Get Away and Give Back, as we approach the Season of Thankfulness and Giving.

Connect deeper, explore and protect nature and heritage and make a difference while you are on vacation.  Throughout San Luis Obispo County opportunities await to contribute while you travel. During this season of giving back, counting our blessings and doing well for not only others, but also our environment that surrounds us, it is a perfect time to escape and give something in return:

1. Apple Farm’s Farm to Fork Package-

Be a “Locavore” and contribute by shopping locally at the Baywood Park Farmer’s Market with Apple Farm Chef, Steve Smeets.  By shopping locally grown produce you are helping the environment. Less fossil fuels are needed for transport of product as well as generation of less greenhouse gas emissions occurring from conventionally produced food.  This two night package invites you to eat healthier and is so much fun! You will have the opportunity to assist Chef Smeets with picking out different produce and local goods for the Apple Farm Restaurant. After your tour of the market, Chef will get to work creating a one-of-a-kind, farm fresh meal using the ingredients you helped him select. In the evening, join him at the Chef's Table in our restaurant for a three course menu including a flight of local wines. More Information: https://www.applefarm.com/specials/farm-to-fork-package

2. SeaVenture Beach Clean Up-

 https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article159845839.html

Our beaches are a prized gift shared by locals, visitors, nature and marine life.  Unfortunately, they are not always treated as such. Trash left on the beach in many forms including plastic pollutes our oceans and threatens our sea life who mistake the foreign objects in their environment as food. For example, a sea turtle who sees a plastic bag can mistake it as a jellyfish, once swallowed, it will prevent them from eating and the turtle will slowly starve itself.  So, come do your part! On the 2nd Saturday of the month at 8:30 mingle over complimentary donuts and coffee, and all attendees are entered into a raffle for a $25 restaurant certificate.  Gloves and bags are available. Next clean up is October 13th.  Come make your imprint.  More Information: https://www.seaventure.com/

3. Glean with Glean SLO-  

Rescue nature’s bounty to help benefit the community.  In an area of agricultural abundance there are still many people that go hungry.  By gleaning and harvesting we help to fully utilize our resources of water, land and labor to get the full yield of production, all while nourishing our community, building deeper relationships and expanding our appreciation for food and healthy eating.  Participate by signing up for a Harvest Event on the GleanSLO webpage, or if you are a land or ranch owner and you have crops that you can not get harvesting or that are over producing, sign up your location to come get Gleaned! More Information: http://www.gleanslo.org/index.php

4. Enjoy Ocean Walks While Being a Scientist-  

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If you love walking along the coast and are also looking for a way to give back to an important cause, the Otter Project is seeking volunteers. Walk the coast of Montana de Oro, Point Buchon and Cambria all while collecting valuable scientific data on this darling creature.  Sea otters have been part of the California ecosystems for millions of years.  However indigenous trapping and the fur trade in the 1800’s considerably lessened the population.  Monitoring the Marine Protected Areas of the Central Coast allows for statistics on their habitat and what can be done to maintain and grown their population all while enjoying our scenic coastline.  More Information: http://www.otterproject.org/

5. U- Pick Farms-

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San Luis Obispo County provides the perfect climate for growing a variety of fresh produce.  From apples and peaches to pumpkins and grapes. Besides gathering in the outdoors with your family and enjoying the fresh air there are many other benefits.  While one supports the local economy, there is also a cost saving by doing the labor yourself, making picking your own a value proposition. You also eat healthier and gain knowledge of the source where your food comes from. There are several locations in San Luis Obispo County.  Rutiz Farms in Arroyo Grande provides blackberries and raspberries. The iconic Avila Valley Barn is a great spot for peaches, apples and most famously, pumpkins. See Canyon is well known for its many varieties of apples. And the Indian Valley U Pick Farms in San Miguel allows for a gorgeous country drive and over 1,200 trees offering grapes, figs, pomegranates and more!  More Information: http://www.rutizfarms.com, http://avilavalleybarn.com/, http://www.seecanyonfruitranch.com/, http://indianvalleyupick.com/





Top 5 Ways to Experience Harvest in SLO Cal this Fall

Did you know that our region harvests more than wine grapes each fall? From apple orchards and pumpkin patches to olive groves and tomato fields, SLO Cal is full of amazing produce and farm adventures to discover during the autumn months. Here are a few to check out this season:

1. Apples & Honey Festival

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Sample the best of the season at this festival held at Mitchell Park in San Luis Obispo on September 16th. There will be local artisans, apple games and crafts, a honeycomb hunt, horn blowing contest and more. Don’t miss the animal showcase from Zoo to You and storytelling by Bonnie Lee Books. More info: http://www.jccslo.com/apples--honey.html  

