Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer Watermelon Tours at Tanaka Farms

Disclosure: We were hosted by Tanaka Farms with other media for a watermelon tour. All opinions are my own.

If were ever a kindergartner in the Irvine Unified School District, then you've 
probably been on one of the fun tours at Tanaka Farms. Even though I've had 2 
kids go on kindergarten field trips to Tanaka Farms, I had never been one of the 
tours. In fact, I am kicking myself that I don't take better advantage of having 
such a great source of fresh produce that is picked daily just down the road from 
me. I was really excited when Mary of Let's Play OC arranged a watermelon tour 
at Tanaka for other local media.

The kids were really excited to go for a wagon ride and take a tasting tour of the 
farm on our watermelon tour. The tours are offered daily at various times, 
depending on the day, during July and August. They last about 50 minutes and 
they end with taking home your very own watermelon. 

I really enjoyed the rural atmosphere at Tanaka Farms. As an Iowa farm girl I 
sometimes miss the wide open farm lands living here in Orange County. It was 
good for the soul to just look out over the farm as the tractor bumped along and 
my kids had an experience that they'd never had before. We had fun listening to 
our guide tell us about the land, the different types of crops they grow, why they 
rotate crops, and how they use the same products and natural methods as 
certified organic farms to keep the pests from eating all the delicious produce 
instead of harmful pesticides.
Along the way we stopped and tried some of the delicious produce they grow 
on the farm in addition to watermelon. Our tour guide invited all the kids to join 
the "Try It All Club" and they all raised their right hands and took an oath to try 
it all! And they did! Even my pickiest picky Isabella tried a bite of everything! It 
made my heart so happy! My favorite was the sweet corn that you could eat off 
of the cob raw! I think the kids liked the corn and the Bugs Bunny-esque 
carrots the best. They weren't too sure about the cilantro and the cherry 
tomatoes, but they each gave it a good college try.

Our last stop was the watermelon tent where we tried different varieties of
melon. It was so delicious! I can't remember that I watermelon with so much
flavor! And have you ever seen a yellow watermelon? It looked like a giant slice
of pineapple and it was my favorite. And you should have seen knife skills of our
tractor driver! He sliced and diced those melons like  nobody's business. I wish
I would have taken a video of how quickly and easily he carved up each melon.

No one left the tent wanting for melon - we were all stuffed! I enjoyed seeing the
kids try a few of the melon varieties for the first time. JT and Isabella liked the
seedless watermelon the best, but I think it was too close to call for Grace as she
devoured each of them with the same veracity.

After we were done stuffing ourselves with watermelon, then we got our very
own watermelons from the field! We didn't actually pick the watermelon. Our
tour guide handed us one that had been harvested that day. But we were out in
the middle of the field and we had to carry it back to the wagon, so I'm saying
that we picked our own watermelon.The kids were very happy and couldn't wait
to get home and have their own watermelon for lunch and to share it with daddy
who wasn't able to come.

So, don't follow my poor example and fail to take your kids on such an exciting 
and memorable adventure - especially if you live 10 minutes from Tanaka Farms 
like I do. The watermelon tours run through the end of August and if you come 
on the weekend, you don't need a reservation - they run every hour from 
9:30 am - 2:30 pm.  Check the Tanaka Farms website for weekday 
reservation instructions and weekend tour times. You can also call the farm for 
group rates and reservations.

The price for the watermelon tour is $18 for adults and children. Children 2 
years and under are free. The are also group rates available. After your tour, 
don't forget to take advantage of the $2 off a purchase of $10 or more in the 
Market Stand. There are all varieties of fruits and vegetables available for 
purchase as well as some other delicious fresh foods like breads, tortilla chips 
and salsa. They had the BBQ out and were roasting sweet corn when our tour 
finished up, so we decided to pick up a few to eat for lunch and we also took 
some fresh sweet corn on the cob home to use for the BBQ at Grandma's house 
that weekend. It didn't even last that long. The kids ate the raw sweet corn 
straight off of the cob before I could BBQ it the next day!

Are you a farm girl or a city girl?
Do you think your family would like an 
experience like this?



Related Posts with Thumbnails