La Familia Ranch Pumpkin Patch--Los Osos
- toodie jane Sep 24, 2007 07:34 PM
The season opening for La Familia Ranch's pumpkin stand is Saturday, September 29.
They will have jack o' lanterns, giant pumpkins, mini 'pumpkins', rouge d'temps, all types of gourds, winter squash, broom corn, sunflowers and other fall decoratives.
This family-run stand is on the home ranch and will include (by the weekend of Oct 6) a farm animal "petting zoo": sheep, calf and cow, pigs, goats, chickens, etc,.
This is a casual and sane alternative to the other very commercialized farm stands on the central coast. I like it because it is on an old operating (c 1890's?) central coast ranch, so kids get the feel of what a real ranch is like. The family is wonderful and very down to earth, and work the stand themselves.
And, fair prices so you can really stock up with a great assortment.
Highly recommended for families and kids!
Take the Los Osos Vallley Rd. exit north or southbound from 101 in San Luis Obispo. Drive about 5 miles out toward Los Osos on LOVR. to sign at driveway for La Familia Ranch: "Pumpkins". Use caution on the one lane driveway. Plenty of parking near the farmstand.
**Note: it can be chilly when the wind is coming up the valley from the ocean. Dress kids warmly!
Most of LOV is in Williamson Act where the landowners agree not to develop for 20 years in exchange for tax breaks so they can afford to keep farming.
La Familia Ranch is just one local LOVR producing farm. Across the road and towards SLO just a bit is a small farm (Ralph?) which sells organically grown veggies and herbs and tomato plants at Farmer's in SLO and Baywood.
And there are certified organic farm fields (look for the small signs on the fence)between La Familia and the Highland ranch on the west side of LOVR. Farther down the LOVR corridor is Clark Valley Ranch which sells at Farmers and does harvest boxes. Many other small growers in this area show their produce at different local Farmers Mkts.
We are indeed lucky to have our committed local growers. La Familia (leased, by the way) is such a great place to me because it is a real working farm, and the family runs the farmstand. They genuinely enjoy meeting with the public, too. No disinterested teenage clerks. They are walking the walk, not just creating a tourist photo-op.
Thanks for the update Toodie Jane- we are so excited to return this season! We so enjoyed the family feel, the attention paid to making it fun for children and the prices! What a bargin compared to what we are used to paying! FYI, Solvang Farmer looks better everyday- they are setting out all the old farming equiptment, they have corn tied around all the poles of the stand, and they have some squash already displayed.
Solvang Farmer is located on the 246 between Buellton and Solvang- maybe 2 miles East of the 101.
The Farmstand on the154, now located at the stop sign at Hiway 154 and Edison (Santa Ynez Valley)- Somerset Farms has been busy all season and I fully expect him to do the pumpkins and corn maze again.
I can't wait to get up to La Familia Ranch and check it out. Avila Valley Barn can be so crowded.
I did check Solvang Farmer. Good size pumpkins, but my grandkids were not excited. Looks like a really nice maze, but it was 3.00 and out of my budget with 4 grandkids and pumpkins to buy.
The grandkids enjoyed the Somerset Farms Pumpkin Patch. More kids friendly, less expensive than Solvang Farmer. They had a maze too, which was 2.00. Very cute set up, friendly staff and other goodies at the stand too.
We headed to Santa Barbara to pick up two more grandchildren and stopped at Lane Farms (Hollister Ave and Walnut). Free Maze, Free tractor hay rides, some animals and lots of pumpkins and gourds. Many area set up for great photos. The kids had fun exploring everything.
Does anyone have pictures of La Familia Ranch?
Sorry, I don't have any photos. I should! I will take some today.
La Familia is a real c. 1880's ranch, not something set up on an empty lot somewhere, nor a make-believe 'ranch' with new barns built for tourists. I love this place because it's a real breath of fresh air. Not even a cash register. Bills are figured out long-hand. The owners happily greet customers as if they are neighbors dropping by for a chat.
I can tell you the pumpkin-choosing area is fairly small, maybe 2,000 sq ft. It sits below the barn along the dirt driveway to a working ranch, so it's not the "playground" that most commercial pumpkin patches are. No maze, but a "spooky" path criss-crossing a creek, with pens of farm animals as are available (not just for show) and the NICEST ranch family hosts complete with dog and mouser.
La Familia had a set-back a few weeks ago--vandals came at night and stole all the large expensive pumpkins, $500 worth. The sheriff found the pumpkins dumped in a creek so it was likely a student 'dare-ya' kind of stunt. Poly is rushing fraternities right now....h-m-m-m.
Anyway, it'd be great if the community continued to support La Familia all through Thanksgiving. They will be selling pumpkins, broomcorn, baking squash of all kinds, and beautiful pollenless sunflowers at the ranch through Turkey Day. They also sell dry beans and other ranch products at the Sat. morning Farmer's Market at the Gottcschalk's center in SLO off Madonna Rd.
*(There are wheelbarrows to gather pumpkins, and help to load purchases.)