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A bounty of fresh vegetables, eggs and flowers.
(Clay Hickson / For The Times)

19 SoCal farms worth visiting for apple picking, organic veggies and fall magic

Once upon a time, before condos and strip malls and acres of residential subdivisions, Southern California was full of little farms.

It was “the largest, most bountiful agricultural county in the U.S.,” said Rachel Surls, sustainable food systems advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County and author of “From Cows to Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles.” And then, after World War II, it became more lucrative to build houses than grow food.

“Really what changed was the value of land,” Surls said. After the war, the county’s population soared “and land was valued for other things than agriculture. Even the farmers who wanted to stay in business couldn’t because the taxes on land went up — sometimes as much as 300% in a year — and ancillary businesses they relied on, like packing houses, closed and went out of business.”

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Then new municipal rules made farming illegal in many cities, she said. As the region became more urban, “people didn’t want cows and tractors in their neighborhoods. They didn’t want to live down the street from a poultry ranch or dairy and they didn’t want to drive their nice new car in their nice new subdivision behind a tractor going 10 miles per hour.”

All of that seems pretty quaint now; how many of us yearn to live near someone who grows fresh strawberries or raises chickens for eggs? Surls helps urban farmers as part of her job, and she says though there aren’t any formal statistics about the number of urban farms in our region, subjectively it feels like the tide is turning and more small farms are creeping into our urban area.

But it’s still a tough slog. Many urban farmers are growing on leased land that could be sold out from under them if the owner gets an offer too good to refuse, she said. And many use organic methods to farm, but can’t call themselves organic because they haven’t taken the time — up to three years — expense and bookkeeping required to get and keep a USDA organic certification.

And then there’s the competition from supermarkets and grocery stores where you can find almost any produce, no matter whether it’s in season here or not, at prices often lower than what farm stands can afford to charge.

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Really, the big advantage that urban farms have is their freshness, a commodity that’s slowly reestablishing itself in American homes. You can see where your food was grown and — in some cases — even pick it yourself.

But many urban farms grow for restaurants, subscription boxes or even farmers markets in an attempt to regulate their income, so it’s not always easy to find a place where you can go and buy those freshly picked fruits and vegetables, or pick them yourself. That’s why we’ve compiled this list, to help you find your own farm experience.

We looked for places that are within L.A. or a two-hour drive away, selling produce primarily grown on their farms (although some larger farm stands may sell additional produce, eggs and other items produced elsewhere).

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Note that only a few of these stands operate daily. Smaller farms only sell once a week or every other week because they just don’t have the space or help to grow and harvest enough food for daily sales. Others have created a whole “farm experience” around their stands, offering tours, “u-pick” options, petting zoos and other activities to draw customers in. If we’ve missed one of your favorite stands, email me at

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A man in a straw hat walks by garden beds filled with basil and kale with white farm stand tents in the background.
Alma Backyard Farms grows produce on site, such as kale and bananas, which it sells every other Sunday at its West Compton location.
(Brittany Levine Beckman)

Alma Backyard Farms

West Compton Urban farm
By 9 a.m. on a drizzly September Saturday, roughly 40 people snaked in line at Alma Backyard Farms sipping on fresh-squeezed orange juice as they perused organic produce, including bell peppers, kale, radishes, fairy tale eggplants, heirloom tomatoes, beets, onions, cucumbers and garlic. Children played on a tree swing, coffee drinkers meandered in the garden and picnickers gathered amid towering sunflowers and sprouting pumpkins.

Alma Backyard Farms is a small but determined operation with a half-acre lot in West Compton and two other smaller residential farms in San Pedro and East Los Angeles. It sells produce from its urban farms (and some items grown by other distributors like apples) every other Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Compton farm. Keep in mind, the farm stand sometimes sells out by 10 a.m. Unexpected offerings are also in the mix. On this Saturday, ripe, tangy passionfruit (10 for $5) and banana tree pups ($15) grown on property were for sale. Sometimes staff will sell brunch; chilaquiles are a specialty.

The organization was created in 2013 to help formerly incarcerated people “reorient their lives as caretakers of community” by growing food, as well as helping at-risk children and youth and food insecure families. As such, the farm offers agricultural training, workshops for school children, food boxes for subscribers and the opportunity for volunteers to build new lives around farming and serving others.

