Farm Tours & Hikes, Plants for Your
Backyard Oasis & Local Eats
Although the State of California has re-instituted public health restrictions on several indoor sectors, July along the Farm Trails is bursting with outdoor ways to enjoy the bounty and beauty of local agriculture! From safe socially distanced farm tours and hikes, to locally grown plants that will help turn your home into an oasis, and plentiful takeout and patio dining options, here are a few ideas to have fun and support local ag this month.

We continue to update our SIP Portal on our website , so be sure to check it out for the latest offerings about open farm stands, farmers' markets, cheesemakers, wineries, restaurants, and more. (As things are still fluid, please double-check directly with businesses to confirm hours and any special protocols, such as reservations.)

As always, please remember to do your part to keep everyone healthy and safe: Wear a facial covering, keep 6 feet of distance from others, wash your hands frequently, abide by any special rules that farms and businesses are required to implement, and stay home if you're feeling unwell. Thank you!
Take a Stroll at Local Farms & Ranches
Enjoy fresh air, golden pastures, beautiful row crops and gardens, and blue skies in a safe, socially distanced manner with your family and other household members at these Farm Trails farms and ranches! Bonus: All of these stops include access to delicious, sustainable, local food and beverage! Please wear facial coverings, abide by distancing, and follow all other public health requirements during your visit—thanks!
Customized Itineraries with Food & Farm Tours: Explore our local food shed with Oyster Lover's and Cheese Lover's tours, or inquire about customized itineraries based on your interests. Options include cuddling baby goats, learning about dairy farming, and tasting farmstead cheese at Toluma Farms (pictured at top); enjoying VIP experiences at McEvoy Ranch; and visiting flower and row-crop farms such as Little Wing (see above). By reservation only for families or friend groups/social pods, of 4-8 guests, children welcome; special public health and safety protocols in place. To RSVP, visit foodandfarmtours.com
Self-Guided Culinary Garden Tour at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates
Set on approximately 4 acres, the gardens at this iconic wine estate offer seven distinct garden spaces, all managed by Culinary Master Gardener Tucker Taylor. Some are educational in nature; some planted solely for beauty. Still others provide the fruit, vegetables, and herbs that inspire food and wine pairings. Self-guided tours of the gardens are free daily 10 am to 5 pm, and Tucker is often available to answer questions. Wine and food pairing experiences also available by reservation. Located at 5007 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa; www.kj.com.
Vineyard Hike at Jordan Estate, home to Jordan Vineyard & Winery: This guided 4-mile moderate hike passes through woods, meadows, and sustainably farmed vineyards before a break at Jordan Vista Point, the highest hilltop of the 1,200-acre ranch, with a panorama of multiple wine regions and mountain ranges. Then descend into the olive orchards and make your way around the lake and cattle pasture to reach the chef’s garden and apiary. The experience culminates on the winery terrace for a charcuterie picnic with wine pairing at your own table. 1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg; www.jordanwinery.com. Ages 21+.
Self-Guided Hike & Picnic at Stemple Creek Ranch: Come on out to Stemple Creek Ranch with your own small group and enjoy the bounty of West Marin, socially distanced style. Your group of 2-10 people will have your own private picnic spot, locally sourced boxed lunch from Estero Cafe , and time to do a self-guided walk around the picturesque ranch. Once you book your spot, Stemple Creek will work with you to schedule your staggered 3-hour window between 10 am and 3 pm and plan your lunch menu. The ranch is located in Tomales. To RSVP, visit https://stemplecreek.com/events/self-guided-hike-and-picnic
Create an Oasis with Locally Grown Plants
After spending so much time at home the past few months, you may be in the mood to freshen up your garden to create a special place not just for the humans, but also for ladybugs, bees, butterflies, birds, and other beneficial critters and pollinators. Here are some local nurseries to help you create a backyard oasis.

Occidental Arts & Ecology Center : The OAEC (pictured above) recognizes the life-giving properties of biodiversity, and their vast nursery is open for physically distanced shopping to help you find the perfect plants for your backyard oasis. OAEC specializes in rare perennial food crops, medicinal and culinary herbs, drought-tolerant habitat-enhancing plants (including 60+ varieties of salvias!), and other multifunction plants that are suitable to permaculture design. They are also a member of Fibershed and have an interesting selection of fiber and dye crops. All of the plants that they sell were propagated on site in the Mother Garden and benefit the nonprofit  Mother Garden Biodiversity Program . Open Saturday and Sundays, 10 am to 5 pm, through October. 15290 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental.

