I recently had a chance to tour Tanaka Farms in Irvine, CA. This was a sponsored excursion I took with some top bloggers and Tree Top Inc. at the Mom 2.0 2016 conference. Now, I don’t know if you can tell, but I am not a farm girl. I like vegetables. I like eating them. I even like picking them (out of the produce bin at Whole Foods). But when the Tree Top team invited me to pick my own lunch at a popular farm in California – I flew out and put on my floppy sun hat to join the adventure!
I even got a Tree Top apron, because it can get pretty messy in the field. Especially when you trip and fall face first into cilantro. I wouldn’t know anything about that
I joined a fistful of other bloggers – from lifestyle to food – and we hopped on a wagon to explore the farm and visit specific rows of the farm that we could pick a variety of veggies for our own lunch. We learned tips and tricks to pick each specific veggie or herb, like “wiggle wiggle yank” for green onions that I will probably remember for the rest of my life and will never use again. Thanks Tanaka Farms
We had such a good time getting on and off the wagon, proud of the gathering veggies we held in our baskets each stop. By the end, our baskets were packed full of freshly-picked veggies! I have to admit – I was pretty excited just by picking my own vegetables. It’s a different experience than picking my favorites out of the row of veggies at Whole Foods.
Just look at my basket!
After we had picked everything that we could, we headed back to the main area of the farm. After a talk from chef Tanaka himself, we had a chance to wash our vegetables before we prepared them for our lunch.
Because we only had so much – green onions, kale, cilantro, and chard – they added in some extra yellow squash they grew here to our baskets. And yes, it is really hard to cut vegetables using a kid-safe plastic knife. What can I say, they have a lot of school groups that take this tour too.
I have to say, after I cut and prepared everything, I was pretty proud of my celiac-safe veggie dish. I packed it up with my name on it and they put it on the grill to steam along with some fresh salmon. It was a pretty awesome meal – an awesome meal that I worked very hard for!
But did you know that Tanaka Farms is actually more well known for their amazing strawberries? Since we didn’t have enough time to pick our own strawberries on the farm (that’s on the opposite side of the property), we had a large platter full of these sweet fruits delivered to us. I was lucky enough to snap this amazing photo before all the bloggers took handfuls.
I was so happy I had a chance to visit Tanaka Farms
with Tree Top. It was great to hear the story of Farmer Tanaka
and his farm. It was also a great opportunity to hear from Tree Top
, as they talked about their farms and what they’re doing to help curb food waste by using “ugly” fruits in their products. Thanks again to Tree Top for sponsoring this great trip – and if you couldn’t tell by my strawberry smile, I’ll remember it forever!