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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day Trip: Bay Area Farm Tours

A question came up on one of the online groups I'm part of - what are great farm tours in the Bay Area? So I thought I'd list some here.

Of course you know about Harley Farms - I blogged about them recently. They're a goat farm in Pescadero, and they make their own goat cheese. You can read about Harley Farm here.
Marin Sun Farms offers free farm tours limited to 15 people. Kids must be at least 5 years old. They raise grass-fed animals and eggs.The next tour is Wednesday, July 21st at 10 a.m. in Point Reyes. Check their website, or contact them with questions at (415) 663-8997 x 201 or email david@marinsunfarms.com. They also offer escorted private farm tours starting at $750 for up to 25 visitors.

Tresch Dairy has almost 2,100 acres and 900 milking cows. You can tour it with Kathy Tresch, and you'll bottle-feed a calf, see cows being milked, churn and taste butter. You'll also take a hay ride to the heirloom apple orchard, taste Straus milk products and learn about sustainable agricultural methods and the important role farms play in preserving watersheds and wildlife habitat. It's a family-friendly tour.

The tour is on Saturday, July 10 from 1:30-3:30. Pre-registration required and space is limited. The tour is at  1170 Walker Rd., Petaluma. It costs $20 for adults, $10 for kids over age two (younger than that are free). Register here.

A fun strawberry family event is coming up at Dolcini Red Hill Ranch. They'll have activities including berry picking, ice cream making, farm game playing, and shortcake eating. Feed the chickens and tour the vegetable fields. Additional strawberries, eggs, snacks, and veggies will be for sale at the farm stand.


The event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. meeting at Dolcini Ranch, 6970 Point Reyes - Petaluma. RSVP required - space is limited. Register here. Cost is $25/adult, $12 for kids.

Toluma Farm in Tomales has monthly guided tours of their goat farm, the first Sunday of each month, from 11 a.m . to noon. The request you email them for reservations. You can also schedule group or school tours with them. For Sunday tours, email tours@tolumafarms.com (and use TOURS in the subject line). You can bring your own picnic and have lunch there.

McClelland Dairy in Sonoma County offers several tours a month, to their dairy farm. Learn more about their tours here. You can play with calves in the nursery, check out the milking parlor, breathe  and milk a cow by hand. Cost is free under three, otherwise $7-10. Reservations recommended - more info here. Upcoming tours are June 26 and July 17 at 1 p.m.

Loma Vista Farm in Vallejo is a public/private venture between the local school district and a community-based nonprofit. They offer tons of tours and activities. The Loma Vista Farm is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the school year and follows the school calendar. Individuals or families can visit the farm unscheduled during these times. Contact them to schedule a visit for any organized group. Check the Loma Vista Farm Events schedule for occasional after-hours times. Call for summer hours (707) 556-8765 or check their schedule.

You'll find lists of ongoing events at the Marin Agricultural Land Trust site, Om Organics, If you're a teacher wanting to take kids on a farm tour in Marin, the Marin Agricultural Land Trust can help you organize that and has a list of helpful education aids as well.

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