Looking for a unique experience by getting up close and personal with a local family ran farm or ranch?  Here’s a brilliant travel idea:  Farm Stays!  Rather than making a large footprint while traveling and seeing the sights… maybe consider staying at a working farm: eat fresh food, pick your own vegetables and maybe even eggs! You may do as much or as little as you want. Many farm stays provide bed and breakfast type lodging. (get to know Farmer John and ask how his crops are harvested or why his wife cans peaches the way she does!)
Farm stays are becoming increasingly popular because farmers’ desire more diverse and dependable income streams AND consumers want to reconnect with rural heritage and their food supply. Where is our food coming from?

What methods are taken to insure freshness and quality at farms? Go check out a farm stay! It’s a perfect getaway for a few days and couldn’t be more educational and comfortable! Many of the farm stays have all the amenities that a hotel has (maybe minus the spa and valet parking!) But it’s a win-win situation.

What’s even better? There are a number of farm stays within a 100-mile radius of Sacramento! Just when you thought living in the rich agriculture couldn’t get any better!  I’ve listed a few farm stays in our area to give you a sense of just how close they are to our back door!

Casa de la Pradera
Located a little more an hour away from downtown Sacramento in Fiddletown, sits a farm stay that you can’t pass up. Want to stay on a working organic farm overlooking a meadow? I do. Located 3 miles from the Shenandoah Valley and it’s wineries, Casa de la Pradera (“house in the meadow”) is not only a gorgeous bed and breakfast it’s also a working community supported agriculture farm (CSA) that produces veggies, apples, olives, eggs and herbs to farmers markets. The Kaiser family has been on the land for over 50 years and has welcomed the public to share in the beauty and wonder of their working farm for over 15 years. Learn about organic gardening and living the country lifestyle.
Breakfast is served daily to guests and lunch and dinner can be served each day as well for an additional charge. (I sure wouldn’t mind eating some fresh delicious food!)
Also, weather permitting, tea and refreshments are served in the garden each day at 3pm. What could be homier than that? Check out their website for pictures and rates. It’s an amazing place.


Flower Farm Inn
Located only a few minutes from Roseville, Auburn and Folsom, the Flowers Farm is a perfectly located escape from the hustle bustle of city life. The farm offers the coziest vacation. Located in the middle of a working citrus farm, the Inn offers a unique experience. Flower Farm grows cutting flowers, vegetables (a large pumpkin patch too!) and tons of fruit. Light breakfasts and meals and served on the premises as well. (keep in mind you are very close to a lot of other restaurants as well!) Head outdoors and play with some gypsy chicks and gather eggs from some hens. Take a tour of the nursery on site and marvel at the beautiful colors of flowers.  Want to get competitive? Play a game of bocce ball, horseshoes or even croquet.  Courts are provided on the farm! What I highly recommend most is visiting the orchards and sampling the fresh produce from the trees and gardens. You couldn’t ask for more!

Enchanted April Bed and Breakfast Inn
Set just 8 miles from where gold was discovered in Coloma, the Enchanted April B and B Inn is replicated to look just like a historic farmhouse of the 1850’s. This Inn is also a working farm with horses, an olive grove and lavender farm. Did I mention there is  a small vineyard on site as well? (amazing!) The bed and breakfast lies along an old stage route used by miners and pioneers used to bring supplies back and forth from Sacramento to their mining camps.  How amazing? This farm stay has all the amenities a 5 star resort would have as well. Jacuzzi tubs, televisions, refrigerators and even spa service are available!
At Enchanted April, the proprietor tries their hardest to be environmentally sensitive. All linens and towels are sun dried in the wide-open air. (weather permitting of course!) Also, all table scraps are fed to neighboring chickens who then in turn provide the bed and breakfast with free range eggs. Full circle. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a place like that??


Rust Ridge Ranch and Inn
What could be more enjoyable than spending a day gazing at sweeping views of vineyards and sampling some of the world’s best wine? In my book: not much. The Rust Ranch Inn specializes in catering to not only wine lovers but outdoor enthusiasts as well.
Rust Ridge is located on 600 acres in the Napa Valley known for its grape growing and especially known for it Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel grapes.
The Southwestern style lodging provides everything you’d ever need while staying at a working ranch. When you’re not in your beautiful furnished bedroom you may roam the acreage of the ranch, play tennis, bird watch, lounge in the Napa sunshine, jog through the vineyards, enjoy the eucalyptus sauna or hike through the land.  On top of everything else, the owners of Rust Ridge raise and care for thoroughbred horses. Many of them roam the hills and pastures of the 600 acres. Could there be anything more beautiful?


Philo Apple Farm
Don and Sally Schmitt have created an environment where guests not only can get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, but also use their farm as an educational place. Every weekend from February to November they welcome guests to their farm and classroom. During the week, the public may enjoy their farm by gathering apples on their land. Yes, it’s a three-hour drive from Sacramento, but instantly you know it would be worth every minute in the car.
If you decide to participate in one of the Schmitt’s weekend getaways your schedule would include the preparation (and consumption!) of 4 (hands on) meals and 2 nights in their cottages. They are the cutest things ever: beautifully decorated, spacious and all sit in an apple orchard. Meals are prepared with only the finest, local ingredients. And from the looks of the past menus…. Absolutely delicious: Pan seared duck breast, bacon wrapped scallops and rhubarb shortcake… Yum.
The Schmitt’s have perfected what they are good at. Being amazingly warm hosts while educated the public about cooking, farming and eating. The Schmitt’s also offer their homemade vinegars, jams and juices for purchase. (makes a perfect gift!)
Check out their website for beautiful pictures of their farm, cottages and menus.



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