This year's Farm Day is Saturday. Here's what you need to know

Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark is among the participants in the 11th annual Ventura County Farm Day.
Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark is among the participants in the 11th annual Ventura County Farm Day.

Consumers will get to rub elbows Saturday with local growers on Ventura County Farm Day, a daylong showcase of the area's agriculture.

Free activities and tours will take place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 18 sites, most of which are farms. Other sites include museums. To avoid standing in long lines to enter the sites, visitors are encouraged to register at

The theme for the 11th annual event is “Meet the Hands that Feed You.”

More than 5,000 people are expected to visit farms, said Mary Maranville, founder of both Ventura County Farm Day and the nonprofit behind it, Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture.

Maranville said visitors are surprised to learn there’s a lot more to agriculture than simply planting a seed and watering the soil.

“I had one of my growers figure out how many hands it takes to produce strawberries,” she said. “One carton of strawberries takes 500 people — a thousand hands. That’s really eye-opening."

As a new highlight this year, visitors can walk around Apricot Lane Farms, the 234-acre Moorpark site featured in “The Biggest Little Farm.” The award-winning documentary, which was released in 2019 in theaters, can be rented or purchased at Amazon Prime.

Owners John and Molly Chester revived the soil and today grow more than 200 kinds of fruits and vegetables while raising sheep, cows, pigs, chickens and ducks in a biodiverse ecosystem.

“It’s like no farm you’ve probably gone to,” said Maranville, who has known the couple since they opened Apricot Lane Farms in 2011. “They signed on this year (for Ventura County Farm Day), and we are so excited and thrilled because they are movie stars now.”

Visitors on Ventura County Farm Day can also watch spinning demonstrations of alpaca fleece at Alpacas at Windy Hill, a Somis ranch that sells alpacas.

“That’s one of our most popular locations,” Maranville said, noting kids love seeing the alpacas. “Over a thousand people will go there. They’ve been part of Farm Day for several years.”

People can also stop at the Oxnard Historic Farm Park, home to the Oxnard Plain’s two oldest buildings, both from the 1870s — a brick residence and farmhouse. And visitors can enjoy a tractor ride at Prancer’s Farm in Santa Paula or take a tour of McGrath Family Farm, an organic site in Camarillo.

Organizations that are not considered to be farms will be represented at the Farm Day Hub at Petty Ranch in Saticoy, Maranville said. Participants will vary from Ojai Jelly to Food Forward, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting hunger and waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce.

The hub will also feature a farmers market, and Petty Ranch will present tours of its avocado orchards, Maranville said.

Visitors also can feed the chickens at the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging Senior Nutrition Farm in Oxnard.

Other Farm Day sites in Oxnard include berry producers Reiter Affiliated Companies, Good Farms and Driscoll’s; and Agromin, a company that creates and sells organic compost and mulch.

To see all of Farm Day’s 18 sites, go to

Dave Mason covers East County for the Ventura County Star. He can be reached at or 805-437-0232.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: 18 sites open for Ventura County Farm Day