Family Field Trip: Green Gulch Farms

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You’ve probably passed it over a dozen times on your way to Muir or Stinson Beach. Some people find it by accident, wondering if they’re trespassing as they walk past rows of vegetables and through lush, hidden gardens. But it’s never long before someone nods hello or offers a piece of fruit straight off the vine.

The Green Gulch Farm of the San Francisco Zen Center is a place where you’ll feel welcome. Part of a Buddhist practice center, it is dedicated to awakening the spirit of kindness and helpfulness. And it’s open to the public. If you want an easy, picturesque walk that even the most persnickety young hikers will enjoy, with wildflowers and horses along the path, the Muir Beach Trailhead will lead you straight to the Green Gulch Trail and farm entrance in about a mile’s time. (There’s also parking right in front of the center.) Once at the farm, you can appreciate the season’s bloom, wind down in private gardens, and let the kids discover new enchanting hideaways.

Children also have a special opportunity to learn at the farm on the first Sundays of every month. For a suggested $10 donation, it’s the perfect, “zen-ful” setting to introduce kids to the concepts of yoga and ritual, as well as for them to learn some farming, gardening, and crafts. The next class is Sunday, February 6, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

–Renee M. Rutledge