Five festive farm events to attend this summer and fall

Photos courtesy of Capay Organic and Center for Land-Based Learning
Visit area farms this summer and fall for events like farm dinners, festivals and tours.

From a harvest festival where kids can play farmer to a gourmet dinner under the stars prepared by top local chefs, here are six reasons to visit our region’s bountiful farms this season.

Dinner on the Farm
June 27 & Sept. 20 These memorable evenings at the Center for Land-Based Learning in Winters feature wine and beer from breweries like Ruhstaller or Sierra Nevada and a chef-prepared multicourse dinner. Neighboring Putah Creek Cafe is leading the Sept. 20 dinner, while Michael Tuohy, executive chef of the new Golden 1 Center, is leading the June 27 dinner, along with world-renowned charcuterer François Vecchio. Chef Tuohy plans to prepare dishes like an assorted lettuce salad with tomatoes, beets, and walnuts from Winters-based Sierra Orchards, and a Berkshire wood oven-roasted porchetta with wood-grilled summer squash and endives, plus mixed summer berries and stone fruit with local honey and crème fraîche for dessert. $125. 5-9 p.m. Center for Land-Based Learning. 5265 Putah Creek Rd. Winters. 530-795-1520.

Capay Tomato Festival
July 18
You’ll be seeing red at this eighth annual festival where the plump fruit becomes the center of attention. Taste cherry and heirloom varieties fresh from Capay Organic’s fields and pack a basket lunch to enter the “Best Guest Picnic Contest.” Spend the day sampling food from local food trucks, and touring the farm, and stay the night for camping in the orchards. Proceeds benefit the Kathleen Barsotti Non-Profit for Sustainable Agriculture, which provides educational resources to farmworkers and their families. $20. Free for ages 12 and under. 3-11 p.m. Capay Organic. 23800 State Hwy. 16. Capay. 800-796-6009.

Capay Organic Farm Tours
Aug. 15 & Oct. 17
Join the hustle and bustle amid the late summer fall harvest seasons at Capay Organics, which supplies fruit and vegetables to the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) delivery group, Farm Fresh to You. Take a ride on the tractor tram pulled by a John Deere tractor to explore the 500-acre, certified organic farmland, learn about sustainable agriculture at a lecture with the second-generation farmer brothers who run the farm and let the kids roam around a petting zoo. Bonus: don’t forget to take home a free pumpkin on your way out at October’s tour. $5 (free for Farm Fresh to You customers at August tour and for ages 12 and under). 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Capay Organic. 23800 State Hwy, 16. Capay. 800-796-6009.

Autumn Equinox Celebration
Sept. 19
At this 13th annual fundraiser held at and benefiting Soil Born Farm, you can celebrate the end of summer by feasting on generous portions of fare from some of the region’s best restaurants, such as Magpie, Paragary’s, One Speed and The Waterboy, which will showcase their best dishes. Plus, cool off with a pint from your favorite local breweries, like Rubicon, Track 7 and Hoppy Brewing Company and dance the night away to live music by local acts like the Mind X Quartet and Cousin Jimbo & Friends. $60. 4:30-8:30 p.m. Soil Born Farm. 3000 Hurley Way. 363-9685.

Hoes Down Harvest Festival
Oct. 3 & 4
At this 28th annual festival at Full Belly Farm, where you can take orchard tours, attend farm-to-fork workshops, buy produce from farm stands, browse craft booths, feast on organic fare and sip coffee from Oregon’s fair-trade Café Mam roasts or beer from Petaluma’s Lagunitas Brewing Company. At the kids' area, which was once featured in National Geographic magazine, little ones can learn hands-on farm activities like spinning wool into yarn, churning ice cream, carving pumpkins and feeding barnyard animals at a petting zoo. Stay long into the cool evening for contra dancing and camping under the stars. $25 ($5 for ages 2-12;free for children under 2). 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Full Belly Farm. County Road 43. Guinda. 800-791-2110.

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