One of my favorite places in Salinas since becoming a mom is The Farm. Nestled in the south end of Salinas, right as you get onto Highway 68 heading west, The Farm is one of the few small-scale organic farms in Salinas proper. A great resource for families of any size, they offer fresh seasonal produce at their farm stand for reasonable prices in addition to taking part in Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA). Their CSA program allows you to receive a box of their vegetables as a weekly subscription. The fee you pay for their box supports their farm and helps them continue to provide healthy food options for our community.
The good stuff doesn’t end there, though. They also use some of those delicious berries they grow to produce some of the best pies I’ve ever tasted. From April to December they bake fresh pies on Fridays and you can pick them up pretty much any day of the week. Anything from apple to ollalieberry, their list can seem endless at times. Sometimes they even have smaller pie bars for when you’re just looking for that mid-day dessert. I also learned that on Tuesdays from April-September (check for exact dates on their website) they also offer fresh-baked pizza by the slice. I haven’t tried it yet, but if it’s anything like their pie, that might have to be a Tuesday afternoon tradition.
Even with all this delicious goodness, this place didn’t truly become one of my favorite spots until I became a mom. They offer a whole slew of fun activities for little ones, especially throughout the summer and fall.
During the summer, they offer story time at least twice a week. This summer, they’ve added a Friday story time (until August 8th) in addition to their usual Tuesday and Wednesday times (which will run until September 26th). These take place at 10:30 AM at their farm stand off the Spreckles exit on Highway 68.
They have an great setup with adorable benches gathered on their covered patio. Their storyteller is just delightful. She usually reads three books and sings songs with her guitar in between. I mean, the lady takes song requests from the kids- I find that both brave and quite telling of her personal song inventory. She’s also one of those people that have the rare gift of being a good children’s book reader. She’s able to capture most of the kids’ attention for the entirety of story time and she usually gets a few really good laughs out of them too.
They wrap up story time with a snack- usually strawberries from their fields and then everyone usually scatters into the gift shop or, more popular for the kids, over to their small “petting zoo.” They have several rabbits that are usually watched over by an employee or two while the kids pet them. They may also hand out lettuce to feed to their goats, sheep and chickens. The friendly cats that roam about looking for attention also seem to be a favorite.
On Fridays they are offering rides on their “Cow Train” after story time for a minimal fee of $5. The Cow Train is a series of metal cow-shaped cars hooked together and towed by a four-wheeler around The Farm’s acreage- probably a 5-10 minute ride total. I find these cars to be exceedingly endearing as they seem to have been expertly, custom crafted with each cow having it’s very own name neatly painted on the side. We, sadly, did not get to take a ride as we were crunched for time and the line got a little long by the time we came around, but it seemed like a huge hit for the rest of the kids. From what I understand, babies/toddlers can ride on their parent’s lap as long as you stay below their weight limit, but it never hurts to double check on that rule. A quick tip: if you decide to go to a Friday story time, get there early! The Cow Train rides seem to have attracted quite a following, so parking spots and story time seats fill up quickly!
They host many other events, especially throughout the summer. They have occasional puppet shows in addition to other “celebrations” where they usually offer $5 Cow Train rides, free hay rides and other fun activities for the kids. Their activities aren’t always kid-centered, however. Like, for instance, their Fairy Garden Workshop or their Plein-Air painting days where you bring your supplies and they offer scones and tea while you paint their beautiful scenery- sounds so peaceful!
This place offers so much to our community! A place to find good, healthy food, indulge our sweet tooth, experience unique activities and a friendly, welcoming place to teach and play with our kids.
Please check out their website and take advantage of the amazing things they have to offer! This place is truly doing some amazing things and deserves to be supported by its community!