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Free Opportunity For Families To Experience Santa Barbara County's $1.8 Billion Industry

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SEEAG/Santa Barbara County Farm Day
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Santa Barbara County Farm Day takes place on September 18

It’s being billed as an opportunity to “meet the hands that feed you” – and Santa Barbara County Farm day does just that – opening the gates of our region’s working farms to the public for tours.

Agriculture is an important part of the Santa Barbara county economy – worth $1.8 billion.

But how much do we know of the journey of our food from seed to table?

Organizer of Santa Barbara County and Ventura County Farm Day, Mary Maranville, says it’s a chance for families to experience a day on a working farm.

"We have vegetable growers, we have berry growers," Maranville told KCLU. "We have packing houses, cooling houses, wineries."

She says families are "pleasantly surprised" they get to taste fresh produce for free, grown at some of the region's working farms.

"So much goes into producing the foods we eat every day - the lettuce, celery, broccoli, strawberries, blueberries, onions and herbs - the variety of food that grows in the Santa Maria Valley is enormous," said Maranville.

"Growing a single strawberry literally requires more than 100 workers--from prepping the soil, planting, caring for, harvesting and packaging - to finally shipping the fruit to market," she added.

The public will experience a day of agricultural activities, farm tours, tastings, and fruit and produce giveaways, plus hear from the local farmers, ranchers and growers who produce the food we eat.

Visitors can use a new online Farm Day Trail Map to build a custom itinerary to travel between growers and curated tour routes throughout the Santa Maria Valley.

Santa Barbara County Farm day is on Saturday September 18 and is free! Also, mark your calendars for the ninth annual Ventura County Farm Day taking place November 6.