2. Olive Oil Tasting at Tiber Canyon Ranch

Tiber Canyon Ranch is situated on 50 acres of oak and manzanita woodland nestled in the hills between the Pacific Ocean and the Edna Valley wine growing region of San Luis Obispo. According to local legend, about 10 acres of the ranch were cleared during WWI and planted in apricots. When they came to the ranch, only five of the ancient, gnarled trees were still hanging on. Now, where their companions once stood, they grow ten different varietals of Northern Italian olive trees. The grove is maintained using sustainable farming practices and they welcome visitors for olive oil tasting by appointment daily. They will even take last minute visitors as long as you call ahead. More info: http://www.tibercanyon.com/index.htm

3. Heirloom Tomato Festival at Windrose Farm

Tucked in the rolling hills of Paso Robles is Windrose Farm. Owners Bill & Barbara Spencer have been organic and were certified with C.C.O.F. from August 1999 to 2009, but are currently transitioning to biodynamic! They are a fixture at local farmers’ markets and the farm is an inspiration for many. Celebrate their amazing heirloom tomato harvest on September 22nd. Come for the traditional heirloom tomato tasting of over 30 varieties, stay for the local chefs and purveyors that will be preparing bites of their favorite recipes using Windrose Farm’s tomatoes and farm fresh produce. The FARMstead ED Pop-up Marketplace and Windrose Farm Stand will be open & selling much of the flavorful fare & products you will be grazing on throughout the afternoon. Tickets are $30 per person. More info: https://farmsteaded.com/products/heirloom-tomato-festival-september-22

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4. Discover the Distilleries of the Central Coast with SLO Cocktail Month

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All September long you can try craft cocktails featuring locally distilled spirits at restaurants across SLO County. Local restaurants include Novo and Sidecar among others in Paso Robles. They will be teaming up with local distillers like Krobar and Re:Find to create unique and delicious cocktails. You can even vote for your favorites. Enjoy the “spirit” harvest of SLO County!  More info: http://slococktailmonth.com

5. Sip and Savor our Favorite Local Harvest with a Wine Month Hotel Package

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We couldn’t talk about harvest in SLO County without mentioning some wine! There is no better time to enjoy a wine getaway than the fall months. During September the Boutique Hotel Collection properties are offering wine-tastic room packages to help you experience our wonderful wine region and well, “wine” down. Visit our websites for more details. Cheers!

https://cliffshotelandspa.com/specials/

https://www.seaventure.com/offers/

https://www.sycamoresprings.com/avila-beach-resort/packages/

https://www.applefarm.com/specials

Top 5 Ways to Get Active While Exploring the Bounty of SLO County!

With so many amazing sips and savors in our area, it's hard to try them all. However, here are a few tours to taste some fantastic local flavors while also exploring our small towns, exotic inlets, and verdant valleys. You will walk away with a happy belly but also a better understanding and appreciation for this rich local area. Feel free to indulge, as you are working hard for all this fun!

#1 Central Coast Outdoors' Bike/Winery Tour ~

This private, half day bike tour takes you through the luscious Edna Valley wine region known for its excellent Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. You can opt to wine taste at the wide selection of wineries along the way or wait for the payoff at the end, Baileyana Winery, where you enjoy a complimentary wine tasting along with a gourmet picnic lunch.

https://www.californiabicycletour.com/

#2 Central Coast Food Tours ~

Explore the ins and outs of San Luis Obispo while getting a true taste of the town. This 3.5 hour walking tour includes 5 specially arranged food and beverage tastings which may include handmade organic, chocolates, French fromagerie, and a wide selection of other local favorites. While you snack and stroll, you will learn about our agricultural legacy and the role of CalPoly in supporting early and present day agriculturalists, our family farms, and artisanal, hand-crafted food products, and our emergence as a World Class food and wine region!
http://www.centralcoastfoodtours.com/

#3 Central Coast Trailrides ~

Get a true sense of the ranch side of our county while horseback riding through your choice of 3 vineyards (Cass, Halter Ranch, or Calcareous) surrounded by rolling hills, dense canopies, and the Oaks that the area is known for. You will have a chance to taste wines at the winery at the end of your ride, a well earned treat. At Central Coast Trailrides, the guides' love of horses and riding is evident, as is their passion for providing their guests with a fantastic experience.
http://cctrailrides.com/riding.html
 

#4 Hop On Walking Beer Tour ~

San Luis Obispo is becoming a small batch brew mecca, and this is your chance to sample from the source! Sip and savor from Central Coast Brewing, Barrelhouse Speakeasy, SLO Brew and Libertine Brewing Co. with a pizza lunch at SLO Brew. As you walk through San Luis Obispo, your personal beer guide will lead you through our city's rich Prohibition history and divulge details on each brewery you visit!

http://www.hoponbeertours.com/walking-beer-tour/


#5 Apple Farm's Farm to Fork Package ~

Explore Baywood Farmers' Market with a pro, Chef Steve Smeets. Help him select a variety of fresh produce and local goods for the Apple Farm restaurant. Later that evening, have a seat at the Chef's Table for a three course menu prepared by Chef Steve utilizing that day's market finds and including a flight of local wines. You have all the fun and let Chef Steve do all the work (including the dishes)!
https://www.applefarm.com/specials/farm-to-fork-package