Strawberry Picking // Tanaka Farms in Irvine CA

My first strawberry-picking experience and it was a blast!

Fruits of our labor.

Hard at "work".

Learning about health benefits of strawberry.

Endless rows of strawberry plants.

Such vibrant colors...can't find these in the supermarket!

Our ride to the strawberry field.

I think I hear chocolate calling...

Pick-Pick-Pick or more like Eat-Pick-Eat!

These are not quite ready for picking yet.

My favorite memory of this experience - I looked back to find my mom and our guide strolling along. Here, the strawberry field and nature are the stars. We humans are merely companions.

My favorite memory of this experience - I looked back to find my mom and our guide strolling along. Here, the strawberry field and nature are the stars. We humans are merely companions.

a picture is worth a thousand words

I start out this post a little differently than others because when I was editing these photos, the colors, the imagery, and the backgrounds were so mesmerizing that I thought I should let them do the talking first!

Strawberry-picking has been on my bucket list...yes, my list includes simple pleasures like this one because sometimes, just sometimes, we find the biggest joy in doing small, simple things.  As I was going down the row, I couldn't stop saying "wow, look at how bright the color is!" or "look how big this one is!".  And, of course, the best part is that we get to eat as much as we want to while we are picking.  I probably ate a box full of these juicy creations!  Don't worry, Tanaka Farms is an organic farm and it's very safe to eat the fruits and vegetables straight off the plants. 

What's even better is that my bestie later made some delicious chocolate-covered strawberries for all of us...see picture below for her yummy creations.

Where are some of the local farms you've visited? I would love to hear about them!


A little about tanaka farms

Tanaka Farms is a family-owned and family-run organic farm located in the heart of Irvine, California.  It's a small oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of this rapidly-growing Orange County city.  The Tanaka family history traced back to Farmer Tanaka's great-grandfather who immigrated to the U.S. from Hiroshima-ken, Japan and eventually relocated to California with Farmer Tanaka's grandfather. 

Today, the farm is a working farm and is owned and operated by Farmer Tanaka, his wife, Shirley and his son, Kenny.  Together with their team, they produce fruits and vegetables that supply their produce stand and their own Community Supported Agriculture program where they donate produce to local organizations that help feed families in need.

The farm has been practicing "responsible farming methods" since 1998.  You can read more about it on Tanaka Farms' website, but essentially, they use organic growing methods whenever possible and use OMRI approved pesticides permitted under most organic licenses.

Different picking tours are available depending on the seasonal crop variety - Strawberry in March - June, Watermelon in July - August, "Harvest" in March - August (many other crops are grown at the farm), Pumpkin Patch in October, and Christmas Trees in December.

I definitely felt and enjoyed the family atmosphere when I was there.  Everyone who works there is very friendly and genuinely wants you to have a great time.  Our guide helped us filled our boxes when he realized that we couldn't fill them all the way to the top.  Just an example of how well they treat everyone who comes through their gate.   


Entrance to the farm and golf club.

Entrance to the farm and golf club.

Tanaka Farms is located at 5380-3/4 University Drive, Irvine, California.  It's adjacent to University of California, Irvine (UCI).  Depending on the direction you're coming from, you can get there by taking 405 and 73.

The Farm shares the entrance with Strawberry Farms Golf Club - In fact, as you turn into Strawberry Farm Road, you'll see the sign for the golf club.