farmstand

Davis Ranch Strawberry Picking (Sloughouse, CA)

Just a short drive from Sacramento or Folsom, Davis Ranch is a local farmstand that has year-round farm activities for visitors young and old. Davis Ranch is a working farm and produce stand located in Sloughhouse CA. Known for it’s famous Sloughhouse Sweet Corn, we first heard about the farm when a coworker of my Husband brought us a bag of the sweetest corn we had ever tried almost ten years ago. If you haven’t had our famous corn, ask someone who has and they will tell you what you are missing. Davis Ranch hosts events throughout the year along with you-pick vegetables and strawberries. They also offer choose and cut Christmas Trees available starting the day after Thanksgiving and going until the week of Christmas.

During the spring the farm offers visitors farm-grown asparagus and it’s worth the drive! It’s so sweet and fresh that now we only buy asparagus from Davis Ranch. Around the same time, usually April or May strawberries start ripening in the you-pick area. Unlike other strawberry farms this one has raised pots of stawberries that are easy to pick without bending down.

The strawberry patch is located behind the farmstand next to the parking area. If there is no attendant at the strawberry picking area, guests are asked to come to the farmstand where they can pick up baskets and scissors along with instructions for picking.

Expect to spend about 20-30 minutes picking for each basket. It gets hot in this part of California especially during late spring and summer so take breaks at the shaded picnic tables next to the you-pick area and bring lots of water! After berries are picked and baskets are full payment is made back at the farmstead registers. The farmstand takes all forms of payment. Don’t forget to pick up seasonal farmstand favorites like oranges, cucumbers, squash, cherries, melons and more!

We like to pack a picnic and cool off in the shade after we make our purchases. Since school groups can sometimes be visiting the farm too, a picnic blanket is recommended if the tables are full. There is no running water at the farm so plan accordingly. Restrooms are outhouse style.

For more tips read about our visit last year to Davis Ranch.

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

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)

Eat Local. November.

November started with decent rain and cooler days. This means summer favorites like tomatoes are going to be disappearing soon. The wet weather forces farmers to pick tomatoes before the rain to prevent disease. Look for fall crops in local markets like apples, winter squash, persimmons and more.

Market availability varies by region. This is a general guide for Northern California based on Bay Area and Sacramento growers. (more…)

Fog Willow Farms. (Wilton, CA)

Fog Willow Farms

Last year we were exploring new farms around Elk Grove, CA and found Fog Willow Farms hidden along a country route. The farm is located just outside Sacramento and takes only about 20 minutes from downtown Sacramento and Folsom to get to. It’s in a gorgeous rural community off the lazy Consumnes River that seems hidden away from the hustle of the city. (more…)

What’s at Market. October.

Melon from 24Carrot Farm

This week’s shopping was a quick trip to Apple Hill where our current favorite organic farm, 24 Carrot Farm is located. We picked up everything we could to keep us going through the week. It seems like we are clinging to the last of the tomatoes, peppers and summer squash and starting to incorporate some winter squash into our dinners too. Since it’s 90 degrees this week here in Northern California it’s hard to get into too much fall baking just yet. What’s in season October. (more…)

Best of Apple Hill 2015. Best Attraction. El Dorado Orchards (Camino, CA)

El Dorado Orchards Train

El Dorado Orchards has been a favorite attraction of our tots for three years now. The train ride is one of our annual stops and this year was no exception. We usually visit this farm on our way out of Apple Hill. It is a quick stop with lots of parking and a perfect last activity before heading home for naps. The train costs $3.50 and the ticket booth takes cash and credit. The ride takes about five minutes and makes a lazy loop around a scenic pond, through apple orchards and berries.

The farm offers visitors craft booths, food, apples, juice, baked goods and picnic tables. This year they featured Boa Vista apples, juices, dougnuts and bakery selections and caramel apples. Boa Vista apples are some of our favorite so we purchased juice and caramel apples this trip. (more…)

Eat Local. October.

Pumpkins at Davis RanchOctober in California means summer crops are starting to dwindle and cooler weather offerings are starting to come to local markets. Here is our list of what we have been seeing around.

Market availability varies by region. This is a general guide for Northern California based on Bay Area and Sacramento growers.

Summer Crops Making Their Exit

These selections are entering the last phase of their season so grab them while you can or wait until next year.

Basil
Eggplant
Melons
Peppers
Plums
Summer squash
Tomatoes

Fall Favorites

These selections are right at the peak or middle of their season so find them and try out some new recipes while availability is widespread.

Almonds
Apples
Beans
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Chard
Lettuce
Onions
Oranges
Pears
Persimmons
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Winter squash

24Carrot Farm. (Apple Hill, CA)

24Carrot Farm Apple Hill

Since my Husband is overly obsessed with fall mornings spent in Apple Hill (Camino, CA) I decided to indulge him on his apple buying mission if he took a side adventure to see if we could find 24Carrot Farm on the way home.

I found this farm during a recent afternoon wasted on Facebook when I somehow came to their page. I couldn’t believe a new organic farm was open in our area and I hadn’t been there yet! I had to visit to see what this place was all about. (more…)

Harris Tree Farm (Pollock Pines, CA)

Blackberry season is here in the Bay Area and Sacramento. I have been on the search for a farm to go blackberry picking since we moved to the area years ago. Following a lead from a local tourism professional I called the owners of Harris Tree Farm. We ventured up to the farm this weekend and picked over two pounds of sustainably farmed blackberries in the quietest farm we have ever been.

If you aren’t familiar with Pollock Pines, it’s just up Highway 50 after Apple Hill on the way to South Lake Tahoe. The farm is only a quick detour about a five minute drive from the exit. It’s a quaint foothills town with towering trees and apple orchards as far as you can see. Look for the signs for Harris Tree Farm and turn into the driveway. There is gravel lot parking and the farm is usually not too crowded this time of the year. Once out of the car make your way to the barn with the large apple on the door and once inside you get instructions and equipment for berry picking. The family that owns and operates this farm couldn’t be any nicer or more full of information. Ask questions. They are area experts and taught us so much about their farm and the area.

I chatted with one of the owners of the farm that told me blackberry season is just starting in this part of the state and should run through September and maybe longer depending on conditions. Blackberries at Harris Tree Farm are farmed sustainably. This means the owners only use organic fertilizer and use sustainable growing practices.

When we visited the farm around lunch time on a Saturday we were the only guests. Unlike some of the more touristy farms this one retains it’s family friendly approach and we were able to just relax and run free since no one else was around. The landscape is so impressive the place instantly transports visitors to a different time. The blackberry growing area is surrounded by trees and rustic buildings that make for a real farm experience.

Blackberry picking is open Friday-Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm through the growing season. School groups and field trips can easily be arranged for other days by calling the farm main office. Individuals and groups are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and lunch tables are available under the apple trees. Homemade baked pies are also available for purchase. Bring cash.

Harris Tree Farm is located at 2640 Blair Road Pollock Pines, CA 95726

Eat Local. July.

It’s July and farmer’s markets and farms are open all over Northern California. Get out and find what is growing in your neighborhood.

Market availability varies by region. This is a general guide for Northern California based on Bay Area and Sacramento growers.

Summer Favorites Available Now
These summer favorites are in the peak of their growing season now.

Basil
Beans
Blackberries
Corn
Cucumbers
Nectarines
Peaches
Peppers
Plums
Snow Peas
Squash
Tomatoes

Late Spring Selections
These favorites are almost gone so get them while you can.

Apricots
Blueberries
Carrots

New Additions
These selections are making their July appearance.

Corn
Nectarines
Peaches