News From the Farm | April 13, 2015

We would like to extend a warm welcome to gardening enthusiasts to our unique valley on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 10th for the 8th annual Capay Valley Mother’s Day Garden Tour.  Our valley is home to an amazing array of gardeners and farmers – from a 2 -acre homesteading garden to a 20- acre floral production field, we definitely have something to delight everyone. Nine gardens will be on display sprinkled throughout the valley towns of Esparto, Capay, Brooks, Guinda and Rumsey. Along with the gardens there are other points of interest including the new Seka Hills Olive Mill and wine tasting rooms and the Capay Valley Vineyards tasting room –both of which have special delights for mothers on their special day. Our local restaurant, the Guinda Commons, will be featuring jazz music all day and the Yolo Grange Hall is providing a “local lunch box” for those wanting to purchase a locally sourced meal. The tour is self-guided so that you can take your time and linger at those gardens that really draw you in.

The gardeners themselves make the day an especially exceptional event. For instance, the owner and head “gardener” at the Capay Oaks garden is a world-renowned landscape architect with projects scattered from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Redding, California! Ron Lutsko designed the famous Sundial Garden in Redding with an emphasis on environmental sustainability including acres of drought tolerant natives. His woodland-oak landscaped garden here in the Capay Valley is a stunning example of this as well and includes hundreds of special species that Ron has collected throughout the state. Annie Main from the Good Humus garden has a 30- year old botanical wonder of a garden that includes plants from her great grandmother interspersed with flowers and herbs that she uses in wedding arrangements and market bouquets. Her knowledge of plants and plant care is dizzying and she will be in the garden herself to answer any gardening questions.

For those looking to purchase plants the Chamisa Ridge Nursery will be open all day for business. Their focus is on unique species and exceptional forms not readily available in the nursery trade. Their endeavor is to offer a list of plants, both beautiful and visually sympathetic with the spirit of the west, which can be used to create non-irrigated landscapes.

At Full Belly Farm we have pulled out all the stops for the day! Our new Full Belly Farm Kitchen will be having its Grand Opening that weekend and the newly planted berms snaking around the entrance and the building itself will be on display for those wishing to see a newly established space. Judith and Thomas’ Straw bale garden (shown below), which was designed by Ron Lutsko himself, will be a fantastic showcase of Euphorbia’s, Yuccas, and native grasses, all surrounding their gorgeous self-built straw bale home. Judith’s touch in the garden has created a visual and olfactory masterpiece that meanders down steps near the Cache Creek riparian area of the farm. The flower fields at Full Belly will also be in full bloom boasting larkspur, peonies, godetias and calendulas all planted for production cut flowers. We even have some sunflowers starting to bloom.


The Straw Bale House Garden

The garden tour costs $10 per person, children under 14 are free. You may bring your own picnic and spread out under a tree at one of the gardens, or get a local lunch box, available for $10 each. All proceeds from the tour benefit community enhancement projects here in the valley.  This year we will be donating to the renovation of our Community Grange Hall, which has been a gathering cornerstone for over 75 years for valley residents.

Please visit to purchase tickets on line or call 530-796-3464 for more information.

–Dru Rivers