North Bay Farm Adventures

Find out where your food comes from and get to know your farmer! Spend a day on the farm in and around Marin.

Apple Walnut Bread is Delicious and Easy to Make

August 17, 2017

In the late summer we love to go apple picking at farms in Marin and Sonoma County. It's so much fun to choose and pick your own fruit, but sometimes you end up with more apples than you know what to do with. I've been trying to figure out different creative ways to use apples, since I hate to see any go to waste.

Fresh-baked apple walnut bread is delicious, easy to make and a great way to use up extra apples. It also makes the house smell amazing while it's baking. It's good as part of breakfast, as a snack, or even dessert. My kids love to get a slice in their lunchboxes, too.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups peeled, cored, and chopped apples
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cups granulated sugar

Dine in with Meal Delivery Services in Marin

August 13, 2017

Munchery meal delivery service

Like many families in Marin, we lead busy lives—so busy that sometimes important things like family meals can get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, that's where meal delivery services come in! These local culinary life-savers provide you and your family with delicious, healthy meals as well as the opportunity to sit down together at dining table in the evening, without having to resort to fast food or some other quick solution.

Here are some of the meal delivery services that deliver to homes in Marin County. All these services deliver throughout the county (usually with the exception of West Marin) unless otherwise indicated. If we've missed your favorite, please let us know about it and we'll consider adding it to the list. With all of these services, you can place your order online via the web or a mobile app. We've personally reviewed a few of these services, so read our reviews via the links to learn more.

Hands-on Fun for Fall at Slide Ranch

August 11, 2017

Slide Ranch is a great place for family members of all ages. We tried out one of their family farm days in the past and my kids had a great time petting the sheep planting seeds, milking a goat, and making nature crafts. They offer guided tours and lots of hands-on activities, including collecting eggs from chickens, planting seeds, sampling from their organic garden, learning to make crafts and food just like the early farmers, and exploring the nearby tide pools.

Slide Ranch is located off of Shoreline Highway in Muir Beach. Below is a list of their upcoming fall events. Their programs often sell out quickly, so you need to plan ahead if you are interested in participating. Register for programs online at www.slideranch.org.

Pick Your Own Apples in the North Bay!

July 25, 2017

Apple Picking

Late summer marks the start of apple season, and plenty of the tasty and popular fruits can be found in the North Bay, especially in the area around Sebastopol in western Sonoma County. Sebastopol is the de facto apple capital of the Bay Area, and it's justifiably famous for its Gravenstein apples, a variety that you won't find grown commerically anywhere else. While it's fun to eat and cook with apples, it's even more fun (and educational) to head out into an orchard and pick them yourselves!

If you're not lucky enough to have an apple tree growing in your backyard, then head up to one of the local apple farms that offers a u-pick experience. It's a fun family outing, and prices and quality are usually bettter than you'll find in the supermarket. There's nothing quite like an afternoon on the farm, too.

Celebrate Spring with Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies

April 28, 2017

Baby lambs

This spring, Sonoma County farms are abundant with seedlings and barnyard babies. Pack up the family and head out to the farm to celebrate spring and meet baby animals! Tour Sonoma County's back roads and visit the farms of your choise where you can participate in activities including farm tours, demonstrations, animal petting, games and crafts for kids, tastings, cooking demonstrations, flower arranging, and more. Many participating farms will offer snacks, lunches, and fantastic sites for a spring family picnic. Farm stands will be offer for fresh-from-the-source produce and products for sale.

Explore Windrush Farm for Family Fun

April 3, 2017

Windrush Farm

This weekend we had the chance to take a tour of Windrush Farm outside Petaluma. This working farm, sited on 25 rolling acres of green fields, is home to a both variety of animals, including sheep, goats, alpacas, and chickens, and some fantastic family programs, like music classes, summer camps, and more. It's a beautiful place, especially on a sparkling clear and warm spring day. It's an amazing educational resource that feels like it's a world away but is only a 20-minute drive from Novato.

We met up with Arann Harris, who organizes the educational programs on the farm, which his mother, writer Mimi Luebbermann, founded over 20 years ago. Arann, a musician and former naturalist at Walker Creek Ranch, showed us around the farm and introduced us to the farm's animals, including some adorable lambs and baby goats.

Lamb Day, Music, and More at Windrush Farm

March 30, 2017

Lamb Day at Windrush Farm

Come celebrate spring by meeting some baby lambs on the farm! Windrush Farm, a working sheep farm in Chileno Valley, offers its final two Lamb Day events of the season on Saturday, April 1 and April 15. There are over 25 lambs available for viewing!

