Last weekend, I headed up to Butte County (think Chico, Paradise, Oroville area) to participate in the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend! (30 Dollars for the Passport Weekend Festivities! or 35 purchased day of Event!) The Sierra Oro Farm Trail has been an annual tradition for the past 11 years that highlights the areas Farmers and Wineries. The annual passport weekend has these farmers open its doors to the public for amazing TASTINGS and tours throughout the weekend! The Farm Trail is opened UP year ROUND!
During the weekend, my first visit to this area of California, I found some new hidden gems that NEED to be told to the world: This post will HIGHLIGHT the Farmers in the area and little shops I just adored.
As I drove out to Butte County, this city girl, went rejuvenated throughout the weekend being amongst the farm fields and small town life, and highly recommend it to anyone!
Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products:
Open year-round: M-F: 9am-5:30pm Sat: 10am-4:30pm
Maisie Jane’s, which started as a high school project for Future Farmers of America, is a small country store in Chico, CA that offers a variety of products.
Maisie Janes was one of two lunch spots this year on the trail offering a boxed lunch for just 10 dollars. Completely new to the passport weekend.
BUT, it wasn’t the lunch spot that GRABBED me, it was all the vendors surrounding Maisie Jane’s that grabbed my attention.
Such as: 2 English Ladies and their delicious Lemon Curd, Lime Curd, and Dressings and Vinegraittes. Trust me, they’ve stayed in my mind since I sampled their products!
And of course Maisie Jane’s was also sampling their delicious Almonds, and Almond Products such as their Almond Butters, Caramel Corn, and more.
October: M-Friday: 2pm to 6pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-6pm
As I walked up to TJ Farms, I stumbled upon their pumpkin patch! Memories of past falls filled my head. Definitely a fun fall outing to pick out your pumpkin, try various jams and jellies and mustards (Kiwi Mustard!)
They even had slices if Pumpkin Pie available for purchase and other food options! And a fun play area for the kids.
CSU: Chico College of Agriculture:
Hours: M-Fri: 8am-5pm; Meats Lab: Thurs-Fri: 8am-5pm
My first stop on the trail was to Chico College of Agriculture! The college students pulled out all the stops too with 6 different visits to sites on their campus! The Beef Unit, and the Dairy Unit were in close walking distance.
While there, see the animals in action: Try some String Cheese, or Beef Jerky, and enjoy learning about Agriculture along the way.
Seasonally: July-March, Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-4pm
Photo Credit: Noble Orchards
If you are like me and crave apples during the fall then a stop at Noble Orchards is a must! Just one of the orchards that still remain, in an area, that had tons back in the day!
If you’ve never heard of a WineSap Apple, this is also a must stop! A new apple variety for me, but after tasting, I became a huge fan, along with many others on the Trail that weekend!
Harvest Hill Famly Farms:
Hours: October: M-F: 1pm to 5pm Sat. and Sun: 9am to 5pm
Throughout Butte County, if there was one place I’d recommend to come to for Pumpkin Picking, it’d be Harvest Hill Family Farms.
Not only will you find your perfect pumpkin, you’ll get inspired by Fall Decorating!
May-Dec. Friday, Saturday: 12pm to 5pm
There were no shortage of Olive Oils on this Farm Trail (keep in mind, Corning, CA, just miles from Chico, is the Olive Capital of the US!)
And a stop at Lodestar Farms should be on the must visit Olive Oil places to visit while in town. I really enjoyed tasting through all of their oils, and was pretty keen on their citrus oils of Lemon and Blood Orange! Perfect for Chicken (Lemon) and Brownies (Blood Orange).
Of course, nothing’s better than an awesome Olive Oil, Balsamic, and yummy bread!
Wagon Wheel Market:
Recommended Lunch Stop: It was the 2nd Lunch Spot offering to Passport Holders on the Trail.
However, bring a cooler with you, and be sure to stock up on their homemade sausages (they had samples available for us, and I am still dreaming of their Cheddar Filled Sausages!) This will be a must stop for me every time I come out to Oroville!
Mt. Ida Mandarin Ranch:
Hours: Nov-Jan: 10am-5pm
Although, the Mandarins aren’t ready until November, the Mandarin Ranch still invited Passport Holders out to their property to enjoy yummy treats overlooking their beautiful Mandarin Trees.
Of course, it only made me crave for Mandarins even more!
Calolea Olive Oil:
Hours: By Appointment
This family pulled out all the stops on the Farm Trail! As they opened their doors, they had an amazing salad, and soup waiting for you, along with an Olive Oil Cake that paired perfectly with their Strawberry Balsalmic!
And, of course, you could try their different Olive Oils while there.
Live music was playing on the patio along with seating pointing out towards their Olive Trees! A fun afternoon stop.
Sohnrey Family Farms:
Monday-Friday: 7am-5pm, Sat-Sun: 10am-4pm
Although I got no pictures at Sohnrey Family Farms, stopping into this little shop off 99 South made my day so worth it! Finding a variety of Almonds, Fruit Spreads, and coated almonds such as Mint Chocolate, Jordan, Yogurt, and Lemon Creme.
Gift Boxes are available in the weeks ahead (Great Holiday Ideas!) of their Almonds, and goodies found throughout the store.
Lavender Ranch: Briggs, CA
M-Thur: 8am-4pm, Fri-Sat: 10am-2pm
I don’t know about you, but I love the smell of Lavender! And the Lavender Ranch is a beautiful property. As you walk out of the car, the instant smell of Lavender hits you.
At the Lavender Ranch, lotions, bath salts, soaps, and more are available for purchase! Also, GREAT gift boxes are available for the upcoming holidays!
Pedrozo Dairy & Cheese Farm: Orland, CA
Hours by Appointment
If you love cheese then a stop at Pedrozo Dairy & Cheese Farm was a must. As you walked up, a variety of their cheeses were available to sample along with Mac n Cheese that was available to purchase.
As new kittens ran around the farm, visitors were given tours of the Dairy Farm, and welcome to meet their new baby Calf.
This closes my post on my new finds throughout Butte County! A post next week will come out about the wineries in the area.
Please note I wasn’t able to cover everything on the Farm Trail or Passport Weekend. Highlighted above were some of my favorites!