Always on the lookout for interesting travel experiences, we decide to spend the last long weekend of summer staying on a farm. We looked for farm stay options online, farmstayus.com (http://www.farmstayus.com/) was one of the better sites listing possible farm stay option by state. California is known for its produce, fruits in particular and after looking at some of the available options we decided to visit the Naylor Organic Farms (http://www.naylorsorganicfarmstay.com/)- a Peach farm at Dinuba, CA. A quick call later our booking was confirmed and we were on our way.
It’s a couple of hours from the SF bay are, so a couple of stops ( Gilroy, Forestiere Underground Gardens) and some hours later we arrived at the farm. Check in is 2pm, but we had let them know we would be later and we arrived around 3pm to a warm welcome by our hosts Mike - The Farmer and Nori - his lovely wife. No doorbell required as Penny their dog will let them know and safely guide you in. Nori had a lovely pitcher of iced peach tea ready - so we quickly completed the formalities and settled on the verandah for nice chat. Within the fist hour we had already started learning - the difference between a peach and a nectarine :). By the end of our weekend we had seen pomegranate, almond, walnut trees and lots of hummingbirds.
That evening we stepped out for a drive to see the country side and stopped at the Bravo Farms for dinner. Next morning we met Mike and Nori at breakfast at 7 as agreed. Over a hot breakfast with eggs, potatoes, toast, fresh orange juice, we planned our day with tips from our hosts and decided to visit the Giant forest at Kings Canyon and cavern at Sequoia National parks. The next day we had our official farm tour with Mike - learning about different types of peaches, about how farmers are managing with the challenges posed by the drought, about organic farming etc. Our 4yo was busy running with Penny and doing some exploring while following us around the farm. We followed this up with some fruit picking - once again learning about the hygiene while fruit picking and trying to make sure we were picking the fruit the right way. We got quite carried away and picked a lot - luckily handpicked fruit from a organic farm was a great gift for friends and colleagues back home.
We left that day after the fruit picking, but we definitely recommend / want to do this farm stay again. Mike and Nori have a beautiful home and like they make you feel part of the family from the moment you arrive. Of course our 4yo was extremely happy with all the open space around the farmhouse and Penny, he didn’t ask for TV even once the whole weekend!!