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Visiting a Farm
My 20-year-old nephew is passionate about plants and is
interested in working and living on a farm for a year or more.
Has anyone done this before? Do youknow anyone who is looking
for apprentice workers, or have any particular farms to
recommend that he might contact? Thanks for any suggestions!
Your nephew sounds like the perfect candidate for WWOOF'ing (World
Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). The organization WWOOF-USA
connects farms with willing apprentices all over the country. Check
it out www.wwoofusa.org.
I don't know if they still are doing this, but the Farm project at UC
Santa Cruz has apprenticeships, is a wonderful place to be. Look them
up in google. I have friends who did it and loved it.
Does anyone know a place where my three year old daughter can
milk a live cow, or watch it being done? She's curious about it.
I'm pretty sure you could watch a cow being milked at Ardenwood Farm
(http://www.ebparks.org/parks/ardenwood#activities) or Tilden Little
Farm (http://www.ebparks.org/parks/vc/tna). Both locations let kids
help with farm chores like feeding, but I don't know about milking.
Perhaps you could find out if they ever regularly milk the cows at
Tilden's Little Farm. You could call the Tilden education center
(near little farm) and maybe they could help you: 510-525-2233
It's a long drive...but well worth it. Hidden Villa in Los Altos,
has classes that my son and I both enjoyed...Cow Wow and Go Goats.
We got to milk each animal!
Don't know how far you want to travel, but if you go to Picnic Day in
Davis (4/18), your child can milk a cow. Maybe a goat too. We've
been taking our kids there since they were born and there is plenty
of stuff to occupy then for the whole day. Just bring your own
drinks as the lines can be long and the drinks like $3 for a bottle
I've milked a cow
Definitely check out The Little Farm & Ardenwood for watching a demo.
You might also check out Slide Ranch Family Days for goat milking
opportunities. I know it's not a cow, but it's a pretty similar
concept and the folks at Slide Ranch do a great job of helping the
little kids get a good feel for the milking. Plus, a goat is a better
scale for an up-close animal experience. We took our daughter last
year when she was three and she loved it.
Would appreciate suggestions about farms that provide families with
the opportunity to learn about the farming. We (two adults and three
children) would like to ''work'' on a farm (preferably in Northern
California) for a few days to a week this summer. Greatly appreciate
any information. BJF
You should check out www.strozziranch.com and fhfarm.com...see if
either of those are of interest to you.
Also check out farmtrails.org which is the sonoma county farm
association's site....it'll give you way more info about ALL
kinds of farms and ranches up here than I could possibly think
of. Good luck.
This may not be exactly what you are looking for but you may be able to
call these two organizations to get some recommendations. I highly
recommend coming to the Central Coast area. I know of one farm/ranch
stay at the Work Family Ranch, check out their website at
http://www.workranch.com/, outside of San Miguel near Paso Robles, CA
(off Highway 101). My children go to school with two of the Work
children and they seem a wonderful family.
Also check out the website http://www.agadventures.org/adventure06.html
which is an organization to advertize agricultural adventures on the
Central Coast. It is so beautiful here in San Luis Obispo County. We're
only a 3 hour drive from Berkeley. quetzal4
Plantation Farm Camp
is a summer camp on a working farm located
in northern Sonoma county and it sounds like what you are looking
for. Besides its children's sessions, it has a family camp which
would provide you and your family the opportunity to live and
work on the farm for four days. During your stay, you have the
chance to work in an organic garden, and care for the horses and
livestock including cows, pigs, sheep, and goats. The website is
www.plantationcamp.com. My husband and I run the camp and are
happy to answer any questions you have. Feel free to contact me
at kelly[at]plantationcamp.com or in our Berkeley office 510-849-1084.
Full Belly Farm has a sleep away camp but I don't know if they
encourage the whole family to stay and work. You can email
Hallie Muller [email@example.com] for more info. Check
their website. http://www.fullbellyfarm.com/ or talk to them at
the Berkeley Farmer's Market
I bought this magazine and passed it along to a friend of mine. It is
called Cookie. I found it at ALbertson's and in the February or March
issue (I believe) they had an article on 50 farms for family vacation!
check it out.
Have you checked out Hidden Villa in the Los Altos Hills? It is an
organic farm that runs classes for families and students. Set amid the
hills it is a beautiful working farm that also has trails into the hills
that are some of the South Bay's best kept secret. There is an AYH
hostel on site in addition to some cabins that can be rented and a pool.
