Friend’s Ranch in OjaiBy
I love outings that take us out of our everyday routine and our newest contributor Katie, shares about her fun adventure in Ojai with her kiddos. Here is what she has to say.
I love living in a large city and all the conveniences that come with it, but every once in a while I get the urge to spend a day in the country. Last spring we took a day trip to Friend’s Ranch, a citrus farm in Ojai, CA.
Friend’s Ranch is a working citrus family farm that has been around for over 100 years! The farm offers tours of the farm through the springtime where you can visit with real farmers, explore the orchards, visit the packinghouse and pick a bag of fresh fruit to take with you.
The tour started in the packinghouse, where we each got to mark a tangerine with our initials and then follow it through the sorting and sizing machines. The kids loved watching the machines at work. My favorite part of our experience was the tour of the orchards. The kids ran through the trees playing hide and seek while the farmers explained the differences in the types of citrus and how to tell when they are ripe. We were encouraged to pick and taste as much fruit as we wanted, and we tried many varieties of tangerines, oranges and lemons, many that I had never even heard of.
We filled a bag with tangerines that we picked ourselves and were able to take home. It was quite the treat to enjoy the fresh fruit at home for the next several days. We were done with the tour just in time to enjoy a lunch out in the cute little town of Ojai. It was a perfect day!
Giving my children a chance to run through citrus orchards and pick and taste fruit right off the trees was a treat for this city girl and an outing that we will gladly do again in the future. Friend’s Ranch offers tours every Saturday morning from mid January through the end of April. To sign up for a tour go to www.friendsranches.com/orchard-tours.
Katie is a Ventura mom of two that is always looking for her next adventure.