Califonia Bountiful

On location: Solano County

September/October 2018 California Bountiful magazine

What makes it distinctive? Find out!

Created as one of California's original 27 counties in 1850, Solano traces its name to both a Franciscan missionary and a Native American chief. But its history goes back much further, as artifacts from the Stone Age have been found there. Solano County is an agricultural mecca, with winegrape vineyards and green pastures providing an ideal home for dairy cows and lambs.





Joe Martinez, Winters

When it comes to his livelihood, second-generation farmer Joe Martinez believes in diversity. It's evident from the list of crops he grows: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, prunes, apricots and peaches. "I love what I do," he said, adding, "There certainly has been a tremendous change in California agriculture from when I started farming in 1975."





Emigh Livestock, Rio Vista

At Emigh Livestock, fourth-generation rancher Martin Emigh and daughters Catie and Sarah raise sheep on lush hillsides and irrigated pasture. Emigh lamb is sold online and at several Northern California restaurants and butcher shops. Custom group tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at life on the ranch.




Mangels Vineyards, Suisun Valley

After talking to his farmer neighbors in 1991, Gary Mangels decided to remove a pear orchard and become a winegrape grower. He farms merlot and syrah grapes, which are some of the varieties used to created Mangels Vineyards wines. The tasting room is open weekends.



Lambtown Festival, Dixon

For more than three decades, visitors have migrated to the Dixon May Fair Grounds on the first weekend in October for a celebration of everything lamb. There are dozens of craft and food booths, workshops, sheepdog demonstrations and much more.




Larry's Produce, Fairfield

Larry and Lisa Balestra started with 40 acres and one employee when they opened their roadside produce stand in 1986. Now, with the help of about 80 people during peak season, they farm more than 1,200 acres and operate one of the largest produce stands in the county.


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