farms

Farms and Farmstands To Visit March. (Northern, CA)

Davis Ranch

Farm season is starting and some farms and farmstands in Northern California are starting to open. Here is a list of some that we recommend.

  1. This list includes only farmstands that are open to the public and don’t require reservations.  Look for a list of farm visits by appointment in a future post.
  2. These are only farmstands that are open for business in March.
  3. We didn’t include produce stores, just traditional stands.
  4. In the next month or two this list is going to get much longer so stick with us.  For now, try to visit a  farmstand you haven’t tried yet.
  5. Some local farmstands don’t just feature their own produce, they source selections from around the state and beyond.  If you are trying to just eat organic or just local (or both) make sure to ask questions and choose carefully.  I still like buying my produce from a farmstand instead of a big grocery store, even if it’s not all local.

El Dorado County

Boa Vista Orchards (Farmstand)
Open Daily
2952 Carson Road
Placerville, CA
www.boavista.com

Placer County

Ikeda’s California Country Market (Produce Stand)
Open Daily
13500 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA
www.ikedas.com

Otow Orchard (Farmstand)

Tue-Thu 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and Fri-Sun 10:00 am to 6:00 pm 6232 Eureka Road
Granite Bay, CA
www.otoworchard.com
Sacramento County
Davis Ranch (Farmstand)
Open Daily
13211 Jackson Road
Sloughhouse, CA
www.davisranchproduce.com

Kingbird Farms (Farmstand CSA)
Digital Farmstand, Order Between Monday-Thursday On Website, Pick Up Friday afternoon-Saturday
8869 Orr Road
Galt, CA
www.kingbirdfarms.com

Yolo County

Full Belly Farm (Farmstand)
Open Fridays from 2:00 pm-6:00 pm
16090 County Road 43
Guinida, CA
www.fullbellyfarm.com

Ikeda’s California Country Market (Produce Stand)
Open Daily
26295 Mace Blvd.
Davis, CA
www.ikedas.com

Loving Nature Farm (Farmstand CSA)
Open Daily
38883 Z Line Road
Clarksburg, CA
www.lovingnaturefarm.com

Pedrick Produce (Produce Stand)
6850 Sievers Road
Dixon, CA
no website

Yolo Fruit Stand (Produce Stand)
Open Daily
46710 County Road 32B
Davis, CA
no website

Don’t see your favorite farmstand on our list? It could be closed this time of year or maybe it slipped by us! Leave us a comment if you want to see a farmstand added to our list. We love hearing from you.

Year in Review. Farms of 2015.

We visited so many farms in 2015 and learned something at each unpaved country road. As we start a new year we wanted to revisit all of the places we discovered last year and create a reference for anyone wanting to get closer to where their food comes from in California. We begin this review with all the new farms we found. This week follow along as we review the trips, farmer’s markets, restaurants, shops and more that we visited in 2015.

Apple Farms

Boa Vista Orchards Farmstand (Placerville, CA)

El Dorado Orchards (Camino, CA)

Larsen Apple Barn (Camino, CA)

Top 10 Farms to Get Closer to Nature (Apple Hill, CA)

Berry Farms

Harris Tree Farm (Pollock Pines, CA)

Once in a Blue Moon Berries (El Dorado Hills, CA)

Mandarin Farms

Struble Ranch (Loomis, CA)

Colwell Thundering Herd Ranch (Penryn, CA)

Pumpkin Farms

Fog Willow Farms (Wilton, CA)

Tree Farms

Roberts Christmas Tree Farm (Pollock Pines, CA)

Teaching Farms

Soil Born Farms (Rancho Cordova, CA)

Farmstands

24Carrot Farm (Placerville, CA)

Davis Ranch (Sloughouse, CA)

South Fork Farm (Placerville, CA)

Strawberry Stands (Sacramento, CA)

Mountain Mandarin Orchard Days (Northern CA)

December is mandarin season in the Sierra Foothills and growers celebrate the harvest with the Mountain Mandarin Orchard Days the first and third weekends of December. Participating mandarin ranches in Penryn, Newcastle, Loomis, Lincoln and Auburn have family-friendly activities ready for visitors looking to learn more about mandarins including

  • Artists and Crafters
  • Mandarin Product Sampling including Oils, Sauces, Honey, Juice, Cookies, Cakes, Fudge and Spreads
  • Local Wine and Ale Tasting
  • Visit with Santa
  • Farm Animals
  • Face Painting
  • Old-fashioned Kids’ Carousels
  • You Pick Mandarins
  • Other winter fruits and vegetables including oranges, lemons, persimmons and squash
  • Plenty of Bags and Boxes of Local Tree-Ripened, Hand-Picked Mandarins

