Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bloom Tour at Rice River Ranch

Last Sunday, my family and I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Rice River Ranch Bloom Tour and BBQ. This is a family owned farm, managed by Tom and Jeanette Rice. Tom and Jeanette grow a wide variety of stone fruit (nectarines, peaches, prunes and many more) on their 16 acre farm in Arboga, California (just south of Marysville, CA, near the Feather River). The farm started around 2001 when Tom left his 'cubicle job' for a life in farming with Jeanette.  Jeanette has been around farming for most of her life with her family being in farming in the area since 1955.

The Rice's exhibit the best that California farming is all about. They are a regular at Placer County Farmers Markets and we had the pleasure of being a fellow vendor with them in the 2011 Farmers' Market in Rocklin (which we hope to repeat in 2012).

We had a great time touring the farm and having a great lunch, and it was especially gratifying to see our youngest daughter make the farm to food connection. In fact, she made the statement that she wanted to return in the Summer to help Tom and Jeanette pick peaches off the trees. Guess it really made a good impression.

So, here are some photos of what we saw on the farm tour:

Nectarine blooms

Jeanette showing us the small fruit in the bloom.

The view of the farm from the river levee (behind me was the Feather River).  In the foreground is are the yellow flowers of the Wild Mustard plant.

Blooms on a Plum tree.

Tom and Jeanette. They live and breathe farming, they love the land, love their trees and it shows in the wonderful fruit they sell at Farmers' Markets in Placer County and beyond.  

Its through the hard work of people like Tom and Jeanette that we get wonderful, fresh California produce.  Many take this for granted, many more have no connection to farming and where their food actually comes from (other than the supermarket), but today's tour reaffirmed my appreciation for our local farmers and why California is still a special place to live.

Mad Man Bamboo Nursery - Rocklin, CA
(916) 300-6335

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