<b>FAMILY FUN: </b> Jessica Armstrong and her two-year-old daughter, Clementine, pick lavender during a recent event at Rancho Palomino.
Paul Wellman

Located in a tight ravine near Mission Canyon, the one-acre spread of Rancho Palomino offers an eclectic array of activities for all ages, from art and archery to horseback riding, hula lessons, and red-tailed-hawk watching. Run by Santa Barbara natives Sadie Stern and George Bustillos — who took over the property last year, brought the many dying fruit trees back to life, and made pens for their two rescued horses, Chocolate and Sweetie-Bell — the ranch is trying to follow the European “agriturismo” model, where people can come to learn about and appreciate the ways of a working farm.

“It’s like National Geographic if you sit out here long enough,” said Bustillos, noting the deer, coyotes, prairie dogs, and other critters that frequent the canyon, which they’ve outfitted with a gray-water, compost, and terracing system. “We’re trying to make everything work together without any waste,” he said. “That’s the idea. This whole canyon is pretty much sustainable if you do it right.”

Art and archery classes are already underway for kids, adults are invited to sign up for memberships that include numerous perks, and on the horizon are hula and horticulture programs, family tent-camping nights, monthly game nights, and even farm-to-fork dinners. See ranchopalominosb.com for details.


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