This may be a really good bet for you all. All the staff I've ever met
there are always very friendly and knowledgeable. Plus, it doesn't
require a long drive, although you'd never know you were in the ''Silicon
Other option would be to contact Full Belly Farm in Guinda. They too are
Check out Full Belly Farm (fullbellyfarm.com) located west of Davis. This
is an organic farm run by four families who live on the farm, workers eat
communal meals, sell food / wool at farmers markets, have plenty of space
for camping, etc. They are committed to teaching the value of
sustainable agriculture and are kid friendly (I took my 6th grade class
there for a field trip years ago). I don't know if they have done this
in the past, but I think they would be very open to it. Ask to speak to
I'd like to take my kids to visit a working farm. An organic
farm, which also raises animals would be perfect. Are there any
farms within a couple hours drive which give tours? We could
stay overnight if necessary, but I'm more intersted in showing my
kids a farm than having a bed-and-breaskfast experience.
Try Hidden Villa is Los Altos Hills. It's a nice little organic
farm with animals and gardens. During the summer it's a camp so
you can't go then, but the rest of the year (like now!) it's a
youth hostel. You can stay there overnight if you like and they
do farm tours frequently. Very very nice place. Have fun.
Ardenwood Historic Farm is a working organic farm located in
Fremont. It is part of the E. Bay Regional Parks District and
they have terrific programs for kids to help feed the animals,
help with farm chores, learn crafts, etc. They also have two
Belgian draft horses that pull a train, regular events like Fire
Truck Day, Celtic Festival, and special holiday events that
include tours of the Victorian Patterson House. Check it out at
www.ebparks.org., it is great fun!
Hidden Villa in Los Altos gives farm tours. It is in a beautiful
setting and they have an organic garden and animals. They are
brutally honest with the kids however telling them that the pigs
have to be killed for them to have eat pepperoni pizza and
marshmallows etc. I was there with a group of pre-schoolers and
would have liked it toned down just a bit. I believe they have a
website that gives all the information. The location is also a
beautiful place to hike.
Try Hidden Villa, near Redwood City
My soon-to-be-6 year old daughter is convinced that she
wants her upcoming birthday party at a farm. I would love to
find one as she is a shy child who really connects with
animals. I am thinking of somewhere where we can bring
some friends and have sort of a hands-on farm experience.
So far, the only place I have found is Derr Hill Ranch in
Lafayette, which sounds great but is very expensive. Does
anyone have any other ideas on locations in the area?
Would really appreciate any feedback!
Ardenwood Farm in Fremont!! It's a 200 acre farm from the
turn of the century run by the East Bay Regional Park
District, and very reasonably priced ($1 in winter I think).
It's a wonderful place for kids (and parents). They have
horses, sheep, turkeys, chickens, peacocks, goats, cows.
Towards summer they have a wagon ride w/ draft horses.
On weekends they have craft projects like corn husk dolls,
etc. There is a real blacksmith. There's so much room to
run and explore, it's a real oasis.
It's not too bad a drive if you time it off-peak hours, the farm
is at the exit for the Dumbarton Bridge. Try it out yourself
then you can see if you'd like it for a party.
There is a place in El Sobrante that gives pony rides and
has a petting 'farm'. They will bring the ponies to you, or you
can have the party at their farm. They also have a petting
'farm'. A place with tables for food and cake. Unfortunately, I
can not remember the name. However, they should not be
to hard to find. I recall they advertise in the back of the free
'parents' papers, like parents press. Sounds fun.
I really liked Borgess Ranch in Walnut Creek for a ranch/farm
experience. I was there with a group of Kindergarten girls and
they loved it. Worth checking out. I believe there is a farm at
Ardenwood in Fremont/Union City. There is also the Little Farm
at Tilden Park. You should be able to find information about any
of these online. I know that's how I first found them.
Try Slide Ranch It is a little drive but well worth it.
Try the Little Farm in Tilden park. I don't know if they have
specific birthday party programs, but there are programs in
which your daughter & guests could participate. Note, the
animals can only be fed lettuce and celery, so bring a good
It's a drive, but there is a working farm in Knightsen (east of
Antioch) that does a pumpkin patch and gives tours to school
groups at Halloween. They're open during the summer for fresh
produce. I haven't been there for several years, but last time
I was there, they had farm animals, too. I'm not sure when your
daughter's birthday is, but if the farm is open for the season I
doubt they would even charge you to use their facilities.
Here's their website: http://www.smithfamilyfarm.com/. Good
this page was last updated: Sep 22, 2012
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