Unless you live in one of the rural parts of San Diego, getting in touch with nature may involve a visit to the beach or hiking spots (and there’s nothing wrong with that!). Step up your game and show your family a more unique side to our community: Real-life working farms that supply local restaurants, shops and more. Great for educational and entertainment purposes, and you may even come home with some fresh souvenirs!
Photo credit: Coastal Roots Farm
Coastal Roots Farm
Coastal Roots Farm is a nonprofit community farm and education center that cultivates healthy, connected communities by integrating sustainable agriculture, food justice and ancient Jewish wisdom.
Since 2014, the Farm has provided dignified access to fresh food for those who need it most. Inspired by Jewish agricultural practices, Coastal Roots Farm grows organic crops and shares the harvest with the community through pay-what-you-can farm stands, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and direct donations to local hunger relief organizations. Through workshops, field trips, agricultural festivals and community events, the Farm offers hands-on education and invites neighbors to connect to the land and each other.
Located in Encinitas, Coastal Roots Farm offers tours and volunteer opportunities each week. Rise and shine like a farmer on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, or get your hands dirty on the weekends with Sunday volunteer hours. The Farm also hosts public tours on the second and third Sunday of the month. Visit coastalrootsfarm.org/the-farm-learn/ for details.
441 Saxony Road
Photo credit: Oasis Camel Dairy Facebook Page
Oasis Camel Dairy
A camel farm? Yup, you read that correctly. This one may be worth the time it takes to drive up to historic Julian. Grab some lunch and apple pie in town, and then head to Oasis Camel Dairy for a tour, camel ride and unique photo opportunities. If you’re wary of tasting camel milk; don’t worry. It’s used only for their Camel Milk skin care products, which can be purchased on the property.
Hours: Open during Festivals or on Open Farm Tour Days (check their website)
Cost: $10/adults; $7/kids ages 4-14; ages 3 and under are free
26757 Old Julian Hwy
Photo credit: Primal Pastures Facebook Page
Take the farm-to-fork conversation beyond just vegetables and one step further with a visit to a live cattle farm. And not just cattle! Meat birds, sheep, pigs, dairy cows, guard dogs and farm cats grace the lands of Primal Pastures, just north of San Diego in Murrieta. The goal at Primal Pastures is to “produce food that we feel good about feeding to ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren – food that is grown responsibly, sustainability, and according to nature’s brilliant design.” Tours are designed for kids and include a mixture of education and hands-on fun.
Hours: Book a tour on their website; dates vary
Cost: $5/person, children under 2 are free
42149 Elm St.
Photo credit: Stone Brewing Co. Facebook Page
Okay, this one is a bit more suited for the adults (although the kiddos are welcome, sans beer)! Not far from Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido is their 19-acre Stone Farms. An organic produce farm that grows the ingredients for two local restaurants, it’s a beautiful spot to picnic with your family and start the conversation about supporting local growers. Plus they have live music, an on-site store for Stone Farms merchandise and fresh Stone beer.
Hours: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 5 – 8 p.m.
9928 Protea Gardens Rd
What other San Diego farms should we know about?
— Ginger Anderson