Mountain Mandarin Orchard Days are December 5, 6, 19 and 20 from 10am – 4pm each day. Ranches are located throughout Placer County, just a short drive from Sacramento, located between Sacramento and Tahoe off Interstate 80. (more…)

Northern California Cut Your Own Tree Farms (Northern CA)

Farm 9

One of the best times to live in the foothills outside Sacramento, CA is during the holiday season.  It’s icy cold outside and seems like we are in the mountains and there are tree farms everywhere.  Tree farms can be found in many counties in the area and we are fortunate enough to have some less than 30 minutes away.  Since we were away for the break last week we are going to cut down our tree this weekend.

We wanted to share a comprehensive list of where to cut down your own Christmas tree in Northern California.  The tree farms listed are open this 2015 season.  If you have a favorite to share we would love to hear more about it.  Comment and tell us your favorite tree farm or tradition. (more…)

The Mountain Mandarin Festival. November Tot Friendly Event. (Auburn, CA)

Mountain Mandarin Trees in Penryn, CA

The Mountain Mandarin Festival marks the official beginning of Placer County Mountain Mandarin season. The event takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving every year at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. This 3-day celebration draws 30,000 visitors from as far away as the San Francisco Bay Area and Reno. Just off Hwy 80 between Sacramento and North Lake Tahoe this event is easy to get to and is the perfect stop for anyone on their way to Tahoe.

Festival attendees can sample fresh mandarins hand-picked by Mountain Mandarin Growers’ Association members, as well as a variety of mandarin-based products including olive oils, marinades, marmalades, syrups and mandarin blossom honey. Growers will have plenty of 5 and 10 pound bags of mandarins for sale, ready for holiday enjoyment. Most growers can also ship mandarins to your friends and family. (more…)

Exploring Apple Hill. The Wineries of Apple Country. (Camino, CA)

Exploring Apple Hill

If you have been following our travels this fall you know our household has been spending lots of time in Apple Hill in Northern California. Apple Hill is located between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe just north of Highway 50. The region is full of apple growers, over 50 of them to be exact. Besides apples the region also beckons visitors with seasonal tree farms, juicy summer berries and all types of local produce. What most people don’t realize is that this part of El Dorado County also offers some unique and award-winning wineries. The wineries of Apple Hill are often overlooked and we aren’t sure why. (more…)

Best of Apple Hill 2015. Apples for Lunchboxes and Canning. Larsen Apple Barn (Camino, CA)

Apple Hill located in El Dorado County, just outside Sacramento, is our fall obsession. To be honest, we live so close, about 20 minutes away, we visit year-round only during fall we are even more frequent in our trips up Highway 50. Apple Hill is everything fall should be. Apple picking, hot apple cider, farm animals, pony rides, craft booths for early holiday shopping and people watching. You can find me throwing on a cozy plaid shirt and Uggs and heading up the mountain even during the hotest days of September. Why? Because it’s fall! Let’s get on with it already!

We head up almost weekly to do our fruit and vegetable shopping, so we decided to share our favorite farms with you. Follow along this series of posts, starting today, featuring our “Best Of Apple Hill” suggestions for this Apple Hill season.

A friend shared her family secret for finding the best apples for canning about five years ago and we have been going back year after year ever since. Larsen Apple Barn is the longest running family-owned farm in Apple Hill and has been running since 1860. It’s apple farm store is a picturesque corrogated metal barn filled with one of the widest arrays of apple varieties complete with apple tasting table.

For purposes of our “Best Of” review I’m keeping this one short and sweet. Larsen Apple Barn has the cheapest and best apples for canning that we have found. We not only use these apples for applesauce we buy our weekly lunchbox apples here because we can score a 40 lb box for only $16. These boxes are called their “seconds” and that just means they are smaller or have minor defects that make them less desirable than the full price apples sold here. We think they are perfect because they are the best size for our tots and we don’t waste any apples with half-eaten rejects and we don’t mind the defects at all.

Today the seconds boxes included Braeburn, Gala, Golden Delicious, Mutsu and Red Delicious as available varieties. As the season goes on sometimes these seconds boxes won’t be out in the sales area so be sure to ask a sales rep to grab you one from the back.

A tasting table is staffed by employees so visitors can try any of the varieties they are interested in purchasing. Also available for tasting are pears, grapes and peaches as available throughout the season.

