Monday, June 21, 2010

Strawberry fields forever

We celebrated Father's Day weekend with a trip to Tanaka Farms, a place that continues to come up in recommendations from friends.

Now it's my turn to share my kudos. It was well worth the hour-drive to Irvine.


As you can see by the sign above, they have fun things year-round, but we were there just in time for the strawberry tour. The last day to do the tour is this Sunday, the 27th!

We slathered Em in sunscreen and put on her big sun hat. We bought our tickets and waited for our turn for the tour.

Securing her hat

Em & Daddy

Em & Mommy

They do tours every half hour, so it wasn't long before we loaded into the tractor-pulled trailers.

They grow lots of different produce.


All protected by some creepy scarecrows.


Throughout the tour they stopped to let us taste some of the amazing produce. Straight out of the ground, they rinsed each selection and handed out huge handfuls.

Green beans
Green beans

Snap peas
Snap peas


Carrots. I've never thought as carrots as "decadent" until now.

Then the trailers stopped for the big finale -- the strawberry fields!
Strawberry patch

Our guide explained that everything grown there is organic. They plant onions between the rows of strawberries to serve as a natural insect repellent.
Strawberries and onions

Everyone on the tour gets a container to pick a pound of strawberries. Because it was Father's Day weekend, all dads on the tour got an extra pound. So we had three pounds to pick.

In addition to filling the containers, we were allowed to stuff ourselves silly with fresh strawberries -- all we could within the 15 minutes we were there. Em trailed between me and Brent while gobbling fresh strawberries.

In the strawberry fields



It's a wonder that we filled our containers, given the number of strawberries with which we stuffed ourselves. The weather was perfect so the strawberries weren't hot -- just the perfect temperature to enjoy them straight off the vine.


After the tour we returned to the market stand.
Market stand

That's where Brent spotted these onions, which were hard to miss.
The size of Em's head

It was a great way to celebrate Father's Day weekend, and we're already looking forward to touring again next strawberry season.
Family photo

Or maybe even for the pumpkin patch!
On the wagon

"Living on a farm, your sense of smell gets very sharp. For example, there are beets in the condo two doors down that way. And someone over there, I believe, is a big fan of olives." - Dwight, The Office


  1. I did the tour with a friend and her kiddo. It was a lot of fun although the tomatoes weren't ready when we went. And the carrots weren't as big.
    Can't wait to take my nieces!


    Those were some scary scarecrows.

  3. Now I want some strawberries!

    and holy hell - those scarecrows were CREEPY!

  4. Haha, you lost me at the word "Irvine." It went like this: Ew. Why would anyone go to Irvine? Should I keep reading?


    Those were some huge onions that I'm pretty jealous of.

  5. So fun! Most of our OC friends took Halloween pitures with their little ones at the farm. Something to keep in mind. :)

  6. That looks so fun! Em is such a cutie. :) I recently found your blog and I really enjoy reading it and seeing all of your cute pictures.

  7. Wasn't that SO fun? I can't wait for Elsie to grow up so we can do it again :) Love the pics and Em's adorable hat! We are for sure going in the fall for the pumpkin patch!

  8. fun times! we take our class to Tanaka farms any chance we can get - strawberry picking, watermelon picking, and pumpkin picking. next time you're down here, you should go to "Pretend City" - you guys will love it!! (

    p.s. your hair looks great!!

  9. looks like it was a lot of fun. I'm going to see if I can make it out there next weekend. i'm definitely planning on going for the pumpkin patch comes Oct.

  10. um this place looks awesome and i totally want to go for pumpkin season, ah! awesome.

  11. i may have nightmares about those scarecrows.

    but it sure looks like fun!

  12. Hi, I'm a lurker, my family just did the strawberry was so cool. Thought that you might like to know that they do watermeon tours too through July until September.

  13. Dude, those were some scary-looking scarecrows. Your family is seriously cute! Miss you guys.

  14. that looks like so much fun! :) i'm going to have to find something like that up here!