Don’t Miss the 2012 Farm and Barn Tour

said on August 20th, 2012 filed under: Gardening, Localism

This year’s Placer County Farm and Barn Tour will be on October 14, 2012 from 10am til 5:00 pm.  Here’s a link to the website so you can plan your day for the Farm and Barn Tour.  Below you can see my photos from the 2010 tour.  It’s every other year, so don’t miss it in 2012 or you will have to wait until 2014!

Horse near Gold Pond nursery

The tour jumped off at 10:00 am on Sunday, October 10, 2010.  I say “jumped” because that’s what you have to do if you want to make a dent in the itinerary.  There are nine venues scattered all over northern Placer County, California, from Loomis in the southwest to Bowman in the northeast.  And you only get 6 hours to complete the tour.

CJ and I decided to forego the two wineries, the Christmas tree farm, and the cattle ranch.  That left us three orchards, one aquatic plant nursery, and one vegetable farm . . . and lunch at the Produce Company deli in Newcastle where we enjoyed the fresh spinach quiche and home made oatmeal cookies.  Yum.  Where was I?  Oh, yes, the tour.

1.  We began promptly at 10:00am at the Boornakis-Harper Ranch inside the city limits of Auburn.  “City” is, of course, an exaggeration.  You can see the city peeking over the edge of the trees, looking down into the farm with envy.

Boorinakis Harper Ranch

This place is actually an orchard specializing in pears.  The Boorinakis family had it set up real cute with the 4H kids and the master Gardener ladies conducting little demonstrations.

Boorinakis-Harper Ranch

Bees, bats, chickens, goats, olive oil, and compost were among the big events.

Placer County Farm and Barn Tour

We could have stayed there most of the day.

2.  Our second stop was the Machado Orchard.  Anyone who travels I80 between Sacramento and tahoe will recognize the famous Machado windmill and blimpette.

Placer County Farm and Barn Tour

Placer County Farm and Barn Tour

In season you can shop for all your produce at the Farm store.  And you can get your favorite pies there.  The Machado pies are legendary.  We bought fresh corn, okra (Southern boy, did you guess?), peas, pies, and red pepper jelly. Yummmm-eeeee.

Placer County Farm and Barn Tour

I got a crush on this alpaca.  Look at those eyes.

3.  We hopped on to the freeway (actually we drove) and headed “down hill” into the “flats”  passing many fine properties along the way.

Placer County Farm and Barn Store

CJ wanted to visit the aquatic plant nursery called Golden Pond.  I wasn’t too hot on the idea, but it turned out to be my favorite site.

Placer County Farm and Barn Tour

The plants, ponds, koi, and water features were just beautiful.  I got lots of ideas for my own yard.

4.  We decided to squeeze one more event in before lunch, so we headed back into the farmlands north of Loomis for a short visit to Mandarin Hill orchard.  Orchards are kind of boring.  There are lots and lots and lots of trees that look like, well, lots and lots and lots of trees.


We attended a short lecture about the “colonists” who came over from England in the late 1800s to make a fortune in citrus and got wiped out so they got pissed at the Asian farm workers and took it out on them.  OK lunch.

5.  After the aformentioned quiche, we wandered off southwest to find Twin Brooks farm.  Now this spread is what you imagine when you think “farm.”

Placer County Farm and Barn Tour

Barns, tractors, greenhouses, and a pretty farm house under the shade trees on top of a little hill.

Placer County Farm and Barn Tour

We bought some mandarn orange stir fry sauce, and I almost bought a diatonic scale Indian flute (hint hint CJ, Christmas is just around the corner).

My gosh.  It was already 4 o’clock!  What a fun day.  What a good thing to do.  Know your farmers.  Know where your food comes from.

Placer County Farm and barn Tour

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