he says. “I think just from starting out in fine dining, I feed off of that sense of urgency.”
With all of his pop-ups selling out so far, he’ll be doing both a savory and a sweet item on Aug. 13 (the pop-ups go from 11am-1pm, or until he’s out of food). The savory item will be elotes—Mexican street corn—featuring the farm’s fresh corn, and the sweet one will be strawberry shortcake made with the buttermilk scone mix that is one of the packaged products (including jams and syrups made with the farm’s fruit) that he’s added to the Cosentino’s lineup. Pop-up items are $9 each and can be taken to go, or eaten at the tables set up in the farm’s orchard. Follow facebook.com/CosentinoFamilyFarm for updates on future pop-ups, and what varieties of fruit are available at the stand each day (9am-5pm).