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.”

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

Bravo Farms

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.

BravoFarms.com

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.

NaylorsOrganicFarmStay.com

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.

BariOliveOil.com

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.

RosaBrothers.com

Farmers Markets & Street Fairs of Tulare County

Visalia

May-Sept: Thursdays at 5 p.m., corner of Church & Main in Downtown; Year-Round: Saturdays at 8 a.m., corner of Caldwell & Mooney

Dinuba

Jun-Aug: Fridays at 6 p.m., in the Downtown Entertainment Plaza

Farmersville

May-Sept: Thursdays at 3 p.m., at 147 E. Front Street

Lindsay

Mar-Nov: Fridays at 5 p.m., at Sweetbriar Plaza

Woodlake

May-Nov: Wednesdays at 5-9 p.m., corner of Magnolia & Antelope Streets

Springville

First Saturday at 8-12 p.m., at Springville Ranch

Three Rivers

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

John Oneto

Naturally Nuts

 

John and his family have been farming in the valley since the mid-1920s. Since he was a child, he loved farming and wanted to stay in the industry. Shortly after earning a degree in ag science from UC Davis, John branched out into the nut processing industry. John has now been processing nuts for more than 20 years, and he estimates he has processed over two billion pounds of nuts. He co-developed the pistachio roasting technique that is the industry standard today. Nineteen years ago, John opened Naturally Nuts, a retail store featuring an array of products from the area. “There is an agricultural abundance right here on a scale you can’t imagine,” John shares. “I opened the store so we could share this with others.” John is also passionate about educating visitors on just about “all things ag,” from holding demonstrations on nut butter production to coordinating “blossom trail” tours to different farms in the area, showcasing various crops. When asked what it is about this area he likes best, John states, “I love this valley. On a clear day, my view of the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas will make your heart soar.”