There is free street parking for the farm, which is near St. Albert the Great Elementary School, along East Redondo Beach Boulevard near East 153rd Street.
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A variety of plums and apricots in baskets.
Apricot Lane Farms became famous after two documentaries chronicling life on the regenerative farm.
(Jeanette Marantos / Los Angeles Times)

Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark

Farm Stand
One of my favorite frequently asked questions that pop up in the Google search bar revolves around Apricot Lane Farms. It seems like lots of curious folks want to know: “Is Apricot Lane Farms real?”

Yes, indeed. It became famous following two engaging documentaries that tell the inspirational story of an urban couple with no farming experience who created the regenerative farm in Moorpark. The documentaries, “The Biggest Little Farm” (2018) and “The Biggest Little Farm: The Return” (2022), show the sometimes grueling process of running the farm. The owners are a husband-and-wife team: filmmaker John Chester and chef Molly Chester.

In addition to selling produce, they offer $50-a-person tours of the farm and occasional $500-a-plate farm dinners that quickly sell out. If you aren’t swift enough to book or well-heeled enough to pay for a tour, you can shop for their produce at four farmers markets or visit their seasonal farm stand for free on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They sell produce, meat and eggs (duck and chicken) at the stand, although during our visit the merchandise promoting their documentaries and lovely cookbook, “The Apricot Farms Cookbook,” took up most of the shelf space. There was, however, a long shelf for stone fruit like plums, apricots and rarely found pluerries (a cross of plums and cherries; $9 a pound), mixed potatoes at $3 a pound and farm-raised eggs for $15 a dozen (probably from the happiest poultry in North America.) You can also tour the adjacent demonstration garden for free, but don’t count on seeing much of the farm unless you pay for the tour, or stream the documentaries.
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A hand dips into a pile of tomatoes.
Italian heirloom Costoluto Genovese tomatoes glisten at Avenue 33 Farm.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Avenue 33 Farm in Lincoln Heights

Montecito Heights Urban farm
Avenue 33 Farm in Lincoln Heights is so urban that it has a clear view of downtown L.A. And it doesn’t look like a farm from the front; it’s on a steep street filled with older, well-tended homes. But Eric Tomassini and Ali Greer bought their dream house in 2018 not because of its interior, but the acre of steep backyard that made their dream to become urban farmers possible.

They don’t sell produce from their front yard — they’re trying to maintain some semblance of separation between their private and busy professional lives that include film editing (Greer), cooking (Tomassini) and farming, but they do sell boxes of food every Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. just down the street at the Los Angeles Leadership Academy Primary School (on Griffin Avenue between 26th and 28th avenues — don’t confuse this location with the secondary school nearby). You have to order the box online; they note what’s in the box each week on Instagram. In early September it was blueberries, chard, cilantro, long beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, peaches, passionfruit and a dozen eggs (that were provided by a partner).

Though this isn’t a farm you can visit, Avenue 33 made this list because of its unique pricing scale — $10 for EBT customers and between $20 to $40 for those who want to buy local but can’t afford to pay full price. The sliding scale balances out, Tomassino said, with people who can afford to pay full fare helping their less fortunate neighbors along.
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Watermelon, avocados and other produce sit in piles under a sign that says "Cal Poly Pomona Grown."
The fruits and vegetables at Cal Poly Pomona’s Farm Store are abundant.
(Tom Zasadzinski)

Cal Poly Pomona Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch

Pomona Farm Stand
Cal Poly Pomona’s Huntley College of Agriculture has students growing and making all sorts of produce and food products, many of which are sold daily at the Cal Poly Farm Store. The fruits and vegetables are abundant, often organic, and beautifully displayed, and you can also purchase student-made goods such as wildflower honey, cheeses, jams, fresh-squeezed orange juice, beer and wine. The store is a fun place to browse, with nostalgic candies and other gift items. But the main reasons to shop here are the quality produce and food items, that and the well-stocked nursery just outside the door. The nursery stocks a large seasonal selection of vegetable seedlings, berries, fruit trees and houseplants, much of which are grown by Cal Poly students as well. The college of agriculture also hosts its own hugely popular Pumpkin Fest, with a pumpkin patch (40,000 pumpkins strong), two corn mazes and other activities in October.
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Tomatoes at Corona Farm
(Alexis Marantos)

