A Tour of Petaluma's Tara Firma Farms
May 8, 2012Posted by pamela |
Over the last couple of years we've heard a lot of great things about Petaluma's Tara Firma Farms. This family-run farm produces humanely raised pastured chickens, pigs, turkeys, and cattle on 300 acres just across the Sonoma County line. In addition to raising and selling their products, they're committed to educating the public about life on the farm, healthy food, and environmentally sustainable agriculture.
Tara and Craig Smith were inspired to start the farm in 2009 after reading Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma , and today you can purchase their products at local farmer's markets, their on-site farm store, and through their popular CSA delivery program, which includes their meats and eggs as well as produce and dairy products from other local organic producers.
Tara Firma farms also offers free farm tours on weekends at 10 am, noon, and 2 pm. We decided we had to visit and check it out, so we headed up to Petaluma for a farm tour last weekend. It was a fantastic experience for both parents and kids!
Pull in and park and head to the farm store to check in for the tour. They're on a drop-in basis and no reservations are necessary. We were a little early, so our tour guide, Cory, let us look around for ourselves for a few minutes while he finished up some chores. We looked in on some cute baby animals, including chicks and piglets, while we waited.
Cory and his border collie Willow then took us on a very comprehensive tour of the farm. We visited happy farm animals, including heritage pigs, cows, and chickens, learned about Tara Firma's farming practices and even a little about pasture management, and saw some of the produce they grew on the farm, too. The kids were thrilled to get to see pigs and piglets of all sizes, as well as visit with hundreds of baby chicks in their broodery.
The farm itself is in a beautiful setting—the perfect place to spend a warm spring afternoon. Cory's tour was incredibly detailed, but never boring, and he was happy to answer the tons of questions our 9-year-old son peppered him with. All in all, it's a fantastic experience that's a must for families interested in finding out where their food comes from or even just looking to spend a morning or afternoon on the farm.
Tara Firma Farms also offers a number of family-oriented programs and events throughout the year, including a barn dance, BBQs, movie nights, storytelling sessions, and even a nature connection summer camp presented by Outside in Nature. We look forward to coming back and checking out some of their other events.
If You Go
Free farm tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 am, noon, and 2 pm. Expect to walk quite a bit on a real working farm, so wear appropriate footwear and clothes that are OK if they get a little dirty. Bring drinking water, sunscreen, and hats for the outdoors farm tour, especially iff it's a warm sunny day.
Tara Firma Farms is located at 3796 I Street Extension in Petaluma. To get there, take Highway 101 north to Petaluma and exit at Petaluma Boulevard South. Follow Petaluma Boulevard South to I Street, where you'll turn left. Follow I Street south until you reach Tara Firma Farms at the Intersection of I Street Extension and San Antonio Road.
The farm store is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, and offers seasonal produce and the farms' grass fed beef, pasture-raised pork and chicken, and other farm products.
For more information, visit www.tarafirmafarms.com or call (707) 765-1202.