March 30 - April 4, 2014

From Fields to Fridge:
What's Growing in Ventura County

We joined this program because it fit in the timing between the last week's program 
the wedding we were headed for.  It was an excellent choice.
Each day we were bussed to various farms where we were shown around
and the work was described to us.  

Sun Valley Growers, 3132 E. Pleasant Valley Rd, Oxnard  --  cut flowers

Mission Produce, 3803 Dufau Rd, Oxnard  --  avocados

Walking tour of downtown Ventura

Erle Stanley Gardner building

I read a lot of his Perry Mason books when I was in 7th grade

Churchill Orchard, 4101 Grand Ave, Ojai -- pixie tangerines

Lisa has produced a DVD "Eat at Bill's"
describing life in the Monterey Market

Oroblanco grapefruit (white gold)
Best grapefruit I ever tasted.  

Asquith Farm, 1811 Ladera Rd, Ojai

 Olive oil processing 

View from our Crown Plaza hotel balcony - kite surfers

Surfers Point

Associates Insectary, 1400 E. Santa Paula St, Santa Paula

Mealybug control on potatoes

How we grow them:
1. Grow lima beans in greenhouses.
2. Allow Pacific mites to lay eggs on bean plants.
3. Wash mite eggs (food source) off leaves, feed dried eggs to Californicus mites.
4. Grow Californicus in vermiculite mixture
5. Liberate Californicus in orchards or pack for shipping.

Agriculture Museum, 926 Railroad Ave, Santa Paula

Faulkner Farm, 14292 W. Telegraph Rd, Santa Paula



Conroy's strawberry fields, 2098 Wooley Rd, Oxnard  --  strawberries

Don't wash them until you're ready to eat them

The pickers.  Now they have to be 18 yrs or older and submit paper work.
A far cry from 1953 when my sister and I stood on a corner with mostly kids and took the bus that came along to pick us up to pick strawberries for Birds Eye.  No paper work.  We were paid at the end of the day and made $5.00 between us. 

Water and porta-johns move as pickers do through fields

We also visited but have no photos to show of:
McGrath Family Farm, 1012 W. Ventura Blvd, Camarillo  --  organic produce
Heritage Square, 740 S. 'B' St, Oxnard  --  Victorian and Craftsman-style houses once owned by Oxnard pioneer families

We drove a rental car from Ventura to San Diego, stopping for lunch at the wharf in San Clemente