Springtime Along the Farm Trails

monte-bellaria

Happy April! It's a gorgeous time of the year, and our member farms, ranches, producers, and purveyors are bursting with springtime goodness. This April, we highlight fun on-farm workshops and experiences, ways to celebrate Earth Day, farms and nurseries to find everything you need to create a backyard oasis, plus the latest news along the Farm Trails. Subscribe to our mailing list, search our website for more ideas, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for even more great ideas.

Sonoma County is in the Orange Tier, which means more activities are allowed, so double check with businesses for their latest offerings!

On-Farm Workshops & Experiences

Flatbed Farm: Chef Amie as she shares her tips and tricks for preserving citrus and drying herbs. Follow along as she demonstrates how easy it is to make Meyer lemon curd. Afterward enjoy a tasting of Flatbed Farm herbal teas while discussing the health benefits of each herb. Then create your own personal blend during a hands-on herbal tea blending session. This Preserving the Havest workshop will be held Sunday, April 18, with morning and afternoon sessions. Click here to register. Mark your calendar for upcoming workshops: Make a Bouquet, Sunday May 23; Food as Medicine, Sunday, June 13. Also, shop for produce, pantry items, and vegetable and fruit plant starts at the farm stand every Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. 13450 Sonoma Highway 12, Glen Ellen.

Food and Farm Tours: This woman-owned tour company offers unique and intimate day excursions connecting you to the renowned agricultural destinations of Sonoma and Marin Counties, in private groups. Go behind the scenes to meet the makers and farmers, and taste the wide array of artisanal food and libations coming from our local food shed. Choose from set itineraries or request customized tours. Tours include other Farm Trails members! To reserve your tour, click here.

Garden Valley Ranch: Celebrate motherhood amongst the blooming roses on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9. Guests are invited to explore the magical rose farm and forage for fresh-cut flowers while enjoying the company of Garden Valley's many free-range farm animals. You are also welcome to bring a picnic and blanket during your stay. Guests will leave with a bucket full of flowers and full hearts. Click here to reserve your tickets. Also shop for roses at the nursery and online. Cottage rental and event hosting also available. 498 Pepper Road, Petaluma. (Photo below)

McEvoy Ranch: Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Ranch by joining their socially distanced Walkabout Ranch Tours. You’ll journey through interplanted olive orchards and vineyards and along the way learn the history of the Ranch and how McEvoy became the largest producer of organic olive oils in the US! You can choose from three types of tours, and all are followed by tastings of the estate olive oils and wines. To reserve your tour, click here. 5985 Red Hill Road, Petaluma.

Monte-Bellaria di California: This farm will reopen for weekend farm visits on Saturday, April 17. Wander the 9.5 acres of manicured lavender fields along with benches for taking in the views of the valleys and vineyards to the south. Public picnic tables are available if you want to enjoy a bring-your-own lunch. Anyone mentioning Farm Trails will get a 10% discount at the farm store. Estate-grown and -propagated lavender plants will also be for sale. No tickets are required for a farm visit in April or May. And on Sundays, April 18 and April 25, Monte-Bellaria will be hosting one of their most popular workshops: Propagating Plants from Cuttings. At this one-hour workshop you'll learn hands-on techniques from a commercial propagation operation. Each participant will make a cutting to take home. Click here to purchase tickets. 3518 Bloomfield Road, Sebastopol. Open Saturdays and Sundays beginning April 17, 10 am to 4 pm.

Redwood Hill Farm—Capracopia: Celebrate the arrival of spring with a farm tour. It is kidding season and the "kids" (baby goats) are waiting to cuddle with you! The flower field is starting to bloom, and you can see the olive and apple orchards too. You will also enjoy a visit to the adult herd, check out the chickens, and see their sustainability measures in action. For information and to reserve your tour, click here. 5440 Thomas Road, Sebastopol.

Toluma Farms & Tomales Farmstead Creamery: Come and find out about the history of how this goat/sheep dairy and creamery came to be. Tours include a visit with the animals including newborn lambs and kids, hike up to the pastures to learn about their organic pasture management system, peek into the creamery with an explanation of how they make cheese, and of course enjoy a cheese tasting! Private tours for pods between 6 to 10 people. To sign up, click here, or email. 5488 Middle Road, Petaluma.

