VENTURA CO., Calif. — Now in its ninth year, Ventura County Farm Day is back with free, in-person, open farm tours on Saturday, November 6. This year’s theme is “Meet The Hands That Feed You.” Tour hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Visitors can use a new online Farm Day Trail Map to build a custom itinerary to travel between growers throughout Ventura County at their own pace. The public will experience a day of agricultural activities, farm tours and produce and other giveaways, plus meet the local farmers who grow the food we eat.
“We sometimes take for granted how many workers are involved in the process of producing the foods we see in the store. The public will follow the growing journey–from prepping the soil, planting, caring for, harvesting and packaging–to finally shipping the food to market,” says Mary Maranville, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG), which puts on Ventura County Farm Day each year.
Over 15 agricultural entities will participate including Reiter Affiliated Companies (berries), Alpacas At Windy Hills (Alpaca fleece), Blue Ridge Honey (raw honey), Earthtrine Farms (oranges, greens, figs and basil), Good Farms Making a Difference (strawberries), McGrath Family Farm (certified organic vegetables) and Oxnard Historic Farm Park (featuring antique farm equipment, vegetable crops and talks about the agricultural heritage of the Oxnard Plains). Every stop is unique. The full list is at https://venturacountyfarmday.com/farm-tours/map. It’s updated daily.
At Blue Ridge Honey in Ventura, visitors will be able to view an observation hive with live bees, learn about product bottling and sample fresh honey. “Most people are unaware of the importance of bees and beekeepers to keep crops healthy and producing,” says Wendi Mitchell, owner of Blue Ridge Honey. “Beekeepers are the behind-the-scenes heroes that work tirelessly long days and many long nights providing a pollination service that ensures farmers have a productive crop.”
Always a Farm Day favorite is McGrath Family Farm off the 101 Freeway in Camarillo. It hosts a collective of five small farms. One is Baby Root Farm. On 20 acres, it grows such items as radishes, turnips, blueberries and California native plants. During Farm Day, farmers will raffle off a box of locally-grown organic vegetables to each tour group. “Ventura County Farm Day is a way to connect farmers with the public,” says Mike Harris, a farmer at Baby Root Farm. “It fosters a close connection between farmers, food and the community.”
Ventura County Farm Day sponsors include Bobalu Berry Farms, Farm Credit West, Reiter Affiliated Companies and Ventura County Agricultural Association.
SEEAG’s mission is to help children understand the farm origins of their food through classroom agricultural and nutrition education and free farm field trips. “While our primary focus with SEEAG is to educate children,” says Maranville, “Ventura County Farm Day gives all ages the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the farms throughout the area.”
For more information about Ventura County Farm Day and a list of participating farms, visit www.VenturaCountyFarmDay.com or call 805-901-0213.
–Ventura County Farm Day
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