SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Santa Maria Valley ranches, nurseries, wineries and agricultural organizations will open their doors to the pubic during the inaugural Santa Barbara County Farm Day. On Saturday, September 28, visitors will create their own itinerary to experience a day of agricultural activities and meet the farmers who grow the food they eat. Farm Day is free to attend, and tour hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Farm Day visitors travel at their own pace since they drive themselves to the farms they select. Each location is unique, but all feature a number of activities such as conducting educational tours and offering free produce samples.
Tour Locations: Allan Hancock College’s Agriculture Program, Babé Farms, Bonipak Produce Company, Innovative Produce, Engel & Gray, Inc./Harvest Blend Compost, Innovative Produce, Main Street Produce, Plantel Nurseries, Primus Labs, Rancho Laguna Farms, Reiter Affiliated Companies at Union Valley, Riverbench Vineyard, The Patch and Tres Hermanas Vineyard & Winery.
Free Screening of “The Last Harvest.” To top off Farm Day, the award winning movie, “The Last Harvest” is being screened at Regal Cinemas’ Santa Maria 10 (1521 S. Bradley, Santa Maria) at 4 p.m. The film discusses the public’s growing demand for better-tasting, natural foods as the ag industry is facing a severe labor shortage for these hand-harvested crops. Tickets are free and can be reserved by going to Eventbrite (link). A limited number of tickets are available.
Santa Barbara County Farm Day is organized by the nonprofit Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG). SEEAG’s mission is to help children understand and appreciate the farm origins of their food through classroom agricultural and nutrition education and free farm field trips.
“We often take for granted the work that goes into creating that perfectly shaped strawberry, the deep green broccoli crown or the wine grape with just the right sugar content,” says Mary Maranville, SEEAG’s founder and CEO. “Farm Day is the opportunity to learn about the growing process and say thanks to our local growers.”
Farm-To-Table Dinner. Santa Barbara County Farm Day officially kicks off the night before, Friday, September 27, with a “Farm-to-Table” dinner at Tres Hermanas Vineyard & Winery in Santa Maria. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the public will enjoy live music, a Santa Maria-style barbeque and a Tres Hermanas wine flight. Local produce, harvested from participating Farm Day locations, will be used in the meal preparation. Proceeds go towards SEEAG’s student agricultural education and nutrition programs. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.
Santa Barbara County Farm Day community partners include participating farms, wineries and agricultural organizations, Santa Barbara Foundation, Wells Fargo, JB Dewar, Rabo AgriFinance, Guadalupe Hardware Company, Grower Shipper Association, Maverick Farming Co., Farm Credit West, Community Bank of Santa Maria, Coastal Ag, Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Santa Barbara Noozhawk.
For a list of participating farms and dinner ticket information, visit www.SantaBarbaraCountyFarmDay.com or call 805-901-0213.
— Rumbaugh Public Relations
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