Have we convinced you yet? If you are going to visit make sure you come Sunday-Friday, the farm is closed every Saturday and open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with a musuem and bake shop also available to visitors. If you pack a lunch Larsen owns the park right across the street that has picnic tables and shady areas for kids to run around.

Larsen Apple Barn is open from now through the Sunday after Thanksgiving, closed Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at 2461 Larsen Dr, Camino, CA 95709 and restrooms and parking are available.

Farmsteads and Farms Open This Month. July.

Farms are opening quickly now! Here is a list of open farmstands and farms this month in the Sacramento and surrounding areas. We are going to be adding more as they open so keep checking back to see the latest.

  1. This list includes only farmstands that are open to the public and don’t require reservations.  Look for a list of farm visits by appointment in a future post.
  2. These are farmstands and farms that are open for business in July.
  3. We didn’t include produce stores, just traditional stands.
  4. Some local farmstands don’t just feature their own produce, they source selections from around the state and beyond.  If you are trying to just eat organic or just local (or both) make sure to ask questions and choose carefully.  I still like buying my produce from a farmstand instead of a big grocery store, even if it’s not all local.

El Dorado County

Boa Vista Orchards (Farmstand)
Open Daily
2952 Carson Road
Placerville, CA
www.boavista.com

Pine ‘O Mine (You-Pick Blueberries)
Open Daily, Closed Mondays
2620 Carson Road
Placerville, CA
www.pineomine.com

South Fork Farm (Farmstand)
941 Cold Springs Rd.
Placerville, CA
www.southforkorganic.com

Placer County

Delta Farm (Farmstand)
8315 Horseshoe Bar Road
Loomis, CA
no website

Ikeda’s California Country Market (Produce Stand)

Open Daily
13500 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA
www.ikedas.com

Otow Orchard (Farmstand)
Tue-Thu 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and Fri-Sun 10:00 am to 6:00 pm 6232 Eureka Road
Granite Bay, CA
www.otoworchard.com

Sacramento County

Davis Ranch (Farmstand)
Open Daily
13211 Jackson Road
Sloughhouse, CA
www.davisranchproduce.com

Kingbird Farms (Farmstand CSA)
Digital Farmstand, Order Between Monday-Thursday On Website, Pick Up Friday afternoon-Saturday
8869 Orr Road
Galt, CA
www.kingbirdfarms.com

Soil Born Farms
Open Saturdays 8:00 am-12:00 pm
3000 Hurley Way
Sacramento, CA
www.soilborn.org

Yolo County

Full Belly Farm (Farmstand)
Open Fridays from 2:00 pm-6:00 pm
16090 County Road 43
Guinida, CA
www.fullbellyfarm.com

Ikeda’s California Country Market (Produce Stand)
Open Daily
26295 Mace Blvd.
Davis, CA
www.ikedas.com

Impossible Acres Farm (You-Pick and Farmstead)
Open Wednesday-Sunday, 9:00 am-6:00 pm
26565 County Road 97D
Davis, CA
www.impossibleacres.com

Loving Nature Farm (Farmstand CSA)
Open Daily
38883 Z Line Road
Clarksburg, CA
www.lovingnaturefarm.com

Pacific Star Gardens (You-Pick Strawberries and Berries and Farmstand)
20872 County Rd 99
Woodland, CA 95695
Pacific Star Gardens Facebook Page

Pedrick Produce (Produce Stand)
6850 Sievers Road
Dixon, CA
no website

Yolo Fruit Stand (Produce Stand)
Open Daily
46710 County Road 32B
Davis, CA
no website

All Counties in the Sacramento Surrounding Areas

Strawberry Stands All Counties (Farmstands)

A Google Map was created to find strawberry stands throughout the Sacramento region and surrounding areas. I found the stand in our neighborhood. Can you find yours?

Don’t see your favorite farmstand on our list? It could be closed this time of year or maybe it slipped by us! Leave us a comment if you want to see a farmstand added to our list. We love hearing from you.

Farmstands and Farms Open This Month. May.

This month farmstands and farms are slowly opening around our area. Here is a list of open farmstands and farms this month in the Sacramento and surrounding areas. We are going to be adding more as they open so keep checking back to see the latest.

  1. This list includes only farmstands that are open to the public and don’t require reservations.  Look for a list of farm visits by appointment in a future post.
  2. These are farmstands and farms that are open for business in May.
  3. We didn’t include produce stores, just traditional stands.
  4. In the next month or two this list is going to get much longer so stick with us.  For now, try to visit a farmstand you haven’t tried yet.
  5. Some local farmstands don’t just feature their own produce, they source selections from around the state and beyond.  If you are trying to just eat organic or just local (or both) make sure to ask questions and choose carefully.  I still like buying my produce from a farmstand instead of a big grocery store, even if it’s not all local.

