kids

Shopping. Farm Tots Favorite Rain Boots.

Toddler Red Hunter Rain Boots

Farm visits can be dirty business. Especially after some much needed California rain. This weekend we visited some local apple farms right after the first thunder and rain of the fall and we were a mucky muddy bunch. I usually make sure our tots go out in rain boots whenever we visit farms or go outside this time of year. Here are the Farm Tot favorite rain boots.

Red Hunter and Strawberry Target Rain BootsAmazon $49

Strawberry Red Boots // Target $19.99

Boys Camo RainbowsAmazon $80

Camo Rainboots // Walmart $6

Farm Tots Women's Rainboot with DetailAmazon $143.32

Premiere Tall Rainbows // Target $34.99

Men's Bootie RainbootsAmazon 29.99Amazon $50

July Tot Friendly Food Festivals.

July is full of family-friendly food events and activities. We have included a list of our favorite tot-friendly choices. Get out and explore California and all the food events celebrating our local farm favorites.

Sacramento and Surrounding Areas

California State Fair
Sacramento, California
July 10-26
The 17-day fair is a robust celebration of the State of California, its industries, agriculture and diversity of its people. Among the highlights are concerts, wine garden, midway rides, demonstration farm (with most crops grown in the state), livestock pavilion, fine arts competition, harness racing, and nightly fireworks. Tastes of the fair include exotic foods from around the world, plenty of healthy & nutritious options, as well as many deep-fried foods: zucchini, Twinkies, funnel cake, chicken, avacado, cheesecake, and more.
www.castatefair.org

Davis Ranch Corn Festival
13211 Jackson Road
Sloughhouse, CA
July 11th & 12th
Featuring local craft artists, pony rides, live music, food vendors, bounce houses, tractor rides and Sloughhouse Sweet Corn. Free admission and Parking.
www.zslproductions.net/cornfest/

Marysville Peach Fest
Marysville, California
July 17-18
The 16th Annual Marysville Peach Festival is going to be an exciting event with a wide variety of new and returning craft vendors, food vendors cooking for every taste bud, several delicious choices of peach related foods, and great entertainment for all ages.
www.marysvillepeachfest.org

Sacratomato Festival
Sacramento, CA
July 25
A family-friendly festival will take place outside on the grounds of Sutter’s Fort SHP. The free Sacratomato Festival will include lots to see and do, such as the following: an on-stage salsa making competition presented by Centro Cocina Mexicana, a tomato tasting garden, lawn games, a hands-on “Tomato Patch” area for kids – with face painting, balloon creations and a grow-your-own tomato activity – tasty foods for sampling and/or sale by Midtown restaurants and bars, cooking demonstrations by the area’s top chefs, Midtown Farmers Market vendors and entertaining live music.
www.exploremidtown.org

Courtland Pear Fair
Courtland, CA
July 26,
Activities at the festival include vendors, arts and crafts, bands, entertainment, a classic car show, fun run, wine tasting and youth duck calling. At the Classic Car Show guests can ooh- and ahh- over (pre-1973) street rods, muscle cars and classics, plus vintage tractors and steam engines.
www.pearfair.com

Bay Area and Beyond

Gilroy Garlic Festival
Gilroy, CAJuly 24-26
Featuring food, beverages, arts & crafts and live entertainment. The event includes three popular cooking competitions, presenting 60 live concerts, and serving a critically-acclaimed cuisine enhanced with over two tons of fresh California garlic.
www.gilroygarlicfestival.com

Are we missing something? If you know of family farming or food events that we haven’t listed let us know! We love hearing from you!

Farmer’s Market. Midtown Farmer’s Market (Sacramento, CA)

The town where we are doesn’t have a year-round farmer’s market. That being said, we sort of like the challenge of finding new and interesting farmer’s markets during the months that ours isn’t going. Recently, we got invited to come see what the Midtown Farmer’s Market was all about in Sacramento. We jumped at the opportunity after hearing friends raving about the regionally curated market.

The market is held in a corridor of midtown flanked by uber cute new eateries and boutiques. I love this stretch of Sac with it’s twinkly lights strung though the trees and adjoining patios that create a downtown area that’s livable and safe for families with tots. It’s not a large size market. It’s just big enogh to get in and get out with what you need or stroll slowly and make a morning out of it.

What we loved most about this market was it’s nod to families with kids. In the center of the market there is a complete tot land with astro turf grass, bouncy toys, food theme placemets to color and child-sized chairs with umbrellas. We had to pry our two shoppers out of there when it was time to leave and we ended up spending much longer than we anticipated just because we actually got the chance to. Breath.

