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Incredible walk through history at Mission farm tour with San Antonio Food Bank – June 25

San Antonio, Texas
  • Event date:
    June 25, 2024 at 9:00 AM
  • Event end:
    June 25, 2024 at 10:30 AM
  • Size

Go beyond the traditional tourist path at the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park: Level up your visit by adding a farm tour at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, a fascinating part of the only designated UNESCO world heritage site in Texas.

This one-of-a kind farm is run by the San Antonio Food Bank, and it offers a unique educational glimpse into the progression of agriculture over time, as well as a modern look at how the food bank supports the local community.  The majority of proceeds of the tour facilitates the San Antonio Food Bank with their work fighting hunger!

The San Antonio Food Bank cultivates many acres on the Mission grounds to demonstrate historical agricultural techniques and produce nutritious crops designated to fight hunger throughout South Texas.

Each Field Tells a Story

This site has several features offering a unique learning experience for your visit.  Each field tells a different story about the food system in South Texas over time.  A one acre native crop orchard showcases indigenous food sources prior to colonization with nopales and drought-resistant fruit and nut trees.  The half acre Spanish Colonial Demonstration farm showcases the irrigation technique using the acequia to flood channels with Mission era crops.  The 10 acre peach and fig orchards show modern perennial growing systems.  Then there are 15 acres of annual crops grown with drip line irrigation and modern techniques that vary seasonally.

The Spanish Colonial Demonstration Garden is part of the 32 acres currently farmed by the San Antonio Food Bank, and has been created to show visitors what the farm fields that surround the mission would have looked like.  It’s a representation of the lineage of food through time, including pre-colonial indigenous foods (such as edible cactus, native plants, mesquite, mulberry and pecans), colonial foods, up to modern food and farming techniques.

A Unique Irrigation System

Your guided tour will explore the history and significance of the mission farm fields and you will have a unique opportunity to see the historic flowing acequias, or irrigation ditches, carrying water from the San Antonio River.  These restored irrigation ditches are still flowing and are used today by the San Antonio Food Bank to irrigate their crops. The food bank pulls water from these acequias into their modern irrigation systems.

The San Juan Acequia has been restored for use in watering the Spanish Colonial Demonstration Farm.  The San Juan Acequia uses a system which has its roots in the ancient Middle East, Rome, and the great Indian civilizations in Mesoamerica, the irrigation ditch was built to water the nearby mission lands. This means of irrigation was adopted by later Anglo-American, German, and Italian settlers in South Texas.

During the mission period, this acequia would water all the Mission San Juan farmland. Your guide will show the use of a system of wooden gates which could be opened or closed depending on what fields needed water. In the demonstration garden, you can see how they planted their seeds on the berms and dug furrows for the water to flow.

Support the San Antonio Food Bank

This San Antonio Food Bank farmland is still being used for its original mission – to feed the community. The Food Bank was founded in 1980 as the first food bank in Texas, and it has quickly grown to serve 100,000 individuals a week in one of the largest service areas in Texas. Its focus is for clients to have food for today but to also have the resources to be self-sufficient in the future.

This farmland serves both the Food Bank’s Number 1 priority, feeding the community, as well as its focus on educating mission visitors on the traditional farming methods of the mission inhabitants. The food bank donates all the food they grow to feed the people of San Antonio. Your tickets support the food bank’s work feeding and educating the community.

How to Get to Mission San Juan Capistrano

To visit the farm at Mission San Juan, cross the mission compound and take the trail to the southwest of the mission, known as the Acequia Trail.

Join the Agritourism Movement

Learn more about how you help the world when you participate in agritourism, and why we at Delve Experiences believe in agritourism. Follow us at for updates about this and other local farm experiences.


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  • 1 participant ages 3+

    Each participant ages 3+ needs a ticket. Ticket proceeds support the work of the San Antonio Food Bank.

    $ 20.00
  • 1 participant ages 0-2

    No tickets needed for children ages 0-2.



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Event date 06/25/2024 9:00
Total Cost $ 20

The San Antonio Food Bank is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing millions of pounds of food to more than 500 charitable organizations in Southwest Texas serving those in need. In addition to food distribution, the San Antonio Food Bank provides numerous programs that not only solve the immediate problems of hunger, but help individuals and families gain long-term food security.

In a unique partnership with the National Park Service, it manages 45 acres of farmland at Mission San Juan. An additional 5 acres act as a historic demonstration garden to educate Mission visitors. The farm uses irrigation from the 300-year old acequia, replicating the traditional farming methods of the Mission inhabitants.