Corona Farms in Riverside

Farm Stand
Corona Farms is the quintessential farm stand, a daily operation open year-round, except on holidays, since 2005. The Corona family owns and operates about 30 acres of leased land at the corner of Madison and Victoria avenues, and any day of the week you can see three generations planting, harvesting or minding the stand at the western edge of the farm, selling a wide variety of seasonal produce, everything from ripe juicy tomatoes (heirlooms too!) to watermelons and pumpkins. When I lived in Riverside, I visited the stand at least twice a week, stocking up on peppers, eggplant, radishes, zucchini, squash, okra, kale, lettuces, scallions ... and while they lasted, the most delicious peaches and nectarines I’ve ever eaten. The winter rains washed out their strawberry plants this year — one of their most popular items — but they’re replanting and should be selling them again early next year. Note that the farm stand only accepts cash or Zelle payments. If you’re lucky enough to live near this farm and care about good, fresh produce, this should definitely be your first food stop before you hit the supermarket.
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Produce and jams sit on a table at Forneris Farms.
Forneris Farms sells locally made honey, pumpkins, melons, squash, green beans and an assortment of other produce March through December.
(Jeanette Marantos / Los Angeles Times)

Forneris Farms in Mission Hills

Mission Hills Urban farm
Since 1966, John Forneris of Forneris Farms has run his farm and farm stand near the northern edge of the San Fernando Valley, next door to the graves of actor Chuck Connors and singer Ritchie Valens (at San Fernando Mission Catholic Cemetery) and comedian Lenny Bruce (at Eden Memorial Park across the street). The stand is open daily, usually from March through December, selling Forneris-made honey along with strawberries, pumpkins, melons, squash, green beans, peppers (sweet and hot), onions, herbs, flowers and other crops, including the mainstay crops that got him started — corn and tomatoes. He has a big harvest festival in October, featuring a pumpkin patch, 4-acre corn maze and “tractor-pulled train rides” (tickets required). Forneris Farms only accepts cash. “We are an old fashioned farm,” he explains on the website.
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Farm beds with plants and signs that say "basil" and "lavender."
Farm beds at Lopez Farm. Some are being turned over for the fall season.
(Dua Anjum)

Lopez Urban Farm

Pomona Urban farm
As you enter this 3-acre “pay-what-you-can, take-what-you-need” farm in Pomona, you’ll notice crochet flowers adding life to the chainlink fence surrounding the entrance. Graffiti-style art covers containers and trucks — with the words “Lopez Urban Farms” painted between cartoon elephants, mushrooms and flowers. Lopez Urban Farm operates in partnership with Pomona Unified School District with support from the city of Pomona, Cal Poly Pomona and Western University, and regularly collaborates with nonprofits like Just Us 4 Youth.

Thirty-year Pomona resident Diego Torres enrolled his son, Diego Amor Torres, in the farm’s training program for kids ages 2 to 12. Their family soon became fixtures at the farm, often coming to volunteer and regularly taking home squash, kale, tomatoes, apples, peaches and grapes on open harvest Saturdays where you can pick whatever is available for harvest from 6 to 8 p.m. “It’s really just sort of like a safe haven for me and my son,” says Torres. “We’re going to go see Farmer Steve, we’ll go look for some bugs, get some sugar cane. When we get out there, he has his favorite spot, so literally, it’s a getaway.” The swing hanging from the oak trees, colorful seats and benches, a mud kitchen, and a newly added goat pen make the space very kid-friendly.

Torres also recalls getting shoes from the farm’s Bodega Comunitaria, which is a mutual aid market housed inside a shipping container and entirely based on donations, usually offering clothing, toiletries, hygiene products and books, and is open daily between 6 to 8 p.m. On Wednesday evenings, El Puestecito, a night market farm stand, is open from 5 to 7 p.m. in the fall (6 to 8 p.m. in the summer), and the Evergreen Equal Access Market is open every Tuesday from 8 to 10:30 a.m. for no-cost groceries and Pomona-grown produce, all operating on a pay-what-you-can basis. Free parking is available in the enclosed farm space for about 25 visitors and there are free parking spots along Mission Boulevard as well.
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A pumpkin patch maturing at Riley's at Los Rios Rancho.
Pumpkins are maturing at Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho in Oak Glen on Sept. 15. They should be available to pick by early October.
(Alex Groves)

Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho

U-pick Farm
This massive farm spans both sides of Oak Glen Road and offers u-pick apples and raspberries until the first frost. Visitors can pick their own pumpkins from the site beginning in October. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily this season.

