VISIT A PETALUMA FARM
Whether you call it agri-tourism or just want to know more about where your food comes from, Petaluma farms offers visitors a grassroots experience.
Tara Firma Farms is passionate about providing consumers with “sustainable, local, and ethical sources to feed your family.” They believe that education is a key component of their mission so that people understand why eating high quality, fresh produce and meat from local farmers benefits their health, the environment and the animals.
So from its inception in 2009, Tara Firma Farms has hosted free tours on their 260-acre farm. Offered on Saturday s and Sundays at noon (reservations not required), visitors can learn about the farm and CSA – Community Supported Agriculture – as well as their sustainable, environmentally farming practices. You might even pet a piglet.
Visitors can take home some of Tara Firma’s organic produce and pasture-raised meats any day of the week. Their farm stand is open daily from 10am to 6pm. “Shares” (varying sizes of boxed produce, fruit and meats) from their network of family farms throughout Sonoma and Marin counties are available as well as non-GMO fed eggs and local cheese.
Wouldn’t we all feel better if we ate “healthy and happy fruits and vegetables”? That’s what is grown at Green String Farm where they practice sustainable farming that aids the natural growing process. Their farm stand is open on weekends from 10am-6pm.
TOUR A PETALUMA DAIRY
With a family history in the dairy industry dating back to 1938, McClelland’s Dairy represents the best of Sonoma County agriculture. Operated by third generation family members, McClelland’s signature European Style Organic Artisan Butter is produced in an environment that is “committed to the health and well-being of the cows, land and customers.”
McClelland’s Dairy 90 minute tour takes a very hands-on approach to learning. After hearing the farm’s history, visiting the nursery, and touring a pasture, visitors have a chance to milk a cow by hand. The last stop on the tour is the viewing room for the milking parlor where you’ll learn how 125 cows can be milked per hour.
Reservations are required for the tour; visit their website for dates. Tickets for adults 13 and over are $20; children 4-12 are $10, 3 and under are free. A Family Pack is also available for $50 (2 adults & 2 children)
EXPERIENCE A WORKING RANCH IN PETALUMA
If cows are the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a ranch, get ready to experience some Petaluma Ranches of a very different variety.
Nestled in the hills west of Petaluma, McEvoy Ranch’s idyllic setting feels like you’re a million miles away from the hustle and bustle yet it’s only a 15 minute drive from downtown Petaluma. Many people say rural Petaluma reminds them of Tuscany and for good reason. With 18,000 trees on their property, McEvoy are the largest producer of Tuscan-style, estate grown olive oil in the US. They also produce distinctive wines from their Petaluma Gap vineyards.
McEvoy Ranch offers visitors many ways to explore the bounty of the ranch. Favorites include “At our Table Tastings” that include a flight of wine releases, seasonal bites from their organic garden, artisan cheese and their extra virgin olive oil, and “Walkabout Ranch Tours” that guide guests through the vineyards, gardens, orchards, and the beautiful and unexpected Chinese Pavilion.
Garden Valley Ranch in northwest Petaluma is a rose farm where 10,000 plants bloom in a rainbow of colors. A delight for the senses, the fragrance is almost intoxicating.
During the blooming season, just strolling through the cutting fields marveling at the natural beauty is worth the trip. But many in the know seek out Garden Valley for their nursery. They have over 400 varieties in stock including hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, tree roses, antique roses, English or David Austin roses, miniatures, and shrubs, plus the fertilizer and expertise to help you grow prize- winning roses or beauties for your garden.
Please see the map below for locations and more information on each property. Call ahead to reserve a spot on tours. They often sell out!