Beware, long post ahead! But full of lots of pretty pictures!
Recently I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Ojai, California with the lovely Danielle of Look Pretty.
I got the itch to visit Ojai after hearing about a lovely citrus farm, Friends’ Ranch. Friends is not a U-Pick farm, but they do offer farm tours in the Spring time where you get to explore the farm, hear about its rich history and eat as many ripe citrus as your heart (and mouth) desires! You also have the option to pick as much fruit as you want while on the tour and pay for it afterward. It was only $1.50 per pound! They even provide you with a cool tote bag to collect your fruit.
Danielle and I took the tour April 7th. We were able to enjoy W. Murcott Tangerines, Gold Nuggets, Minneloa Tangelos, Palestine Sweet Lime (which are actually lemons), Pomelo, Blood Oranges, and the star of the tour, the Ojai Pixie Tangerine (an Ojai specialty). These had to be the best tasting citrus I have ever had in my life. Every fruit we picked was juicy and sweet; each was so special and delicious in its own way. Farmers George and Emily really know what they’re doing! While I didn’t really get a chance to talk to Emily, George was as sweet as the citrus we ate.
Fortunately and unfortunately, Friends’ Ranch is featured in the current issue of Sunset Magazine, so their farm tours are currently sold out for 2012. Remember to check back with them next year and secure your spot on this amazing tour. I reserved our place just before the issue dropped, so we lucked out this time. If you just can’t go through the rest of Spring without tasting some of this incredible citrus, you can visit Friends’ packing house located across from the orchards. You can also find their sweet treats at LOTS of farmer’s market (yes, even in LA) and at Whole Foods Market.
After our farm tour, Danielle and I decided to explore the little town of Ojai. We had an incredible time, and personally speaking, it stood out as being one of the best days I have had in a while. We got yummy iced tea, got some locally made lavender lemonade (a must try if visiting Ojai), visited lots of little shops, the Ojai Museum, got some locally made olive oil, went thrifting–which yielded a few amazing finds and then ate a yummy little vegan cafe called Hip. All around a fabulous trip! Now we just need to go back to go wine tasting and visit the olive farm. 🙂