The Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce & Visitors’ Bureau and the premier sponsor, Republic Services, presents their 27th Annual “Farm + Fish + Flowers,” formerly known as Tour des Fleurs, on Saturday, July 28, 2018.
“Farm + Fish + Flowers” offers the general public a once-a-year opportunity to visit the Half Moon Bay Coastside’s nurseries/greenhouses, historic sites, farms and even a working harbor. Many of these businesses are not ordinarily open to the public except during “Farm + Fish + Flowers” when they invite visitors for a behind the scenes tour of their facilities and operations.
There are a wide variety of experiences including four new offerings: Root Down Farm, Shelldance Orchid Gardens, TomKat Ranch, and Vida Verde Nature Education. The public will enjoy guided tours of flower gardens, organic herbs and field greens, a working dairy farm, grass-fed livestock, a historic house, organic vegetable farms, educational farms, Pillar Point Harbor, several varieties of orchids and much more. Host locations will share helpful tips for pruning and caring for flowers, others will share their key to an efficient operation and some will share their colorful and fascinating family history and how it shaped their businesses today.
Each tour package includes three different locations. Ticket holders drive themselves to each tour in their package for a one-hour guided tour. There are five different tour packages to choose from, and each package of three tours costs $30.
2018 Tour Packages:
10am Bay City Flower Company – hydrangeas & high-end potted plants
1pm Harley Farms – goat cheese dairy farm
3pm Markegard Farms – grass fed livestock
10am Vida Verde Nature Education – Tour of the educational farm, creek, goats and chickens.
1pm TomKat Ranch – A learning laboratory for animal agriculture
3pm Harley Farms – goat cheese dairy farm
10am Pillar Point Harbor – working harbor, fresh seafood & sustainable fishing info
1pm The HEAL Project – educational farm, sustainably grown berries, vegetables
3pm Shelldance Orchid Gardens – orchids, bromeliads, succulents
10am Coastside Farmers’ Market – fresh local produce & plants
1pm Johnston House – Historic 1800s saltbox style home
3pm Root Down Farm – Pasture-Raised Chickens, ducks, turkeys and pigs.
10am Rocket Farms – wholesale home & garden
1pm Ananda Valley Farms – an organic non profit produce farm
3pm Main Street Historical Tour – walking tour, departs from 1855 Zaballa House
Tickets will need to be presented at each tour. No substitutes allowed.
2018 Tour Locations:
- Ananda Valley Farm – Nestled in a beautiful valley just north of Half Moon Bay, this CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm grows organically using low-till, permanent beds to help restore soil vitality.
- Bay City Flower Company – This third-generation family owned-business is one of the largest hydrangea growers and also one of the most efficient commercial potted plant growers in the nation. Their main customer base is national and independent supermarkets as well as independent garden centers.
- Coastside Farmers’ Market – Erin Tormey, founder and manager, will tour visitors through this diverse farmer’s market filled with flowers, fruits, vegetables, fish, herbs, handmade crafts and soaps, and much more. Erin is a wealth of information and has promoted the agricultural heritage and economy of the Coastside. She has been instrumental in supporting the emerging agricultural economy of first-generation farmers and ranchers, creating and piloting programs addressing food security for our aging population and under-resourced neighbors, and encouraging partnerships with our locally based small businesses and supporting the efforts of our non-profit community.
- Root Down Farms – Root Down Farm raises chickens, ducks, turkeys and pigs on their beautiful pastures in Pescadero. They strive to humanely raise healthy animals while working within their ecosystem to responsibly steward the land and improve soil health.
- TomKat Ranch – TomKat Ranch is a 1,800 acre working grassfed cattle ranch and learning laboratory in the San Francisco Bay Area that is working to demonstrate, discover, and share the benefits of regenerative ranching. The ranch works in coalition with partners to grow robust demand for grass-fed products, support innovative experimentation and rangeland conservation science, and host and participate in diverse and innovative conversations about growing a scaled regenerative food system.
- Shelldance Orchid Gardens – As you enter the Garden Rooms, the foyer of the North Wing bursts with an effusive variety of plant life. Orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads, begonias, rose spike brandishes violet petals, and white moth orchid candelabras arch over the path that invites you in.
- Vida Verde Farm Nature Education – Vida Verde is a non-profit based in San Gregorio, CA that promotes educational equity by providing free, overnight environmental learning experiences for students who don’t otherwise get the opportunity.
- Half Moon Bay History Assn. Downtown Tour – Join an expert from the Half Moon Bay History Association for a walking tour of historic downtown Half Moon Bay. You’ll start at the old Jail building for a special walk through the new museum, then travel back in time as you stroll through downtown enjoying stories of the old buildings and the early residents of the area.
- Harley Farms Goat Dairy – Harley Farms Goat Dairy, home to 300 Alpine goats, produces award-winning cheese daily in what is now the last remaining dairy farm in San Mateo Co. Learn how goat cheese is made while meeting the baby goats and touring the milking barns and cheese production room.
- The HEAL Project /San Mateo County School Farm – This San Mateo County School Farm is an outdoor experiential learning space and market farm operated by The HEAL Project since 2010. They engage students from across San Mateo County and beyond in the process of growing a diversity of fruits, vegetables and flowers. This tour will include farm fields and outdoor classrooms including a compost education station.
- The James Johnston House – Tour the historic James Johnston House, a classic New England Salt-box, circa 1853-55 built by pioneer Scot James Johnston for his California bride, Petra de Jara.
- Markegard Ranch – Visit a 1,000 acre coastal grass-fed ranch and learn how they raise and sell their beef, pork, lamb and chicken. The Markegard Family has a long history on the coast and their philosophy in grazing is to manage the cattle herd to simulate the large herds of Elk and Antelope which once roamed California’s grasslands.
- Pillar Point Harbor – Enjoy a tour of a working harbor by a fisherman and learn about sustainable fishing practices. Visitors can even buy fish right off the boat.
- Rocket Farms – Founded by Carl and Virginia Pearlstein more than 60 years ago, Rocket Farms has grown into one of America’s leading wholesale home and garden companies. Wholesale only, they carry blooming plants, tropical plants and foliage, bulbs and packaged shrubs. They also have a complete line of home and garden designs.
For those who want to make a weekend of it, there are 20 lodging facilities along the Half Moon Bay Coastside and a wonderful variety of restaurants. Tour Half Moon Bay and the coast, stroll along the beaches, enjoy hiking and biking trails, shop historic Main Street…the options are endless. For more information about the Half Moon Bay Coastside, visit http://www.visithalfmoonbay.org.
Advance ticket purchases are required for “Farm+Fish+Flowers,” as there is limited availability on each tour. For further information and to purchase tickets, call the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau (650) 726-8380, visit www.hmbchamber.com or buy online at http://hmbchamber.com/fff .