Taste the Bounty of Petaluma Valley

A lot has changed since Petaluma was chartered in 1858. Through it all, Petaluma has stayed true to its roots as an area known for agricultural diversity. Artisan cheeses, organically-grown heirloom vegetables, all-natural free range poultry, and fresh-off-the-farm eggs are just a few of the products that give Petaluma its well-earned reputation as an area of delicious abundance.

Our community’s agricultural pride is on full display for the Butter & Egg Days Festival on the last full weekend in April. Brimming with authentic small town charm, the homegrown parade and festival on Saturday pays tribute to Petaluma’s place in history as the “World’s Egg Basket” and rich dairy land.

 

Picked fresh that morning

east_side_farmers_marketChat with farmers, taste produce picked that morning, and learn about sustainable farming practices at the Petaluma Farmers’ Markets. Petaluma’s Farmer’s Market are filled with fresh produce, flowers, artisan cheeses & breads, canned items, fresh meat & fish as well as local crafts. They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting and supporting local farmers by providing them opportunities to sell directly to the public. It’s all the real deal.

 

We specialize in happy cows

mcclellands_dairy_and_pumpkin_patchGaze into the big brown eyes of a Jersey or Holstein cow, grazing contently on the verdant hills surrounding Petaluma and it’s easy to see why the products that come from Petaluma dairies are consistently recognized as some of the best in the country. Clover Stornetta Farms was the first dairy west of the Mississippi to offer rBST-free milk. No wonder their iconic mascot, “Clo the Cow,” always has a smile. Tour McClelland’s Dairy, milk a cow by hand and then sample their award-winning European Style Organic Artisan butter. That’s what butter is supposed to taste like!

 

How about some cheese with your wine?

sonoma_marin_cheese_trailFor cheese aficionados, it is indeed ‘happy trails to you’ when following the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail. This area has the most cheese-makers per capita in the West and has been likened to Normandy, the famous French cheese region.

Just a few blocks from downtown, the Petaluma Creamery Store was recently named one of the “Best Artisan Cheese Shops in the Bay Area.” The creamery has been a Petaluma institution for more than a century. Stop by to sample cheese, discover your favorite and enjoy homemade ice cream, all made with milk from their pampered cows.

For a cheese-tasting day trip, Marin French Cheese Company is just 20 minutes from Petaluma on the way to Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Handcrafting award-winning cheeses for more than 150 years, Marin French Cheese is the longest continually operating creamery in the country.  Enjoy their world-class Rouge et Noir Triple Cream Brie with an impromptu picnic next to their pond.

 

Explore some green acres

tara_firma_farmsWhether you call it “agritourism” or you just want to know more about where your food comes from, Petaluma offers visitors an authentic experience. Visit Tara Firma Farms and learn about their all-natural and environmentally-friendly farming practices on their free tour. Green String Farm grows fruits and vegetables and eggs for some of the Bay Area’s best restaurants. Take some home for yourself.

 

Extend an olive branch… and vine

mcevoy_ranchWell-traveled folk often say Petaluma reminds them of Tuscany. Nestled in the hills west of Petaluma, McEvoy Ranch with 18,000 trees is the largest organic producer of Tuscan-style, estate-grown olive oil in the U.S. Or sample their distinctive wines from Petaluma Gap vineyards. Beautiful rural Petaluma is the setting for Saltonstall Estate’s olive oil and wine tastings.

 

From the ground up

baker_creek_heirloom_seedsLocated appropriately in a stately historic bank building in downtown, the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Store, also known as “The Seed Bank,” offers master gardeners and novice green thumbs more than 1,500 varieties of non-GMO seeds.

 

Blaze a farm trail

sonoma_county_farm_trailsSonoma County Farms Trails has been connecting people with farmers and ranchers since 1973. Pick up a map at the Petaluma Visitors Center or visit www.farmtrails.org to design an educational and tasty tour.