It’s high-time your kiddos graduated beyond Old MacDonald to learn more about farms in real life! So leave the bustling city behind for the day to visit a local, family-friendly farm. Get those hands dirty digging into the earth to plant and harvest food and to taste the fruits of our farmer friends’ labor. Make hay while the sun shines and read on for where to have some good, wholesome fun down on the 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. Click here for the details.

441 Saxony Rd.
Encinitas, Ca
760-479-6505
Online: coastalrootsfarm.org

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Wild Willow Farm

Wild Willow Farm is in full bloom with classes, events and activities to get the entire family involved in farm life. They offer an array of tours for groups big and small as well as classes including beekeeping, how to make soap using farm fresh herbs and goat's milk, home vegetable gardening and more. Consider visiting Wild Willow Farm for a field trip to teach kids farming lessons and introduce them to concepts including composting and farm insects.

Hey Moms: Treat yourself to the Farm's Mothering the Mother event which sounds relaxing and fulfilling. Tea, yoga and meditation, plant medicine, spa treatments and reiki will make for a special day!

2550 Sunset Ave.
San Diego, Ca
Online: sandiegoroots.org

Tanaka Farms

A trip to Tanaka Farms is well worth the drive to Irvine. We highlighted this locale as one of our 'berry' favorite places to pick strawberries and tour the strawberry fields or enjoy the Strawberry Festival, but the fruitful fun goes way beyond that. Their Melon Tours start in June, during which you will go on a wagon ride around the 30 acre farm, see how summer fruits and veggies grow, taste fruits including fresh cut melons and watermelons and take home a melon. Tanaka Farms has plenty of other family-friendly, farm related activities on tap, so be sure to check out their website and plan a fun visit!

5380 3/4 University Dr.
Irvine, Ca
949-653-2100
Online: tanakafarms.com

Oasis Camel Dairy

A camel dairy? Yes indeed. A visit to Oasis Camel Dairy is well worth the short trip to Ramona––and then you can even head on to Julian to grab some lunch and apple pie. Kids will love going to the Dairy's Open Farm Days where they can meet a herd of camels along with other exotic and domestic livestock, enjoy an animal show and shop the camel dairy milk product shop. They may also take a ride on a camel and feed sheep, donkeys and camels on this family-friendly farm. The truly adventurous will want to try some of the shop's milk chocolate made using camel's milk!

Check the Dairy's schedule of events for more fun opportunities to cavort with the camels.

26757 Old Julian Hwy.
Ramona, Ca
760-787-0983
Online: cameldairy.com

Summers Past Farms

A visit to Summers Past Farm is akin to walking into the pages of a story book. From a maze of sweet pea flowers to towering sunflowers, the farm is currently in full bloom. You'll find French hens, kitties, chickens and dogs roaming about the idyllic setting, where herbs, plants and flowers of so many varieties grow. Treat your nose and skin to a visit to their Herbal Soap Shoppe where they sell their own collection of handmade herbal soaps, lavender sprays and hand salves, herbal salves and a full line of essential oils and fragrance oils. Be sure to pop into their pumpkin patch in October to pick the perfect Jack O' Lantern.

Don't miss their upcoming Lavender Day and Antique and Craft Fair June 9th.

15602 Olde Hwy 80
Flinn Springs, Ca 92021
619-390-1523
Online: summerspastfarms.com

Bates Nut Farm

Established in 1921 by Gilbert and Beatrice Bates, the 4th and 5th generations of the family-owned Bates Nut Farm still currently run the Farm. A community treasure, this feel good farm hosts festive events for nearly every holiday. Their awesome, sprawling pumpkin patch is the largest in San Diego and their Christmas in the Valley event is a time-honored tradition. Treat yourself to their 'Life of a Pumpkin' tour or their 'Nuts for You' tour to learn more about agriculture, harvesting and about the Farm itself. They also have a farm zoo that's open daily, where kids can meet and feed mini-donkeys, goats, sheep, llamas, pigs, emus, chickens, peacocks, ducks, geese, pigs and a tortoise! Don't leave without buying the amazing homemade fudge and other delights from the Farm's shop.

15954 Woods Valley Rd.
Valley Center, Ca
760-749-3333
Online: batesnutfarm.biz

Do you know of a great farm to visit in San Diego? Share in the comments!

––Beth Shea

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