North Bay Farm Adventures

Find out where your food comes from and get to know your farmer! Spend a day on the farm in and around Marin.

Explore Sonoma County Farms at Holidays Along the Farm Trails!

November 18, 2017

Holidays on the Farm Trails

This November and December, take the family out to visit some of Sonoma's fantastic farms at Holidays Along the Farm Trails. Now through January 1, Sonoma County farmers and producers as they open their gates and barn doors to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at life on the farm. Shop their unique farmstands for your holiday meals, cut your own Christmas tree, make a gift at one of the many DIY workshops, feed animals, and much more. You can skip the Black Friday madness at the mall and head out to a farm!

Marin and Sonoma Pumpkin Patches 2017

October 22, 2017

Fall is almost here, and for those seeking that true Halloween pumpkin patch experience, here's our annual guide to pumpkin patches in Marin and southern Sonoma counties. Most pumpkin patches open in late September or early October.

In Marin County, Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch offers a real on-the-farm experience and the Godmother's Pumpkin Patch at St. Vincent's is a local tradition and an exciting Halloween experience for families. For more real live farms offering pumpkin patches this season, head up north a short distance to rural Sonoma County, where you'll find them in relative abundance. We visited as many of these pumpkin patches as we could last year, and have posted links to our reviews of them below.

We've included dates and hours for pumpkin patches when available. Hours are correct as of the time of publishing, but it's still a good idea to check a pumpkin patch's website or give them a call before you go in case anything changes. As a rule, most pumpkin patches are open during the whole month of October, although a few open in late September. Pumpkin patches listed here are open through October 31 unless otherwise indicated.

A Visit to Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch

October 9, 2017

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch

This weekend we paid a visit to the popular Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch, a certified organic pumpkin patch that has been a Marin County tradition for 20 years! Located in the small west Marin village of Nicasio, the farm is just west of the Nicasio Village Square right on Nicasio Valley Road. Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch is open seven days a week through Halloween from 10 am to 6 pm, and it's always worth a visit.

The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at Spring Hill Farm in Petaluma

October 2, 2017

The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at Spring Hill Farm

One of our favorite local pumpkin patches is the Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at Spring Hill Farm, located in the Two Rock Valley area just outside Petaluma. The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch is a classic old-time pumpkin patch that's kind of out in the middle of nowhere (which is part of the fun). It's on a real working farm that produces the yummy organic Spring Hill Jersey cheese that you may have seen in farmers' markets or stores around town.

Family Farm Fun at Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch

October 1, 2017

Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch

Located on a 30-acre farm off of Stony Point Road in Sonoma County, the Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch is definitely a must-visit attaction for families this fall. While its address is in Santa Rosa, it's actually located in the rural area just outside Rohnert Park, making it an easy trip from Marin.

Experience Life on the Farm at McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch

September 26, 2017

McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch

McClelland's Dairy is a family-run, certified organic dairy farm located just west of Petaluma, and their annual Halloween pumpkin patch just keeps getting better and better every year. McClelland's offers a lot of fun for families, especially if you are looking for a genuine farm experience. If you haven't been there yet, it's definitley worth putting on your fall family itinerary. Attractions and activities here range from a farm animal petting zoo and a look into the dairy's milking barn to a giant slide and obstacle course to a new Haunted Forest and an air-powered pumpkin cannon. You can hang out here and play all day!

Pumpkin Patches Further Afield

September 19, 2017

Pumpkin Patch

While there are plenty of awesome pumpkin patches to choose from in Marin and southern Sonoma counties (see our list of those here), you can find other great places to pick up pumpkins and other Halloween and autumn treats throughout the greater Bay Area. Maybe you're headed on a road trip to the south bay, or bound for the grandparents' house in Sacramento this October—there's probably a pumpkin patch on the way. Here are a few out-of-town pumpkin patches, in Solano, Contra Costa, and San Mateo counties, that we've visited at one time or another or had recommended to us.

Get Your Tickets Now for Pumpkins on Pikes at Tara Firma Farms

September 18, 2017

Pumpkins on Pikes at Tara Firma Farms In addition to producing healthy and sustainable local food, Petaluma's Tara Firma Farms also puts on fantastic family-friendly events throughout the year. This fall, their annual Pumpkins on Pikes event continues this tradition. Come on out to the farm for Halloween fun with pumpkin carving, live music, dancing, a corn maze, BBQ and more.

Pumpkins on Pikes takes place on Saturday, October 28, from 2 to 10 pm. Bring your pumpkin carving tools, blankets and coats to stay warm after dark, a sheet to cover hay bales for seating, and favorite treat for the dessert potluck. Free pumpkins for carving will be provided with admission. The carved pumpkins are placed on pikes out in the cornfield, and when the sun goes down, the pumpkins are lit. It's an amazing spectacle! A BBQ dinner will be available for purchase $10 a plate at the event.

Apple Walnut Bread is Delicious and Easy to Make

September 10, 2017

In the late summer we love to go apple picking at farms in Marin and Sonoma County. It's so much fun to choose and pick your own fruit, but sometimes you end up with more apples than you know what to do with. I've been trying to figure out different creative ways to use apples, since I hate to see any go to waste.

Fresh-baked apple walnut bread is delicious, easy to make and a great way to use up extra apples. It also makes the house smell amazing while it's baking. It's good as part of breakfast, as a snack, or even dessert. My kids love to get a slice in their lunchboxes, too.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups peeled, cored, and chopped apples
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

U-Pick Apples and More Farm Fun at Chileno Valley Ranch

September 4, 2017

Apple picking Chileno Valley Ranch

Apple season is getting underway, so why not make a day trip to the farm and pick your own? While most of the apple farms in the North Bay are clustered around the western Sonoma County town of Sebastopol (which is famous for its apples), you can actually pick apples right here in Marin County at beautiful Chileno Valley Ranch.

Located in West Marin's Chileno Valley, this ranch offers u-pick apples on Sundays in September (or whenever the apples run out). Reservations for apple picking on Sunday, September 10 are full, but you can register for September 17 and 24 starting today (Labor Day, September 4). Owners Sally and Mike Gale also raise grass-fed beef, sheep, and chickens on the ranch, and there's a lot to see and do there for apple-picking families.