The gates open at 10 am for a meet-and-greet with the sheep, a spinning demonstration, milking the goat, and finding tadpoles in the pond. Make sure you bring a picnic to enjoy at the pond, too! Admission to Lamb Day costs $20 for adults and is free for children under 12. Advance registration required: register online.

Family Farm Tours in Marin and Sonoma County

March 25, 2017

Tara Firma FarmsLearn where your food comes from at the free farm tour at Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma

Spring is nearly here, and it's time to enjoy a day on the farm! We're lucky to live in an area that's surrounded by some of the country's top agricultural producers, and some of them offer farm tours for the whole family. On a tour, you can meet animals, learn where your food comes from, and find out about the efforts that local farmers take to provide us with high quality food. My kids love to visit farms, especially at this time of year when there are plenty of baby animals to see.

Here are some of the farms in Marin and Sonoma County that offer public tours. Some are free, and some require advance reservations. Please keep in mind that these are all real working farms, some of which raise animals for human consumption. All these tours are suitable for families.

On Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2017, Sonoma County Farm Trails offers its annual Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies event, where farm hosts will offer tours, activiites, demonstrations, animal petting, crafts for kids, and more. Some farms will offer snacks, lunches, and picnic sites. Admission is free. Learn more and register here.

Slide Ranch

2025 Shoreline Highway, Muir Beach 94965
(415) 381-6155
slideranch.org
Overlooking the Pacific in Muir Beach, Slide Ranch is a real working farm located on the lands of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Families can visit and explore the grounds, hike the trails, and have a picnic daily from dusk to dawn. The ranch also offers family programs, including their annual Spring Fling (April 29, 2017), Family Farm Days, campouts, and Toddler Days at various times throughout the year.

Let the Farm Come to You With a CSA or Organic Grocery Delivery in Marin

February 25, 2017

Bloomfield Organics CSA shareIt's the new year, and that usually entails resolutions about being more healthy. But families are busy, so simple tasks like just going grocery shopping for healthy food can be inconvenient, if not downright difficult. (This goes double for new parents!) Fortunately, you can get healthy, organic food delivered right to your doorstep or to a convenient local pickup area here in Marin County through a local farm's CSA or an organic grocery delivery service. These services all feature locally grown or produced sustainable food—perfect for the healthy locavore family!

Local Farm CSAs

What's a CSA? CSA stands for "community supported agriculture", and it's a way for consumers to get involved with local farms and food producers, support their efforts, and get great seasonal food, too. Every week, or month, or whatever time period you choose, you'll get a box full of fresh produce, eggs, meat, and more, ready to be incorporated into your family meal plan. Some farms, like Petaluma's Tara Firma Farms, offer other benefits to their CSA members, like special events and farm tours.

Most of the time, the farms choose what goes in subscribers' boxes, but that's usually a good thing, since they know what's at the peak of season. Prices for CSA boxes vary depending on the farm and the size and frequency of the box.

Sound interesting? Here's our list of local CSAs that deliver to areas within Marin County. Many of them deliver or offer drop off sites in San Francisco, Sonoma County, and the East Bay, as well (check their websites for exact locations). We've made sure to note which CSAs offer delivery right to your door, too.

Marin Sun Farms

West Marin's pioneering producer of grass-fed beef and other sustainable pasture-raised meats provides CSA subscribers with packages that include either meat or poultry. Since Marin Sun Farms raises a variety of livestock, you might receive beef, chicken, lamb, pork, goat, and duck. CSA boxes are delivered directly to your door. More info: www.marinsunfarms.com

The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at Spring Hill Farm in Petaluma

October 7, 2016

The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at Spring Hill Cheese

One of our favorite local pumpkin patches is the Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at Spring Hill Farm, located in the Two Rock Valley area just outside Petaluma. The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch is a classic old-time pumpkin patch that's kind of out in the middle of nowhere (which is part of the fun). It's on a real working farm that produces the yummy organic Spring Hill Jersey cheese that you may have seen in farmers' markets or stores around town.

We've been going there for over 10 years, and we've watched it grow in size and scope to be a major fall production. Peter Pumpkin Patch has plenty of pumpkins—you'll find a vast field of on-the-vine pick-it-yourself pumpkins as well as pre-picked specimens, too.