Cruising along the Delta roads, with the river on one side and bountiful pear orchards on the other...I was ready and amped for the Passport to Farms event by the time this weekend rolled around. However, it didn't quite turn out how I thought it would. My friend and I had a pleasant enough time but I'm not sure if I'll attend this particular event next year. I found it to be a bit disorganized which is surprising because it's not the first event the Sacramento River Delta Grown Agri-Tourism Association has put on.  I was able to buy my ticket online- no problem, but when we showed up to check in at our designated location on Sunday at 930am, nothing was set up and the doors were locked. We had to hunt down someone to help us, who in turn had to hunt down another person who knew what was going on with the event. What was odd was that the event (according to the website and our tickets) was supposed to run from 9am to 5pm (???). Anyhow, we got a quick rundown from a friendly gentleman and were finally on our way. Unfortunately for us, we weren't familiar with our way around the Delta and the maps that we were given were a bit unclear so we got slightly lost. After taking the "scenic route" which involved several U-turns and a recrossing of a bridge, we were able to reach our first destination, Delta Islands Organic Farm. The two nice young ladies working the stand gave us 3 lbs of beautiful, ripe heirloom tomatoes. We even got to choose which ones we wanted from the several varieties on display. Then we were off...the flyer had stated there would be a tomato tasting but we didn't see anything set up.

Next, we headed to Steamboat Acres where there some tables set up, displaying organic pears, pear butter and fresh honey. We bought some delicious looking green Bartlett pears and then inquired if would be okay if we could walk around the orchard a bit. (Here too there were no tastings or offers to show us the grounds. What a bummer.)


From Steamboat Acres, we hopped over to the Double M Farms/McDowell Hunting Preserve. One of the owners was kind enough to show us these baby pheasants and let us wander around.

Aren't they adorable? I had to restrain myself from scooping them up and snuggling them. After we got our daily dose of cuteness, we grabbed a complimentary pear and headed out to look at the pear orchards, the corn and alfalfa fields and the larger pheasants.

We closed out our tour with a stop at Vierra Farms in West Sac where we were given a free Imagination melon (a seedless watermelon with an almost black rind). I'm looking forward to cutting this sucker open and seeing if it really is as sweet as the guy working the stand proclaimed it to be. (I'll let you know.)

So all in all, I guess the ticket cost ($15) wouldn't have been so bad if we had partaken in any of the wine tasting at Bogle, Scribner or the Sugar Mill but quite frankly it was too early, too hot and I didn't think it would be a good idea to be driving under the influence on unfamiliar, twisty river roads.  I have to admit, I was a bit letdown by this event. I guess from the event descriptions I was anticipating something a bit different. I felt like we ended up just visiting produce stands and what I really wanted was to see the farms. I think the event could be greatly improved if samples of the produce were offered at the various stops (not just Sugar Mill), there were a few farm tours and maybe even some cooking demos at a location or two. Something to get the attendees interested and engaged.  I would have loved to learn more about the Delta farms and their produce. Anyhow, even though the day was a bit of a bust, one thing I would like to point out is how super sweet and friendly the farmers and workers at each stop we went to were. Great folks!
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