Other great sources for beautiful, locally grown plants for your garden

Bamboo Sourcery : Hundreds of bamboo varieties in all sizes, extensive demonstration gardens on 7.5 acres, and guidance on bamboo containment. Open by appointment Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm. 666 Wagnon Road, Sebastopol.

Cottage Gardens of Petaluma : Specializes in camellias, rhododendrons, ferns, vines, succulents, and pollinator-friendly perennials. Open daily 9 am to 5 pm. 3995 Emerald Dr., Petaluma.

Garden Valley Ranch : A charming rose garden with thousands of roses plus a garden store. Order online for potted roses for curbside pickup. 498 Pepper Road, Petaluma.

The Happy Dahlia Farm : Formerly Aztec Dahlias, this farm is under new ownership but still bursting with flowers. Shop their plant sale this weekend, July 18 and 19, 10 am to 2 pm. 2478 East Washington St., Petaluma;

Harmony Farm Supply & Nursery : Two locations for native, edible, and drought-tolerant plants and trees; garden and irrigation supplies; and books to help you design your oasis. Open daily. 5400 Old Redwood Highway North, Petaluma; 3244 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol.

Hidden Forest Nursery : Formerly Sonoma Hort. Specializing in azaleas, rhododendrons, and shade-loving plants. Nursery open Thursdays to Mondays, 9 am to 4 pm. Guests may also stroll nearly 2 miles of forest trails daily 9 am to 5 pm. 3970 Azalea Lane, Sebastopol.
Support Local Ag with Local Eats!
The pandemic and public health restrictions have taken their toll on local farm-to-table restaurants, and now more than ever, these small businesses need your support! Many of our Farm Trails member restaurants have created safe, distanced outdoor dining areas, and more are continuing to offer takeout, to keep you nourished and let you take time off from making meals. By supporting our local restaurants, you are also supporting the interdependent network of farmers, ranchers, and producers. It's a win-win-win! Here are some great spots for your next takeout or socially distant patio meal. (Check their websites or social media for current hours, menus, and online ordering/reservations.)
  • Backyard, 6566 Front St., Forestville. Takeout.
  • Estero Cafe, 14450 Hwy. 1, Valley Ford. Outdoor dining and takeout.
  • The Farmer's Wife, 6770 McKinley Ave., The Barlow, Sebastopol. Outdoor dining and takeout.
  • Fern Bar, 6780 Depot St. #120, The Barlow, Sebastopol. Outdoor dining and takeout.
  • Fork Roadhouse, 9890 Bodega Hwy., Sebastopol. Outdoor dining and takeout.
  • the girl & the fig, 110 West Spain St., Sonoma. Outdoor dining and takeout.
  • Handline, 935 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol. Outdoor dining and takeout.
  • Hazel, 3782 Bohemian Hwy., Occidental. Outdoor dining and takeout.
  • John Ash & Co., 4330 Barnes Rd., Santa Rosa. Outdoor dining.
  • Nick's Cove, 23240 Hwy. 1, Marshall. Outdoor dining and takeout.
  • Papas and Pollo, 915 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol. Takeout.
  • Ramen Gaijin, 6498 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol. Outdoor dining and takeout.
  • The Spinster Sisters, 401 South A St., Santa Rosa. Outdoor dining and takeout.
  • Woodfour Brewing Company, 6780 Depot St. #160, The Barlow, Sebastopol. Outdoor dining and takeout.

Our annual August fundraiser, the Gravenstein Apple Fair, was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, but don't worry, we have plans to help you stock up on orchard-fresh Gravensteins and other local apple products! More details will be forthcoming soon. Stay tuned!
We connect the public to Sonoma County farmers and producers to ensure the economic viability of local ag and to instill an appreciation of ag as a vital part of our community.
Thank you for your support of Sonoma County farms, ranches, producers, and purveyors in our collective mission of preserving Farms Forever!
Carmen Snyder, Executive Director
Ellen Cavalli, Project Manager
Vince Trotter, President
Lauren Bowne, Secretary
Andrea Krout, Treasurer
Karen Bianchi-Moreda, Director
Alexandra Fox, Director
Rick Williams, Director