Twenty-four miles east of the Capitol Reef National Park visitor center and about two hours from Moab is Mesa Farm Market in Caineville, UT. Randy Ramsley, along with his goat-herding superhero dog, Zeke, runs this small grocery and café—a welcome sight along the otherwise desolate UT-24. Stop by in the morning for fresh-baked cinnamon buns, goat milk yogurt, and pour-over coffee. Don’t ask for a to-go lid: Sit and stay awhile. Randy is great for a chat—knowledgeable and enthusiastic about issues of global warming, conservationism, and sustainable agriculture.
If you must shop and run, pick up a few picnicking provisions for later: white and brown breads baked in his wood-fired stone oven out back; a jar of pickled vegetables; ripe tomatoes from his garden or apples and peaches from his orchard; and creamy farmstead feta, chèvre, and comte (he’s been milking goats here for more than a decade). Around lunch time, he makes salads and sandwiches. We stopped in for breakfast, then took a farmer’s haul to enjoy later at the empty picnicking area in Natural Bridges National Monument, about two hours southeast of Caineville. Sure beats gas station fare.
Note: The farm closes for the season on November 1 and reopens in early March.
Mile Marker 102, UT-24, Torrey, UT; 435-456-9146.