Santa Barbara County Farm Day on Saturday to provide insight into local farming operations | Local News
A foray into a freezer, peek into a lab, and glimpse the products will be just some of the experiences on offer at this year’s Santa Barbara County Farm Day on Saturday.
The event will allow residents to take free in-person tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to farms and farm-related businesses in the Santa Maria Valley.
The theme for this year’s Farm Day is â€œMeet the Hands That Feed Youâ€, with the day designed to be self-guided. However, the public can use an online Farm Day Trail map, available here, to create a personalized itinerary for traveling among producers. and organized tourist circuits.
â€œFarm day is the only day in the year that the public can experience working farms,â€ said Mary Maranville, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG), which organizes the Farm Day every year. â€œThere is so much that can be done to produce the food we eat every day: lettuce, celery, broccoli, strawberries, blueberries, onions and herbs. The variety of foods that grow in the Santa Maria Valley is enormous. Growing a single strawberry literally requires more than 100 workers – from preparing the soil, planting, tending, harvesting and packing, to shipping the fruit to market. “
The participating locations this year represent the wide variety of producers and other agricultural businesses offering tours, tastings and gifts of fruit and produce.
This year’s event will also feature two wineries – Riverbench Vineyard & Winery in Santa Maria and Zaca Mesa Winery (offering a free flight tasting) in Los Olivos.
It’s not just about products. The day will also focus on compost, seed science and other aspects of the industry.
Farmers and agricultural partners participating in Farm Day include Allan Hancock College, BabÃ© Farms, Bonipak Produce, Buttonwood Winery & Vineyards, Driscoll’s, Engel & Gray / Harvest Blend Compost, Gold Coast Packing, Innovative Produce, Main Street Produce, Plantel Nurseries, Primus Labs, Rancho Laguna Farms and Reiter affiliates.
The four tours requiring reservations due to limited space had been filled several days before the event.
Estimated at $ 1.6 billion, agriculture is a key part of the Santa Barbara County economy.
â€œMany farms are run by third and fourth generation farmers. We are fortunate to have so many local producers excited to share their knowledge, â€said Maranville.
SEEAG’s mission is to help young people understand the agricultural origins of their food through classroom agriculture and nutrition education and free farm excursions.
For more information on participating farms and to access the Farm Day Trail Map, visit SantaBarbaraCountyFarmDay.com or call 805.901.0213.