When was the last time you spent any time on a farm? Well, if you are like most people, it’s probably been quite a while … if ever. And that’s what a group of farmers about an hour north of Los Angeles want to change. More than 20 farmers in Ventura County, California are swinging open their barn doors and inviting the community to visit. Let’s take a look.
So, imagine our delight to hear about the Fourth Annual Ventura Farm Day on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. There are tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at farms throughout the county. This free, popular event connects the community with its farming neighbors, and encourages them to visit the farms in their backyards, according to Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG), the nonprofit that organizes Farm Day.
“This year, we moved Farm Day from summer to fall,” says Mary Maranville, SEEAG Founder and Executive Director. “The weather will be cooler, plus, in keeping with the spirit of giving during November, it gives the public an opportunity to say ‘thanks’ to our hardworking farmers who grow the food we eat.”
Participating farms, museums and farming operations include:
–Houweling’s Tomatoes and McGrath Family Farms in Camarillo;
–Chivas Skin Care and Otto & Sons Nursery in Fillmore,
–Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark;
–Friends Ranch, Earthtrine Farm, East End Eden Farm and Ojai Olive Oil in Ojai;
–AGQ Laboratory, Agromin, Deardorff Family Farms, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Gills Onions and San Miguel Produce in Oxnard;
–UC Hansen Ag Center, Calavo Growers and Ventura County Ag Museum in Santa Paula;
–Rancho Camulos Museum in Piru;
–Petty Ranch and Rincon Vitova Insectaries in Saticoy;
–Alpacas at Windy Hill in Somis;
–Diamond W Cattle Company and Salad Bar Farms at Balboa Middle School in Ventura.
There’s a farm-to-table barbeque at the Ventura County Fairgrounds (San Miguel Building) in Ventura. The barbeque is 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and features live country music by Coldwater Canyon and Friends, farm-fresh food prepared by Young Farmers & Ranchers and Dearmore BBQ Catering, locally-produced craft cocktails, beers from Institution Ale and wine from Summerland Winery. Lots of free kids’ activities are also planned. Barbeque tickets are $40 for adults and $15 for children under 12.
This year’s Ventura County Farm Day (November 5) will kick off a day early with its first Food and Farm Film Fest, Friday, November 4 at Mission Park in downtown Ventura. The free, family-friendly event will feature short films produced locally that tell the story of life (both human and animal) on the farm and the popular kids’ movie “Babe.”
“The films will be a real treat for those who are not familiar with daily farm life,” says SEEAG’s Maranville. “All the films are shot beautifully. It is the perfect introduction to what people will see and experience the following day at our local farms.”
Wherever you live, take some time this month to say thanks to the folks who grow your food everyday!