The south side of the property is where most of the activity is. There’s a farm store tent with items such as jams, butters, cider and trinkets; a farm kitchen specializing in barbecue, pies and ice cream; hard cider tasting; and a petting zoo for children. The lot directly in front of this area is paved and offers handicap accessible parking, though it tends to fill up quickly by early afternoon.

On the other side of Oak Glen Road, visitors will find more parking as well as more shops and stands in an area that’s a little less busy. A long dirt parking lot with lots of empty spaces is abutted on one side by hundreds of apple trees and on the other side by berries and vegetable plants.

During a recent visit, the south side of the property was offering u-pick gala apples while the north side had mutsu and jonagold varietals. Raspberries started at $4.50 for a half pint while the apples ranged from $3 to $6 per pound.
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A red barn-like building with a sign that says "cider mill" sits behind a tree.
The apple cider is the first thing you smell inside the rustic country store at Snow-Line Orchard and winery.
(Fiona Chandra)

Snow-Line Orchard and Winery

U-pick Farm
Take a step inside the rustic country store at this u-pick farm and the smell of apple cider mixed with cinnamon will be the first thing to hit your senses — and it seems to be the draw. There was a near-constant line of customers waiting to try Snow-Line’s mini cider doughnuts on a recent Saturday. The doughnuts get their signature taste from real apple cider that’s mixed into the batter.

The farm is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and features several activities beyond satiating a sweet tooth. Long rows of raspberry plants full of red, ripe fruit are ready to pick over in an area a stone’s throw from the gravel parking lot. The farm charges $10 for one pint of fruit or $18 for three.

Back inside the store are jams, butters, coffee mugs and magnets. In a back room of the store is a tasting room where hard apple ciders and wines line shelves. Guests can purchase a wine flight, which includes five 2-ounce pours, for $15.
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A man cuts flowers at Stone Soup Farm and Heritage Orchard.
Tristan Krohne, a farmhand at Stone Soup Farm and Heritage Orchard, cuts flowers from the farm’s flower garden in Oak Glen on Sept. 16.
(Alex Groves)

Stone Soup Farm and Heritage Orchard

U-pick Farm
This 3-acre microfarm has farm-to-table vibes. In addition to an apple orchard, Stone Soup has berry patches, an heirloom vegetable garden and a flower field filled with colorful dahlias.

The produce is used by the farm’s modest kitchen, which on a recent Saturday was serving up mimosas made from local cider and crostini plates. The flowers are used for farm events and floristry workshops.

Summer berry picking at the farm has concluded and apple picking will start on Oct. 7 and 8 and Oct. 14 and 15 during the farm’s Apple Fair event.

Admission for the Apple Fair is $22 and includes an orchard tour, cider pressing workshop, tomahawk toss and an apple tasting event that lets guests choose one of several apple-themed dishes from a menu. Apple picking is extra with a cost of $3.75 per pound of apples.

Reservations for the fair are required and can be made via the farm’s website.

As with neighboring Willowbrook, there’s no parking on site at Stone Soup Farm so be prepared to park nearby on Oak Glen Road and walk over.
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A large red sign reads "Tanaka Farms Entrance"
Tanaka Farms does it all: It sells produce, offers tours and puts on holiday events for Halloween and Christmas.
(Jeanette Marantos / Los Angeles Times)

Tanaka Farms

Irvine Urban farm
Tanaka Farms is a model of scrappy innovation — a 30-acre family farm in Irvine that’s meshed growing strawberries, melons and other produce with agritourism — like its popular Hikari Festival of Lights and Christmas Tree sales in December, two pumpkin patches in the fall with games and other activities in Irvine and in Costa Mesa, educational tours that give visitors to chance to pick their own produce while learning about farm operations and growing techniques, tours for school children, a barnyard animals exhibit and, of course, a well-stocked produce stand/market. For $22 each, my friend and I got a 75-minute tour of the farm in a tractor-drawn wagon that included time to fill a good-sized clamshell container with several varieties of cherry tomatoes and a large melon for each of us to take home. If we’d gone earlier in the year (March-June) we could have picked our own strawberries from the farm’s elevated planting system — no more bending! The farm is open daily except major holidays, and operates a grill serving sandwiches, salads and snacks (fried green beans anyone?) Wednesday through Sunday. But what impressed me most was the moving historical tribute in words and photographs telling the stories of issei (first generation) and nisei (second generation) Japanese American farmers in California and other parts of the U.S., many of whom lost their farms when they were forced into incarceration camps during World War II. You can find a list of the families and information about how to submit your own family’s story at
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Tomatoes on rustic shelves inside the Tapia Brothers farm stand building.
Tapia Bros farm stand has counters piled with fresh tomatoes, corn and other produce.
(Jeanette Marantos/Los Angeles Times)