My Husband might have even been caught lounging in a chair, coffee in hand smiling from ear to ear laughing and joking. (If you know a Capitol employee during the summer you know how rare this behavior can be).

There was a waffle man selling right out of a vintage cherry red volkswagon van just like my in laws had in the 70’s and the most amazing gluten free baked goods from Davis. There were farm style flowers and mushrooms. There was fresh lemonade and chimichurri. This market had every flavor imaginable and we were digging it.

The Midtown Farmers Market is located on 20th Street, b/t J & K Streets in Midtown Sacramento. Parking is available for market patrons at 2020 J Street, adjacent to the market.

Free bike valet is a feature component of the Midtown Farmers Market, run by Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA). Bike valet will located every Saturday at the Market.

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

When we first moved to the foothills four years ago we saw signs around town for a you-pick organic blueberry farm in El Dorado Hills. We had to visit. We gathered some friends and headed for Once in a Blue Moon Berries. We had two tots under one at the time and two that were just two years old. When we arrived we were immediately transported into a quaint throwback to a different time. A place where neighbors gather to chat and work the land together. The welcoming nature of this farm beckons local residents and visitors alike.

That first year, we pushed Bob joggers up and down the rocky paths in between blueberry bushes and collected as many blueberries as we could. While our two year-olds ate more than their combined weight in blueberries. We hadn’t picked blueberries before so just seeing the plants was a wondrous new experience and we all were enthralled immediately.

One of my favorite aspects of this farm is that the owners, Mike and Janet Suttles, work the you-pick farmstand themselves along with their extended family. The owners are known to follow along with pickers, encouraging them to eat berries and experience different varieties. We learned about the different berries and terroir and how different variables affect berry production and taste. We learned about the growing season and the history of the property and the family who has turned their home into a successful organic farm.

Sand pail buckets provided by the farm cost $20 when full. The farm is on a five acre parcel of land off Green Valley Rd. It is easily found following the signs that direct visitors from main roads. The drive is just down a short dirt road and a quick turn in front of the farm provides dirt lot parking for cars. There are no restroom facilities. There is a shaded area with a table where families can relax and rehydrate after picking.

The blueberry season here is only 3-4 weeks long so now that the berries are ready for picking planning a trip should be a priority. With recent weather changes the season is later than usual and owners don’t know from year to year just how the season is going to go. My oldest tot visited yesterday and got the fattest juiciest berries I have seen so it’s definitely blueberry season in El Dorado Hills.

Once in a Blue Moon Berries is located at 1820 Arroyo Vista Way in El Dorado Hills. The farm is open every other day for now from 9 am to 3 pm and by special appointment. For more information call (916) 600-8962 or visit onceinabluemoonberries.com

May Tot Friendly Food Festivals and Events.

School is almost out. It’s May and if you are anything like us you are scrambling trying to find activities for your tots this summer. Here is our recommended list of family friendly food festivals and events to round out this month. Thinking about traveling to a far off event and need tot friendly accomodation suggestions? Just leave a comment! We are all about easy travel with our two active tots and have lots of suggestions.

Sacramento and Surrounding Areas


Farms Friends and Fairytales

May 16
Fairytale Town, Sacramento, CA
Join Fairytale Town for a fun-filled celebration of farm animals and agriculture! At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. watch Fairytale Town’s Babydoll sheep get sheared and the wool spun into yarn using an old fashioned spinning wheel. Plus, participate in agriculture-themed hands-on activities, and visit with local area farms and organizations.
www.fairytaletown.org

20th Annual Galt Strawberry Festival
May 16-17
Galt, CA
The Festival has become a destination throughout Northern California and the pride of Galt. The event includes food booths, a car show and carnival.
www.galtchamber.com

A Day on the Farm
May 17
Soil Born Farm, Rancho Cordova, CA
Purchase fresh from the field, organically grown vegetables & fruit at the event and participate in cooking classes and workshops, farm tours and more.
www.soilborn.org

Bay Area and Beyond

Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras
May 23-24
Morgan Hill, CA
The two-day festival of family fun includes live entertainment on two stages, arts and crafts, gourmet offerings, mushroom education, strolling musicians, street performers, and several city blocks of unique booths. For children, Munchkinland captivates kids with rides, games and continuous entertainment. Mushrooms, the region’s predominant local crop, are the stars of the festival with opportunities for guests to taste fresh, locally grown mushrooms and learn about their important health benefits.
www.mhmmg.org

56th Annual Artichoke Food and Wine Festival
May 30-31
Castroville, California
Agro Art Competition, Parade, Live Music, Children’s Activities. Artichokes fried, sautéed, grilled, marinated, pickled, fresh and creamed in soup. Cooking Demos, Wine Tasting, Farmer’s Market, Arts & Crafts, Field Tours to the artichoke patch.
www.artichokefestival.org

Are we missing something? If you know of family farming or food events that we haven’t listed let us know! 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.

