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Pick Your Produce

WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Take shopping fresh one step further by picking your own produce at local farms.


With more than a dozen farmers markets gracing Orange County every week during summer months, there is no better time than now to stock up on fruits and veggies. Whether you’re craving apricots, cherries, peaches, or peppers, farmers across Southern California are hard at work bringing the goods to our streets. But while having the farmers deliver is ideal for a quick shopping trip, the bounty can often be sweeter when you get your hands a little dirty.

Fortunately, you can pick – or at least pick up – your produce straight from the source right here in Orange County.

Tanaka Farms
Whether you prefer strawberries or watermelons, both can be picked locally at Irvine’s Tanaka Farms. In less than two hours, this member of Community Supported Agriculture will take you on a guided wagon tour of the farm, let you sample fruit picked on the spot and send you home with plenty to spare. 5380 ¾ University Dr., Irvine :: 949.653.2100 :: tanakafarms.com

VR Green Farms
Sign up to attend a Garden Club and enjoy a vineyard and vegetable crop tour. After learning how to harvest crops and getting some first-hand practice, this private class offers the opportunity to sample your pickings with pizza and bread tastings. 200 Avenida La Pata, San Clemente :: 949.697.0032 :: vrgreenfarms.com

South Coast Farms
Founded just over 15 years ago, this organic farm conjures images of a simpler time when you knew exactly where your food came from. Part of Community Supported Agriculture, you’ll find an array of fruits and vegetables available for picking. You can even grab some other necessities such as locally sourced flowers and eggs. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano :: 949.661.9381 :: southcoastfarms.com

Centennial Farms
While you can’t pick the fruit on this working three-acre farm, the selection of fruits, vegetables and livestock at the OC Fair & Event Center will keep you plenty occupied. Go for a stroll through the crops; see pigs, chickens, cattle, and goats; or go on a guided tour. You might get hooked on the simple life. 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa :: 714.708.1500 :: ocfair.com

For those of you not quite ready to trade in your strappy sandals for work boots, fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts are up for grabs nearly every day of the week within our city limits. Stop by one of Orange County’s farmers markets for a fun way to get what you need for healthy summer snacks – but hurry, strawberry season will be over before you know it.

Farmers Markets
Irvine Ranch Historic Park
13042 Old Myford Rd., Irvine
9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Corner of El Camino Real and 3rd Street, Tustin
9 a.m.-1 p.m.

OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Pier Plaza
Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach
1-5 p.m.

Corner of Forest Avenue and 3rd Street, Laguna Beach
8 a.m-noon

Plaza De La Paz Shopping Center
Corner of La Paz and Pacific Park, Laguna Niguel
9 a.m.-1 p.m.

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