El Dorado County

Boa Vista Orchards (Farmstand)
Open Daily
2952 Carson Road
Placerville, CA
www.boavista.com

South Fork Farm (Farmstead)
941 Cold Springs Rd.
Placerville, CA
www.southforkorganic.com

Placer County

Ikeda’s California Country Market (Produce Stand)
Open Daily
13500 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA
www.ikedas.com

Otow Orchard (Farmstand)
Tue-Thu 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and Fri-Sun 10:00 am to 6:00 pm 6232 Eureka Road
Granite Bay, CA
www.otoworchard.com

Sacramento County

Davis Ranch (Farmstand)
Open Daily
13211 Jackson Road
Sloughhouse, CA
www.davisranchproduce.com

Kingbird Farms (Farmstand CSA)
Digital Farmstand, Order Between Monday-Thursday On Website, Pick Up Friday afternoon-Saturday
8869 Orr Road
Galt, CA
www.kingbirdfarms.com

Soil Born Farms
Open Saturdays 8:00 am-12:00 pm
3000 Hurley Way
Sacramento, CA
www.soilborn.org

The Farmer’s wife
5701 Winding Way
Carmichael, CA
No Website

Yolo County

Full Belly Farm (Farmstand)
Open Fridays from 2:00 pm-6:00 pm
16090 County Road 43
Guinida, CA
www.fullbellyfarm.com

Ikeda’s California Country Market (Produce Stand)
Open Daily
26295 Mace Blvd.
Davis, CA
www.ikedas.com

Loving Nature Farm (Farmstand CSA)
Open Daily
38883 Z Line Road
Clarksburg, CA
www.lovingnaturefarm.com

Pedrick Produce (Produce Stand)
6850 Sievers Road
Dixon, CA
no website

Yolo Fruit Stand (Produce Stand)
Open Daily
46710 County Road 32B
Davis, CA
no website

All Counties in the Sacramento Surrounding Areas

Strawberry Stands All Counties (Farmstands)

A Google Map was created to find strawberry stands throughout the Sacramento region and surrounding areas. I found the stand in our neighborhood. Can you find yours?

Don’t see your favorite farmstand on our list? It could be closed this time of year or maybe it slipped by us! Leave us a comment if you want to see a farmstand added to our list. We love hearing from you.

Farm Visit. Davis Ranch (Sloughhouse, CA)

Last weekend marked the first weekend of asparagus season in Sloughhouse, CA and we anxiously waited for the fog to clear so we could go get this early spring favorite.  The weather didn’t cooperate and after piling the tots in the Subaru and making it to Folsom, only to turn around because of unsafe conditions, we threw in the towel and decided to wait a week.

This Friday Grandma was visiting so we decided a quick after school trip before the thunderstorms hit might be our best opportunity.  We headed out and it was worth the wait.  The drive to Sloughhouse this time of year is so amazing.  The green pastures, cows lazily strolling through open land and cool temperatures are perfect for a scenic drive.

This usually crowded farm stand packed with Sacramento residents and tourists was completely empty.  We had the entire ranch to ourselves.  Parking lot was empty.  Farmstand empty.  Since it’s so early in the season the selections are limited.  We purchased tomatoes, onions, potatoes, apples, oranges and aparagus.  The asparagus is grown right on the ranch and comes in hourly from the fields.  Right now it’s $3 a bunch and the price just gets cheaper as the season gears up.

Davis Ranch has events throughout the year and festivals that draw large crowds.  This time of year the options might be sparse, only it’s the best time to get away from it all and have the place to yourself.  There are picnic tables ready to accomodate your tots along with portable bathrooms with running water to wash after.  Expect minimal grown on the ranch options, asparagus really being the standout this month.  We let our tots run around the picnic area and look at all the old farming equipment on display around the parking area.  This month it’s so quiet it’s the perfect time to let them explore and discover all the areas bordering a working farm.

We drive out to Davis Ranch throughout the year.  Our favorite time is late summer when corn is plentiful and their no-GMO corn is grown on the ranch and some of the best we have had.  Look for more reviews as we get further into the growing year.



Davis Ranch is waiting for you to explore at 3501 Jackson Rd, Sloughhouse, CA 95683 or reach them by phone at 916.682.2658 or online at davisranchproduce.com