Giveaway. DISPLAY: Kids Let it Grow Event and $25 Gift Card (Sacramento, CA)

One of the best parts of getting out in the community and getting more involved in the farm to fork movement in California is meeting amazingly talented people on a regular basis.  Recently I was introduced to a new popup store in Sac by one of it’s co-founders, Roshaun Davis.  This is when I discovered DISPLAY: Kids for myself.


DISPLAY: Kids is the latest popup experience in a 850 sq ft storefront in Oak Park’s Triangle District called DISPLAY: California   Every 1-2 months the location rotates retail experiences.  Focusing on designers and retail opportunities that are unattainable to most of us in Sac.  Until now.


DISPLAY: Kids is like my urban cool kid dreams all wrapped into a bright space with all the trimmings.  The thought put behind everything is apparant and refreshing.  Walking in the store the relaxed and friendly vibe was completely welcoming and instantly addicting.  I brought along a friend and my youngest tot and both were as mesmerized as I was.

The idea of having a retail space with wall to wall merchandise that is curated with such perfection is so amazing I might just move in.  In addition to a cool shopping experience to outfit tots, the space has collected the most gorgeous grouping of jewelry, and gifts that parents might actually forget this is a kids store.


If you do forget about your tots for a second.  Not to worry.  They are probably wrapped up in the adorable art tables with materials I haven’t seen before, stickers, stamps and everything to keep them busy and happy for at least the ten minutes moms need to try on jewelry and shop for themelves.  Or their kids.  I mean that’s what this is all about right?  The kids?  Or is it a genius concept to actually offer kids fashion alongside some options for parents since we do spend most of our time and fashion budget as parents on our children.  Am I right?

Want to see more?  Join DISPLAY: Kids next Wednesday evening as they celebrate Earth Day and the local farm to fork movement with their Let it Grow event.  Let it Grow is open to the public and offers kids the chance to plant seeds in a pot to take home and learn about GMOs while parents have the opportunity to browse and shop.


Farm Tots is giving away free tickets for one family to attend Let it Grow and a $25 gift card to the store.  Enter to win here.  If you don’t win.  You can buy tickets here.




April. Tot Friendly Food and Farming Events.

It’s April.  The weather is changing and family events are filling up our weekends.  Here is a listing of what is coming up this month is Sac and our surrounding areas.  Most of these events are free or low-cost and benefit our community as a whole.

SACRAMENTO AND SURROUNDING AREAS
Festival For Kids
April 11-12
Cal Expo, Sacramento
The Festival for Kids will encompass eight buildings at Cal Expo and will be jam-packed with activities for kids and parents. This event will feature some of America’s favorite cartoon characters. Sponge Bob and Dora the Explorer will be on hand so kids can have a souvenir picture with their favorite character.  There is also going to be a whole building dedicated to our favorite furry friends.
www.festivalforkids.net

Asparagus Festival
April 17-19
San Joaquin Valley Fairgrounds, Stockton
Entertainment, arts, crafts, cooking demonstrations, and children’s’ play area all celebrating asparagus. The festival includes performances and a carnival. The food favorite is deep-fried asparagus.
http://sanjoaquinasparagusfestival.net/index.html

Picnic Day at UC Davis
April 18
UC Davis Campus, Davis
This family friendly event is free for all to come and experience the richness of diversity and achievement at UC Davis and the surrounding community in the areas of research, teaching, service and campus life. More than 200 events will take place throughout campus and will include exhibits, shows, competitions, demonstrations, entertainment, animal and athletic events, Student Organization Fair, Multicultural Children’s Fair, Parade and much more.  The event has many ag related booths and activities.
www.picnicday.ucdavis.edu

Sacramento Earth Day Celebration
April 19
Southside Park, Sacramento
The Sacramento celebration of the 46th annual Earth Day will be filled with diverse business, non-profit, cultural, and government vendors with practical information, goods and services for saving money, living healthier, and protecting the environment. There will also be great entertainment, activities, and cuisine.
www.ecosacramento.net

