News From the Farm | February 12, 2018

103rd Annual Capay Valley Almond Blossom Festival

Every February, the Capay Valley celebrates the number one cash crop in Yolo County: the almond or “ahh-mand” as they are pronounced around here. While we can all agree that a glass of almond milk is delicious, in our area, local farmers don’t only grow them for their juice. They are also roasted, turned into butter, made into soap, and even eaten in ice cream!

February marks the beginning of the almond’s short period of bloom. For only a couple weeks, the whole valley smells like honey, and the bees start doing the happiest of dances as they make their way to the popcorn-like blooming trees all over the valley floor. It’s a magical thing to witness. And growing up, it was my favorite time of year.

The festival is one of California’s longest standing agricultural traditions and is generally held on the last Sunday in February. It takes place across five different towns starting in Esparto, then Capay, Brooks, Guinda and finally ending in the small town of Rumsey- home to only 50 full time residents.

Each town showcases a variety of activities, food, music and almond products. Esparto features an old car show, a pancake breakfast put on by the local Future Farmers of America, and local artists and craft vendors showcasing the very best of their wares. Rumsey has always been my favorite stop, with a local farmers market, blues music, and an incredible array of vendors all nestled in and around the old town hall. Full Belly Farm will be there with a market stand and selling their delicious brick oven pizzas!

The Almond Festival has been happening for over 100 years and you can see the unique history in each of the places you visit. I highly recommend coming this year, on Sunday February 25th. It’s sure to be an incredibly beautiful day filled to the brim with food, fun, and sweet smelling blooms.

— Hannah Rose Muller