Tapia Brothers Farm

Encino Farm Stand
Tapia Bros farm stand sits near one of the busiest freeway interchanges in Southern California — the 101 and 405 — but drive into their lot and you’re transported to a simpler time, of counters piled with fresh tomatoes, corn and other produce for purchase along with eggs, flowers and even roasted corn, although they stop roasting corn in October because the crowds coming to their corn maze, train rides and pumpkin patch make the roasting too much to manage. Their farmland in Encino and Moorpark provide most of their produce but Tapia Bros. also host Tomatomania’s pop-up sales of a 100-plus varieties of tomato and pepper plants in the spring and Christmas tree sales (with optional flocking!) in December. The stand is open daily and there’s usually plenty of parking. Watch your step because cars are always coming and going from the lot.
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A man and son walk through the trees at an apple picking farm.
Alex Miller, 35, of Santa Clarita and son Kayden, 2, walk with apples in hand down a dirt path at the 1887 Stone Pantry Orchard in Oak Glen on Sept. 16.
(Alex Groves)

The 1887 Stone Pantry Orchard

U-pick Farm
When you visit this property, it’s easy to feel like you are lost in the woods. Tall trees shade winding soft dirt paths trimmed with slightly overgrown vegetation.. Raspberry and blackberry bushes grow wild in pockets everywhere. There are also plenty of apples and pears to be picked.

The orchard is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays but is open to organizations and children’s groups such as the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts by appointment during weekdays, according to owner Freeman House.

Parking is limited in the property’s dirt lots and fills up quickly. Additional parking is located offsite on either side of Oak Glen Road.

One of the star attractions at the orchard is u-press cider. Guests can crush their own apples and then strain the juice into a half gallon or gallon container while being supervised by an on-site employee. A half gallon is $20 and a gallon is $30. Apples and pears are $3 a pound, and berries are $5 a basket.
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Melons at the Ecology Center.
(Kat Reynolds)

The Ecology Center

San Juan Capistrano Farm Stand
If you’re driving to San Diego from Los Angeles, the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, a 28-acre regenerative organic certified farm and education center, is a worthwhile stop.

There’s always something going on at the farm — which was once the homestead of Pony Express rider Joel Congdon — from yoga and pizza-making to kids’ activities and berry picking.

The farm stand is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers luscious fruits and vegetables, artisan bread and tortillas, flowers, books and gifts.

Walking around the farm is fun, and the recently opened Campesino Café provides more time to linger over food grown on the farm and the fermentation lab.

If you want to learn more about the Ecology Center, check out one of the free educational tours on the first Saturday of the month.
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A woman picks an apple from a tree.
Angela Anguiano, an intern at the Growing Experience urban farm, picks an apple from the orchard.
(Dua Anjum)

The Growing Experience

Long Beach Urban farm
Across the street from Carmelitos Senior Complex, this 7.5-acre urban teaching farm and community garden in North Long Beach has a donation-based farmstand that offers seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as chicken and quail eggs every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sprawling green space is open to all to walk around and even pick fruit directly off the fig trees — just be careful of the green fruit beetles that live there. And if you would like to visit their newly hatched chicks, you can request a visit to the pen.

Jeff Rowe, one of the master gardeners leading various workshops and programming, is especially proud of their regular crop swaps. “People bring what they grow in their backyard. They’re saying, ‘What’s that and how do you grow it?’ They’re connecting, they’ll say, ‘How do you cook it?’ They make those kinds of personal connections. So in my little dream, you know, we’ve got like a thousand backyard farms in Long Beach alone.”

