In 1921, Gilbert and Beatrice Bates moved their nutty family to the beautiful, picturesque oak filled valley of Valley Center, where they purchased the Walnut Slope Ranch. They raised their family of 5 boys together with all sorts of old fashioned farm things like geese, ducks, goats, horses, rabbits, sheep, tractors, and plows. Little did Gilbert know that 80 years later his family farm would provide joy and pleasure for 5 generations of his family, along with thousands of visitors from around the world that make a special trip to the Bates farm each year.

Gilbert & Beatrice

How did the Bates farm became so famous? Perhaps it’s the beautiful setting, the picnic and park areas, the farm zoo, or the casual, down home environment. Or maybe it’s the reminder of simpler times and childhood farm memories. Farm antiques and tools line the walls of the Bates retail store.  Shoppers can choose from fresh, delicious nuts, candies, dried fruits, chocolates, homemade fudge and gourmet delights.  Samples of our homemade fudge are always avaliable, along with samples of many of our food items.  Our old-fashioned candy counter is over 25 feet of counterspace and is filled with truffles, mammoth turtles, a variety of chocolates and sugar-free candies, homemade fudge and chocolates.

candy barrels

Bates Nut Farm started out as a walnut farm, but now sells a variety of nuts from all over the world. Pistachios, pecans, cashews, peanuts, pignolias, sunflower seeds and much more can be bought in our retail store or online store. The nuts are raw or roasted, spiced up or plain. To ensure quality and freshness, we roast and package our nuts right here on the premises. The Bates family takes pride in providing a quality product at a fair price. It’s part of the tradition.


Retail Stores, Farm Zoo & Picnic Areas

Nuts may have made Bates famous, but we now have over 5000 square feet of retail space between the Bates Nut Farm retail store and Farmer's Daughter Boutique, located in the original barn.  Shoppers enjoy browsing for home and garden accessories, kitchen items, baby, stationery, collectibles, candles, personal care, jewelry, inspirational books, greeting cards, seasonal items and much more. There is a little something for everyone at the Bates farm.

bates retail store

Our Farm Zoo is open daily from 9am - 5pm. Visit with mini-donkeys, goats, sheep, llamas, pigs, emus, chickens, peacocks, ducks, geese, pigs, a tortoise & more! The animals love visitors, and will eat from your hands. Bags of animal feed can be purchased for $0.50; admission is free, $5.00 parking on October weekends. Open year round.

baby goat

Make a day of it and bring a picnic to enjoy under the shade trees. Many families bring balls, bubbles and games for the kids to play. The picnic areas are open year round from 9am - 5pm.

picnic grounds

The Bates Nut Farm has become well known for its special events held throughout the year on the 100 acre ranch. For over 30 years families have made it an annual tradition to come out to Bates during the month of October to celebrate the fall season.  The Pumpkin Patch is the largest, oldest and most famous in San Diego County. Arts & Crafts Fairs, Antiques, Collectibles & Crafts Markets, Fine Art Fairs, and Car Shows are held throughout the year. For groups of 15 or more you can take advantage of our educational tours; “Nuts For You” and “The Life of a Pumpkin”. See our Special Events and Eeducation and Tour pages.

Mission Statement

Bates Nut Farm is committed to providing the highest quality products in a welcoming and professional environment. Bates strives to contribute to the community through educational programs, special events, fundraisers and opportunities to create family traditions. Bates wishes to pass on the legacy and appreciation of farming and agriculture to future generations.