6 fantastic farm tours where you can spring into the new season

Amador Flower Farm
Photo by Leslie Sellman-Sant
Amador Flower Farm's Spring Fling invites visitors to check out classes, garden shopping and more than 1,000 varieties of daylilies.

Warming weather, flowers abloom, fresh produce and cute baby animals are telltale signs that spring is almost here. And to kick off the new season, many of our region’s farms are offering public tours of their picturesque grounds—here are six of them taking place around the Sacramento area.

Open Farm Day at Full Belly Farm
March 22
Fans of Full Belly’s “Organic Farm Box” CSA program can get to know the source of their produce a little better at this event—and maybe even get to know one of the more than 150 baby lambs frolicking around the farm during this afternoon open house. This year’s lamb-and-wool theme includes a Sheep to Shawl event at the Grange Community Hall (where visitors can participate in hands-on activities of spinning and dyeing) and a complete tour of the Full Belly Farm. Visitors are welcome to stay and picnic at the farm afterwards. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 16090 County Rd 43. Guinda. 530-796-2214. fullbellyfarm.com

Orchard Tour at Martinez Orchards
March 25
OK, this tour doesn't take place over the weekend, but it's worth playing hooky for and pretending that it's a sunny Sunday. Held by the Winters Chamber of Commerce, the town’s first agri-tour of 2015 kicks off with this multi-stop trip around town. Participants will begin at Steady Eddy’s Coffee House for coffee and pastries, followed by a bus ride to Martinez Orchards, where owner Dan Martinez Jr. will lead the tour and speak about the nursery’s preparation for spring planting. A catered lunch awaits tour members at Berryessa Gap Winery and Tasting Room, wrapping up the day with an olive oil and chocolate tasting in the historic downtown. $50. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Steady Eddy’s Coffee House. 5 East Main St. Winters. 530-795-2329. winterschamber.com

5K Fun Run and Farm Tour by Farm Fresh to You
April 11
 Hit the farm running for a scenic 5k Fun Run at 10:30 a.m., or, for a more relaxing view of the valley and rows of spring veggies, wait until 11 for a tractor tram tour around Capay Organic Farm (which sustains the popular Farm Fresh to You CSA). Get down and dirty in the fields for harvest activities and strawberry picking or enjoy olive oil tastings by Capay Valley Ranches and honey tastings by Sola Bee Farms. Kids can sprint over to the petting zoo after getting their faces painted and get creative with arts & crafts. $15 for Fun Run (includes Farm Tour admission) or $5 for Farm Tour (kids 12 and under free). 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 23800 State Highway 15. Capay. 800-796-6009. farmfreshtoyou.com

Spring Fling at Amador Flower Farm
April 11-12
What better way to welcome spring than at a flower farm with over 1,000 varieties of daylilies? Pack a lunch and a picnic blanket to relax under the farm’s Heritage Oak trees, and then hop on a free tram ride to tour 14 acres of gardens. Hourly gardening demonstrations feature topics such as how to grow your own kitchen herb garden, create a unique bonsai and more. The nursery will also be filled with the largest selection of vegetable starter plants in all of Amador County. Free. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 22001 Shenandoah School Rd. Plymouth. 209-245-6660. amadorflowerfarm.com

Cache Creek Lavender Farm Tour
By Appointment Lavender soaps, oils and bath salts abound at this Yolo County farm, where visitors can learn about cultivation of the fragrant purple flower, different varieties and uses of lavender, and how the plant is turned into 30 different products sold at the Lavender Farm Shop. Schedule a tour anytime at least a week in advance, but consider carving out time in April (when you can observe the “greening” of thousands of lavender plants) or the blooming season in June, when visitors can pick their own flowers. Free. By appointment only. 3430 Madrone St. Rumsey. 530-796-2239. cachecreeklavender.com

FreeHeart Farm Tour
By Appointment A half-hour drive northeast of Sacramento will place you at FreeHeart Farm, where guests can make appointments to tour the Esparto farm’s 33-acre almond orchard and get lost in the green, rolling hills surrounding a scenic half-acre pond, vineyard, redwood grove, petting zoo and gardens. The site also caters to artists and art enthusiasts alike, with an event center offering pieces for sale by local Northern California artists. Free. By appointment only. 24203 Co Rd 22. Esparto. 530-787-4444. fhfevents.com

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