Recently, Angela Anguiano, one of the farm interns, suggested taking farm stand baskets over to a nearby senior center. The baskets include freshly harvested prickly pears, tomatoes, okras, limes, fennel, mint, squash, collard greens, carrots and figs. Parking is free on both sides of the street outside the farm and bringing friends and family is encouraged.
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A green barn-like building.
Pick strawberries, cucumber, squash and other produce when in season at the McGrath Family Farm.
(Jeanette Marantos / Los Angeles Times)

The Store at McGrath Family Farm in Camarillo

Camarillo U-pick Farm
This picturesque farm store sits on the historic site of McGrath Family Farm that’s been in operation in Camarillo for some 100 years. The farm leases out about 2.5 acres to the store operators, said manager Kennedy Dennis, where visitors can pick their own organic strawberries (in season) and vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers. The store also sells certified organic produce grown on the farm, everything from carrots and yellow zucchini to baby corn and adorable watermelon cucumbers, as well as regionally produced sauces, rubs and other bottled or preserved foodstuffs. There’s ample parking, places to rent for weddings or other parties, and a shady spot to walk your dog. It’s right off the 101 in Camarillo, so an easy stop if you’re heading to the beach.
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A man picks raspberries with his two young children on a farm.
Rob Rodrigez, and his children Nell, 4, and Theo, 2, from Santa Monica, picking raspberries at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark.
(Jeanette Marantos / Los Angeles Times)

Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark

U-pick Farm
Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark is serious about sustainable farming — both in its farming practices and in events that draw visitors from near and far. It’s a mainstay at several farmers markets, hosts farm camps in the summer, a Fall Harvest Festival Sept. 30-Oct. 31, Christmas tree sales Nov. 24-Dec. 18 and Christmas on the Farm Dec. 2-24, complete with Santa, all while hosting weddings, running nonstop farm tours and a fun center with games, shows, gold panning, riding trikes through a maze and feeding adorable farm animals. (Keep your eyes peeled for goats overhead — they’ve built an elaborate elevated trail for goats to wander the grounds). There are also 40 acres of farm open to people eager to pick their own veggies and berries, with regular transportation to and from the picking sites. And if all you want is a huge selection of astonishing produce, the huge open-air store will keep you plenty busy. They don’t just sell tomatoes — they sell them in nearly every color and size. They also sell carrots of many colors, potatoes and even summer squashes, plus eggs and other prepackaged food items from regional suppliers. You can buy bunches of lavender grown right there at the farm.

Admission to pick and play in the fun area is $7 per person on weekdays, $10 on weekends and holidays; tickets for goat petting, horse-drawn wagon rides and other rides start at $1 a ticket, with discounts for purchasing more. Most rides require five or fewer tickets. There is lots of free parking. If all you want is produce, visit the Somis location because Moorpark can easily fill an afternoon.
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Rows of cherry tomatoes, apples and bell peppers make stripes of red and orange.
You can pick berries in the spring and fall and tangerines in winter at Underwood Family Farms in Somis. You can also buy produce at its farm stand.
(Jeanette Marantos / Los Angeles Times)

Underwood Family Farms in Somis

U-pick Farm
Underwood Family Farms has its fingers in lots of pies — even at its smaller farm stand in Somis. Here you can pick your own berries (spring through fall) and tangerines (in the winter), bring the kids to picnic and play in a tidy farm-themed playground, feed baby goats and other barnyard critters and choose from an enormous selection of vegetables and fruits grown on their 200-plus acres in Ventura County. The farm stand is open daily except major holidays. If you’re looking for a more immersive experience reminiscent of the early days of Knott’s Berry Farm, the Moorpark operation is bigger with more to do. But you can still have a pretty fun time here walking the grounds for free. The Somis location is easier to get to — right off Highway 118, and the selection of produce is eye-popping — think tomatoes in almost every color of the rainbow.
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Hay bales in a circle in front of some apple trees.
Willowbrook Farm’s apple picking season begins in October.
(Willowbrook Farm)

Willowbrook Apple Farm

U-pick Farm
A visit to the 2.5-acre Willowbrook Apple Farm feels like being invited to a cozy neighborhood block party. String lights are woven between rows of old apple trees, soft indie music floats through the air and a few people visit an old-school hand crank cider press. A selection of jams, honeys, flours and produce are elegantly displayed on a table inside the farm store.

This year the farm is open between noon and 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and will require reservations for $10 plus a $2.51 fee by visiting the farm website. There is no parking, but guests can park along Oak Glen Road and walk over.

Willowbrook just wrapped up berry picking, and its apple season will tentatively begin Sept. 30. That’s when the farm’s owners expect their Stayman Winesap apple trees, planted in 1910, to have apples ready to pick. U-pick apples will be $35 a bag and u-press cider is $25 for a half gallon.

The farm will also sell s’mores and caramel apples in quantities of two for $12. During the 4 to 6 p.m. block, it will feature an organic wine tasting paired with sweets for $65. Guests can sign up for the tasting when they make their reservation.
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