Well-Trained Horses: Need to get out of the house? Visit us, and do some good! Visit our horse rescue. Take a tour, watch a demonstration, groom a horse, and have a private picnic at your own table or decorated stall! We require masks and social distancing. Hand sanitizer available on site. To reserve your visit, click here. 11114 Falstaff Road, Sebastopol.

Earth Day on the Farm Trails

Spring Bloom Event with School Garden Network: There is no better time to regenerate and reconnect than with the start of spring! Join School Garden Network on Earth Day, April 22, from 5 to 6 pm for a virtual Zoom fundraiser! Clark Wolf, Sonoma County’s beloved radio personality, will host this one-hour program showcasing the many programs Handline restaurant in Sebastopol. Natalie will tantalize your taste buds with Spring Vegetable Risotto, a soulful bowl of creamy rice with spring’s first tender delights, peas, asparagus, wild mushrooms, and shaved Valley Ford Estero Gold. There will also be a live auction throughout the evening that features vacation getaways, canopy adventures, restaurant experiences, wine tastings, and more. Click here to register.

Earth Day Family Scavenger Hunt: Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation is hosting this special free Earth Day event on Thursday, April 22, 3:30 to 6:30 pm. Explore the beautiful Uplands Preserve with your family, help with restoration, and win prizes! With sweeping views of the Santa Rosa plain and easy access from Sebastopol, there’s no better place to spend time together this Earth Day. Your participation in the scavenger hunt activities will help the foundation restore and steward this special site through completing tasks like removing invasive plants and watering. Their docents and staff will be available to answer questions and lend out helpful naturalist tools. Click here to register.

 

Farm Trails Happenings

Special Plant Sales

Bounty Farm Plant Sale: There will be thousands of plants for sale on Sunday, April 25, 9 am to 3 pm, at the Bounty Community Farm. With over 27 types of affordably priced vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and 200 different varieties to choose from, everyone is sure to find something for their garden! Proceeds from the Annual Spring Plant Sale support the Bounty Community Farm Programs and other initiatives that provide healthy food to low-income families and seniors that may not otherwise be able to afford it. 55 Shasta Avenue, Petaluma.

SRJC Shone Farm Plant Sale: Shone Farm at Santa Rosa Junior College is hosting a curbside pickup plant sale. Order tomato, pepper, flower, and other veggie starts form their online store. Choose your pickup date: Fridays, April 16 to May 7, 1 to 4 pm; or Saturday, April 17, 10 am to 2 pm. 7450 Steve Olson Lane, Forestville.

other news

Healdsburg Farmers' Market announces reopening dates. The Saturday market reopens on April 17, 8:30 am to noon, through December 18, at the West Plaza Parking Lot. The Tuesday market launches on April 20, 9 am to 12:30 pm, through October 26, on the Plaza downtown. As the season progresses, you'll find many Farm Trails members among the booths, including Dry Creek Peach, Hector's Honey, Preston Farm & Winery, and Valley Ford Cheese Company!

The Petaluma Gap Marketplace is a new outdoor gathering place of local food vendors and artisans held once a month on Pronzini Farms. Enjoy gourmet food, flowers, gifts, and crafts from a host of purveyors, including Farm Trails members Beekind, Black Pig Meat Co., LALA's Jam Bar and Urban Farmstand, and Wm. Cofield Cheesemakers. The next marketplace will be held the Saturday, May 8, 10 am to 5 pm—just look for the big tent! 3795 Adobe Road, Petaluma.

Registration is now open for Healthy Roots Garden Camp: This kids' camp is hosted by School Garden Network, at the Salmon Creek School Garden. Located in the Freestone Valley in Occidental, the 1.5-acre garden is a part of a 56-acre school campus blessed with a diverse coastal ecosystem containing a redwood forest, native grasslands, wetlands, Salmon Creek, and rich soil that supports the garden. Coming off of a year of digital learning, our youth need some real-life education—and time to get their hands dirty and feel the sun on their faces! Campers will connect with nature, learn to cook and eat from the garden, explore native habitats and cultures, create arts and craft, make new friends, and spend their summer days outdoors. Camp registration is $150-$350 per week per camper. Scholarships are available. Click here to register.