Old McDonald had a farm, and we discovered that it is nestled in the outskirts of Silicon Valley in Los Altos; a place called Hidden Villa Farm. Ok, the farm isn’t owned by Farmer McDonald, but rather by the Duveneck family whom purchased the land in 1924; they decided to preserve the wilderness and manage the farm as a family ranch. Despite growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I actually was unaware this ranch existed until a friend suggested we shoot Riley’s birthday pictures in the olive garden, here.
(This should explain why we’re dressed up instead of clothed in jeans, sneakers and t-shirts. Note: I do not recommend wearing dress shoes to a farm due to all the dirt that is kicked up while walking on the trails, but I’m sure that’s common sense.) ;-)
“Hidden Villa is a nonprofit educational organization that uses its organic farm, wilderness, and community to teach and provide opportunities to learn about the environment and social justice. Hidden Villa stretches over 1600 acres of open space in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 40 miles south of San Francisco. Our mission is to inspire a just and sustainable future through our programs, land and legacy.” — hiddenvilla.org
We took a stroll through the organic garden and chased a few butterflies.
And we got up close and personal with the farm animals. This is the first time Riley has ever been face-to-face with a cow; her reaction is evident.
The farm includes 8 miles of hiking trails and offers picnic and cabin rentals, along with guided tours where children (from preschool to 12th grade) learn about the farm animals, nature, wilderness and farming. A calendar of upcoming events can be found, here.
If you need an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, want to get lost in nature, milk a cow or learn how to manage a sustainable farm, then Hidden Villa is the perfect sanctuary. We’ll be back in the summer, but this time in our jeans and sneakers.
Hidden Villa | 26870 Moody Road | Los Altos Hills, CA 94022 | (650) 949-8650
Photos by Zha Zha Liang