You came for the Sequoias, but our bounty might surprise you.
When wandering the grocery store aisles, do you ever stop to think about how all this food is produced and placed with such ease at your fingertips? Well, chances are a lot of the produce, dairy, and meat products you have purchased were grown or raised right here in Tulare County.
Tulare County is the top ag producing county in the world, providing more than 83 countries with the staples of a healthy diet. Home to the World Ag Expo and thought of as the agricultural capital of the world, come see how we make America possible.
The industrious and hardworking people of this rich agricultural land invite you to experience the “Bread Basket of the World.”
As the heart of the most productive agricultural area in the nation, the Sequoia region harvests more than 120 different crops, and is the top dairy producer in the world.
In early spring, the country- side is alive and vibrant with blossoming fruit trees and wildflowers, while the sweet aroma of orange blossoms fills the air. The many processing, packing, and cold storage facilities supply markets around the world with fresh produce. Fall brings bright colors of yellow corn stalks, pumpkin patches, and gourd fields. Leaves on the fruit trees and vines turn variations of green, gold, orange, and red. Winter’s cool air helps produce the sweetest oranges in the world. Acres of ripe navel oranges on dark green trees appear to be decorated for the holidays. Rolling foothills, huge cattle ranches, and the majestic peaks of the snowcapped Sierra Nevadas form a spectacular background. Fruit stands dot the country roads from spring through fall, and farmers’ markets and taste tours are available throughout the Central Valley. The taste of just-picked local produce is deliciously unforgettable.
McKellar Family Farms
Nestled beneath the foothills, this citrus farm will really give you a feel for what it’s like to live in an agricultural oasis. The farm is surrounded by fragrant groves and has a story unlike anyone else’s. Schedule a farm tour and learn about citrus varieties, irrigation, production, grove maintenance, and frost protection. You’ll have an opportunity to pick oranges straight from the tree (season permitting) and take a peek at the historic WWII observation tower that sits on the farm. Large groups and schools are welcome! For smaller groups and individuals, the farm offers a self-guided walking tour. All tours operate by reservation only, please call to schedule your group at: MckellarFamilyFarms.com
Visit Bravo Farms to taste the valley the way the locals do. Bravo Farms started as a small gas station and cafe, and over the years grew into a mini “Knott’s Berry Farm,” according to the LA Times. Watch professionals make hand-crafted cheese right in front of you and proceed through the tour to taste for yourself. Purchase goodies in the Shoppe, and indulge in an ice cream treat. Call ahead to check the schedule for viewing the cheese-making, as these times do vary.
Naylor Family Organic Farms
The Naylor Family Organic Farm and Farm Stay add to the agricultural ambiance of the Central Valley. This unique getaway and ‘farm to fork’ experience is patterned after European-style farmstays where guests are invited into the host family’s home. Two spacious bedrooms complete with private baths are open for guests, and breakfast is prepared and served by the Naylor’s each morning. The couple has opened their farm to tours and direct sales of their delicious tree- ripened organic peaches and nectarines, as well as other varieties of stone fruit, while in season. Visitors will learn about organic farming, taste juicy fruit, and get to hear stories about the farm and area history.
Bari Olive Oil
A family owned farm and mill located near Dinuba, Bari has been producing award winning olive oils for over 75 years from locally grown olives. Taste the finest olive oil California has to offer at their on-site tasting room, which also offers olive oil soaps, books, and gift crates. Learn all about the history, production, and uses of olive oil from Bari’s knowledgeable staff on an educational tour of their olive oil mill.
Rosa Brothers Milk Company
Rosa Brothers Milk Company is a family-owned creamery located in Tulare. You get to see the milk bottling and ice cream making process, and have the opportunity to purchase the freshest milk and ice cream in the Valley, as well as other local treats.
Farmers Markets & Street Fairs of Tulare County
May-Sept: Thursdays at 5 p.m., corner of Church & Main in Downtown; Year-Round: Saturdays at 8 a.m., corner of Caldwell & Mooney
Jun-Aug: Fridays at 6 p.m., in the Downtown Entertainment Plaza
May-Sept: Thursdays at 3 p.m., at 147 E. Front Street
Mar-Nov: Fridays at 5 p.m., at Sweetbriar Plaza
May-Nov: Wednesdays at 5-9 p.m., corner of Magnolia & Antelope Streets
First Saturday at 8-12 p.m., at Springville Ranch
Thursdays & Fridays 12-6 p.m.; Saturdays & Sundays 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Mondays 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at Sage Roots, 41695 Sierra Drive at Unit A.
Local Ag Expert
Rosa Brothers Milk Company
For Noel Rosa and brother Rolland, owners of Rosa Brothers Milk Company in Tulare, transparency is one of the most valued aspects of their business. Not only do they offer tours of their sustainable dairy in Hanford, but they invite visitors to their creamery to watch the process from start to finish.
While their family’s farm, M.F. Rosa Dairy, has been operating since 1953, the brothers opened their Tulare creamery in 2012, where they make quality ice cream and a variety of glass-bottled milk products.
“We began to see this whole ‘local food’ move- ment starting to pick up with people wanting to know where their food comes from and how it’s made,” said Noel. “We have a good story to tell—we’re a local family that’s been producing milk for a very long time.”
“As a food producer, it’s satisfying to get direct consumer feedback” said Noel. “We think we do a good job of educating con- sumers with our visitor’s center and our transparent operation and we think that overlaps for the industry so that everyone can benefit from that.”
Rosa Brothers quality ice cream and milk products are found in both specialty and chain grocery stores.