Have you ever been to Tanaka Farms in Irvine? Well if you’re looking to pick your own vegetables right out of the ground, pick your own strawberries and eat them right then and there after a fun tour then this is the place for you and your family! Special thanks goes out to Tanaka Farms for hosting our visit so we could share our experience with all of you.
We have picked our own strawberries and blueberries before but at Tanaka Farms in Irvine, California they let you pick your own vegetables too! There is something special about learning where our produce comes from, seeing it come right out of the ground, and eating it less than an hour after you’ve shaken the dirt off….especially for children! I don’t think kids really think about how an onion grows, they just see it in the produce section of their grocery store and assume that all onions look like that, yet there are so many other varieties.
We went on a walking tour thru the rows of carrots, onions, cilantro, chard, green beans, and we were able to pick many of them and gather them in our baskets to be cooked when we were done during this CookOut tour. From farm to table they offer these tours each weekend and depending on the season different vegetables can be picked…yes, right out of the ground yourselves! It’s a great way to get your kids to try new things.
Tanaka Farms focuses on educating youth, follows all organic principals that organic farms do, and conserves water with their drip irrigation system. Avoiding animal based manure, they instead use their own compost for all their crops. A clever way they avoid using pesticides is that they do something called companion planting. That means between the rows of vegetables they plant onions which serve as a natural deterrent to insects that would otherwise spoil the crops…..everything is planted and harvested by hand as well.
After your CookOut Tour you wash, chop, season, and then the Tanaka Farm staff cooks your freshly picked vegetables right then and there. We chose to add chicken so they had some nicely seasoned pieces for us to eat together as well. To pair with these a plate of freshly picked strawberries and a kale strawberry salad was available too…the salad was amazing!!
After we were done we headed out on a fun strawberry tour too. Along the way they stopped to give us some fresh vegetables that had been just picked to snack on. We tried carrots, celery, green beans, cilantro and small onions too….and yes my kids tried them all, even the onions!
They drove us around in a tractor which is always fun for the kids and once we hit the strawberry fields we were free to fill our baskets and snack on them as well during the 15 minute stay there….they seriously were amazing!
It was a fantastic afternoon outdoors learning about where our food comes from and trying new things like chard that they now actually like! There’s a cute general store like area too where you can buy more fresh vegetables at REALLY reasonable prices.
To set up a CookOut tour for a group you can contact Tanaka Farms directly or just show up and take a strawberry tour with your family on any weekend you like! They have a watermelon tour during the summertime too. Here’s a bit from our experience there.
They also have a service that delivers their fresh fruit and vegetables right to your door which is so great. You can see more about their Community Supported Agriculture program here.
For more easy recipes, tips and crafts please LIKE The Typical Mom on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest! You can also sign up for my free weekly newsletter which is packed with goodies I know you’ll love. 😉