Taking your kids to a farm is a great way to get you a dose of some good old-fashioned family fun. It's pretty much a sure thing that your kids will have a great time: they are outdoors, there is space to run and play, there are farm animals, there are fresh organic snacks to be enjoyed, and hopefully a little bit of education about local farming!
We went to Tara Firma Farms this past Saturday and had so much fun that we stayed for more than 3 hours! We took their farm tour, ate lunch, and played by the pond. This is a beautiful farm, surrounded by green rolling hills dotted with all sorts of animals. They have an adorable little farm store with some of their products for sale. My kids jumped on the little bundles of mini carrots with their tops on. We washed them immediately and they were all gone in a matter of 10 minutes!
One thing I appreciated about the farm tour was that it was relaxed and not too structured, letting my little ones follow along at their own pace, greeting the animals, and running all around, as children do. Adam, our tour guide, was very informative and focused on the main issues so the length of the tour was not too long, about 45 minutes total, definately manageable for 3-7 year olds. Adam was also very patient and gentle with all the kids on the tour. There were about 4 families with little ones, and 2 couples taking the tour.
The first group of animals we visited were the chickens! These chickens are so comfortable with people, they came running up to greet us! They let the kids walk around in the flock, they had so much fun!
Next we visited the turkeys. They were friendly too. Tara Firma only has a few turkeys except during Thanksgiving when they bring in a male and boost the population for us turkey lovers.
We then visited the pigs - lovely little baby bigs with their cute floppy ears. Adam had some bread and the kids got to feed them.
The kids' favorite part were the baby chicks (of course). Here we met the owner, Tara, who was working with the chicks. They let the kids hold the chicks in their hands. I thought my daughter would never leave! I know she will be asking me for one this Easter!
We then visited "Charlie" the black calf who has become Tara Firma's mascot. His story is inspirational, being attacked by a coyote and fully recovered at the farm. The kids were allowed to pet and nuzzle sweet "Charlie" until he had enough.
Finally Adam told us about the farm's programs - Tara Firma offers CSA membership for a variety of meat and vegetable subscriptions. They are very flexible in terms of quantity, variety, how often you can receive shipments, and how much you want to spend. It was all explained to us in a low-key way, with no pressure to join at all.
After the tour we enjoyed some of their outdoor barbecue made with Tara Firma meat and a salad with Tara Firma greens, dee-lish! He cooked it up right in front of us! You get a free lunch when you become a member, otherwise it's $10/plate. There are picnic tables there to use whether you eat their barbecue or bring your own picnic lunch.
Tara Firm Farms is quite an active farm. They do tours every Saturday and Sunday at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. They offer outdoor barbecue both days too. Also on Saturdays and Sundays are their "Dog Days" where you can bring your dog and walk them off-leash on their various hiking trails! They do many barn dances throughout the year and perhaps their most well-known event is the very cool "Pumpkins on Pikes" which happens in the Fall.
Tara Firma is located in West Petaluma. It's a beautiful drive out there and it feels like you are really far out in the country but really you are about 10 minutes away from downtown Petaluma! For more information on their farm tours, events, or farm products, visit the Tara Firma Farms website. Happy Trails!