Sacramento Children’s Earth Day Celebration
April 22, 11:00 am-1:00 pm
The Sacramento Children’s Museum, Sacramento
The Sacramento Children’s Museum is partnering with Assemblyman Ken Cooley to host the Children’s Earth Day Celebration. Attendees will enjoy interactive, Earth-friendly activities from event partners.
www.sackids.org

Display: California, Kids Let It Grow Event
April 22, 5:30-7:00 pm
3433 Broadway, Sacramento
Come see what this new Pop-Up retail playground that is exclusively catered to kids and kids at heart is all about! Let your child pot their own seed and learn all about GMO’s.  Then have them explore their inner imagination and shop for fashionable kids clothing, books, toys and other accessories along the way.
www.displaycalifornia.com/kids

BAY AREA AND SURROUNDING AREAS

Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival

April 11-12, 10 am – 5 pm
Westshore Rd., Bodega Bay
Weekend is packed with music, food, and entertainment with the Blessing of the Fishing Fleet as a highlight. Food booths have something for every pallet from lamb to oyster barbeque. A favorite attraction is the wine tasting booth featuring more than 25 Sonoma County wines. Live music and entertainers perform on the band stage both Saturday and Sunday. Great venue for kids, with a play area with face painting, games, spin paintings, free kite lessons, pony rides, and, llamas on parade. 80 artisan and vendor booths offer wide selection of arts and crafts.
www.bbfishfest.org

California Nut Festival

April 18
The vibrant and entertaining one-day festival pays tribute to Chico’s rich agricultural heritage with a bounty of farm-fresh food sampling, cooking demonstrations, live music on two stages, an art show and, of course, lots of sampling of wonderful delights, wine and beer!  Proceeds benefit the Historic Patrick Ranch Museum, a restored mansion and working farm managed by the Far West Heritage Association.
www.californianutfestival.com

Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival
April 18-19
Ives Park (on Jewell Ave. and Willow St.) and the Sebastopol Center for the Arts at the Veterans Memorial Building, 282 High St., Sebastopol
The apple is the star of the show and is featured in a parade, arts, crafts, and food. You will also find children’s’ activities, historical and horticultural displays, beer and wine sampling.  There are children’s activities celebrating the farm and a free animal area including geese, ducks and chicks.  There are other activities ranging from mechanical bull rides to zip lines, tea cup rides, water race games, a train station, Jr. Jurassic Adventure and more!
www.appleblossomfest.com

Butter and Egg Days
April 25
Petaluma, CA
The town celebrates their agricultural ties with the dairy and poultry in this annual event in Petaluma. The affair includes a parade, cheese tasting, kids’ in chicken costumes, and the Cutest Chick in Town contest.
www.petalumadowntown.com

Are we missing something?  If you know of family farming or food events that we haven’t listed let us know!  We love hearing from you!

 

 

 

Project. Bird Seed Cookies.

It’s spring!  We can be outside more and it is perfect weather for outside projects.  You know what the best part of outside projects is?  No clean up!  My favorite projects are ones that my tots can be involved in completely and this one fits that requirement.

My family loves to stand by the windows in our family room looking outside and trying to figure out what birds are visiting us that day.  Now that it’s nice outside we are getting lots more bird friends coming to see us.  I figured.  Why not offer them a snack?

One of the best part of having Farm Tots is that they start to appreciate the plants and animals close to home more and more.

This project is courtesy of one of the awesome bloggers I read, The Hungry Homemaker.

All you need to do this project is-

  • 4 cups bird seed
  • 3/4 Cup all purpose flour, we used whole wheat
  • 3 Tbs corn syrup
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • Twine
  • Straws
  • Cookie cutters
  • Wax paper

In a large bowl add ingredients, mix well until blended.  Let tots mix with their hands.  Should make bath time more interesting.


Line your work surface with wax paper and weigh down the corners.


Press seed mixture into a cookie cutter, press firmly so mixture is tight packed and insert a piece of your straw into the shape to make a hole in your “cookie”. Be sure not to make your hole too close to the top, or the yarn will break right through when it’s hung.  Cookies are easily broken.  Take it from us.


Let sit for one minute, then slowly slide your cookie out of your cookie cutter. Repeat until all your mixture has been used up.  Let the cookies dry over night and don’t move them!  Even if they seem dry.  They aren’t.  We know.  From experience.


String your twine through the hole and tie them.  Hang from a visible tree.  Watch your new friends arrive!