Windmill Farms isn’t your ordinary farmer’s market. For one thing it is available every day, rain or shine. The old fashioned barn and windmill grace the side of the road just off the 101 freeway on Thompson Road in Arroyo Grande. As cars whiz by on the freeway they might miss this special place, but if they slow down and make a stop, they will surely enjoy the adventure of a visit to Windmill Farms.
Approaching the Farm you will see old fashioned western wagons and a quaint trolley car. Nearby is a field with sunflowers and corn growing high. As you walk through a vine-covered archway you might feel like you are entering into a magical world especially when you glimpse your first view of the garden. Brilliant blue pottery is surrounded by potted roses of white, red and yellow. Brightly-colored ceramic flowers and little toadstools accent the green foliage of the plants. Here too are fountains and statuary. Benches situated on the gravel pathways offer a place to rest and enjoy the peaceful scene. Mounted on the front of the building is artwork featuring whimsical cows and chickens.
Roses and succulents
The garden at Windmill Farms specializes in a variety of roses and succulents. “We decided on these two types of plants because of the hardness of our water here,” commented Lorna Kirk, owner of the Farm. Lorna and her husband bought the property in 2000 when there was only the front small barn building on the site. They have since built onto that structure, greatly enlarging the capacity of what the barn can offer.
Inside, find a myriad of items – from the pesticide-free fruits and vegetables grown on adjacent farmland as well as a farm in the Central Valley to an eclectic and colorful assortment of gift and culinary items.
Gift items galore
Beautiful gift items, crockery, natural lotions, soaps, fragrances and oils, cards, tableware, decorative art, collectibles and more are displayed throughout and specialty gift baskets are also available. Shelves are stocked with a wide variety of gourmet foods, sauces, jams, preserves, breads and mixes.
“Most of the gourmet foods are from California suppliers and local sources – we like to support our local farmers,” Kirk said. “You can sample anything you might be interested in before buying, this way you won’t be disappointed.”
Walk through the Critter Corral outside and pet or feed the animals – goats, sheep, donkeys, pigs, turkeys, and Guinea fowl. The goats in particular strike interesting poses as they reach over the fences and beg for attention. The Kirks host school groups throughout the year to see the animals and take part in a bit of farm life. The Kirks also breed goats and have goat kids available for purchase.
A wide variety of special events take place at the farm throughout different times of the year. Sit in the garden, enjoy a cup of gourmet coffee, maybe a delicious raspberry scone and don’t forget to pick up a gift for yourself or for that special someone. Windfall Farms is the ideal place to find unique gift items including gourmet food and drinks, lovely roses and garden art and gift certificates are also available. Do stop by!
Windmill Farms is located at 1275 N Thompson Ave, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420. Reach them at (805) 489-1000, or online at windmillfarms.org. Winter hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Something for everyone:
- Daily farmer’s market
- Critter Corral
- Succulents & roses
- Fountains, benches & pottery
- Garden art & more
- Gift certificates available
— Ruth Ann Angus