Anywhere you look in Ventura County, the fertility is apparent: vegetable babies sprout from the ground with a simple toss of a seed. Because of our bounty, farmers of all make and model have established themselves here for generations — and Saturday, Nov. 5, is their day.
The Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture host the event and have done so for the past four years. Farm Day features countywide tours of over 20 farms and ends with a celebration featuring a locally-sourced barbecue dinner and a “farm-to-bar” cocktail menu. The focus of the day, of course, is on the producers themselves, with each farm offering a unique experience for those who choose to visit.
Lauren Jones, cofounder of Chivas Skin Care, operates a small farm in Fillmore with her mom. The family raises goats that provide the milk for their unique soaps. Jones says that Farm Day visitors will receive an abbreviated tour of a soap workshop, as well as have a chance to see the rest of the family farm, which is home to chickens, ducks, tortoises and pigs as well.
“It’s just an exciting day to share what we do with other people in our county and our state that are equally excited about farming and about the value of agriculture in our area,” said Jones.
Chris Sayer, fifth generation farmer at Petty Ranch in Saticoy, says that visitors will have an opportunity to see the “experimental” orchards apart from his main crops of lemons and avocados, which feature figs, persimmons, apricots and pears. Sayer says he’ll talk with visitors about the work they do with SEEAG as well.
“We’ve got a huge population around us in many cases who don’t understand what we do very well,” said Sayer. “This is a chance to open those doors and take away some of that mystery.”
Other participating farms include Apricot Lane in Moorpark, Houweling’s Tomatoes in Camarillo and Friends Ranch in Ojai, to name a few.
Farm Day kicks off on Friday, Nov. 4 with a food and farm film fest at 5 p.m. at Mission Park, downtown Ventura, and begins in earnest on Saturday, Nov. 5. Those wishing to take part in Farm Day can see a list of participating farms by visiting www.venturacountyfarmday.com. Some farms require an RSVP, including Chivas Skin Care. To RSVP to Chivas in Fillmore, visit www.chivasskincare.com\farm-events.
The Farm Day BBQ begins at 4 p.m. at the San Miguel Building, Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura. Tickets are $40. For more information, visit www.venturacountyfarmday.com/bbq.php.