Great Park Farm harvests first crops Sunday

Visitors to the Great Park on Sunday can taste the on-site Irvine farm's first harvest: strawberries.

The Great Park Farm's inaugural harvest will coincide with the Sunday farmers market, which has offerings from farmers, florists and food vendors. There's also free admission to the park's carousel and Great Park Balloon.

"This piece of property that we're farming … this will be the first food crop off of that land in over 70 years," said Tom Larson, a Great Park landscape and agriculture consultant.

Larson said there will be three varieties of strawberries from which to choose. Visitors can also view the other crops being grown at the farm, such as avocados, sweet potatoes and citrus.

The farm is operated by Irvine-based Orange County Produce. A.G. Kawamura, the former secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture and owner of Orange County Produce, has been part of the family farming business his whole life.

"Planting on land that had been fallow for seven decades was an amazing experience, and we could not be happier with the result," he said of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro land in a prepared statement.

Kawamura said the strawberries will be the first of many harvests at the park.

In an interview with the Daily Pilot earlier this month, Larson said, "It's going to be a center for agriculture like no one has seen in Orange County."

Kawamura added that they have plans to add an educational component to the farm that would teach the public about agriculture and food production. Kawamura pointed out that less than 2% of Americans produce their own food.

"It's an exciting time right now because there does seem to be a reawakening and awareness of where food comes from, and I think that's a good thing," Kawamura told the Pilot.

The Great Park Farmers Market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. For more information, visit

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