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Tomatomania Is Here And We've Got The Scoop On How To Score Some Killer Tomatoes

Photo Credit: Underwood Family Farms

Tomatomania! has been traveling around Southern California since late February and it is making its last stop of the year at Underwood Family Farms this weekend in Moorepark. Only a short hour and 20 minute drive from San Pedro with much of the trip traveling along historic route 101 through the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains, this is an adventure that will have your coming back again and again.

Underwood Family Farms is a source of amazing produce and a favorite farm stop for West Valley-Ventura area cooks and families. This year Tomatomania! will kick-of on Saturday, March 27th, then extend through the Spring.

Tomatomania! boasts a collection of more that 200 tomato varieties and 50 pepper varieties with 40-50 unique varieties of heirlooms grown especially for this sale. If you are interesting in securing some of the unique varietals, Underwood Family Farms recommends that you arrive early on Saturday the 27th for first choice, before they sell out.

Photo Credit: LA Magazine

This year expect Tomatomania! to have a whole selection of heirlooms from the Dwarf Tomato Project. The pandemic found many people wanting to garden, even those without much space. Dwarf vegetables are popular for outdoor gardens with minimal space like a balcony container. Not only are they adorable, but they are also very tasty with less maintenance than a full-scale garden.

Underwood Family Farms has been farming in Ventura County since 1867 in Somas. Lima beans, walnuts and canning tomatoes were just some of the crops they grew in the early years before they began selling their produce directly to customers.

They started a second farm in Moorpark, located in the Tierra Rejada Valley in 1990 with a u-pick and small stand offering fresh produce. It is now a Farm Center with an open-air market showcasing all that they grow, an Animal Center, and Pick-Your-Own area.

Photo Credit: Underwood Family Farms

The Farmers Market and Tomatiomania! is free but there is a entrance fee to enjoy the farm and all it has to offer. Check out their webpage for admission details. In addition to Tomatomania! there are lots of other fun activities happening at the farm on March 27th. Keep reading!

"I Spy" a Golden Egg

There are 10 hidden Golden Eggs throughout the Animal Center. This fun activity is taking place March 27th through April 11th including Easter Weekend! EGGcellent family activity!

Photo Credit: Underwood Family Farms

Springtime On The Farm

Photo Credit: Underwood Family Farms

Celebrate Springtime on the Farm in Moorpark Saturday, March 20 - Sunday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. With more than 50 acres to visit and numerous activities, there is plenty of space to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine with family and friends. There are tons of activities that take place daily including ....

Photo Credit: Underwood Family Farms

Included with admission price: Underwood's Giant Easter Egg Basket, Giant Eggs and Numerous Photo Opportunities, Easter Story Labyrinth, Entry to Animal Center, Tractor-drawn Wagon Rides, Trike Trail, Hay Pyramids, Harvester Slide, Wooden Train and Bus, Swings, Barrel Horses, Country Store, Easter Bunny House facade and Entry to Pick-Your-Own Fields. Check out their website for more details and special dates for their Combine Slide, Fun Hill and Firetruck plus Distance Visits With the Easter Bunny! More Information

For an additional cost there are 2 Animal petting areas, baby duck feeding, horse-drawn wagon rides, cow train, bee train, grain train, electric train, pedal carts and make sure to check the website for special dates for their egg hunt, bird house making workshop, ring a carrot activity and egg toss!

Strawberry Fields Forever

The strawberry fields have been closed since March 22 to allow the berries to ripen. They open back up on March 27th. Pick-Your-Own strawberries are $2.59/lb. Containers are provided. Tip: bring a grocery tote bag to carry your containers. I always end up harvesting more than I can carry and a tote bag will make your trip much more enjoyable. Also, don't forget to carry a water bottle.

Photo Credit: Underwood Family Farms

Admission is at the gate only and includes the Animal Center and Tractor-drawn wagon rides. Horse-drawn rides are in a addition and take place weekends only. Check out their Pick-Your-Own Calendar for what's available for harvesting right now and prices.

Safety and Social Distancing

Photo Credit: Underwood Family Farms

With 50 acres to visit, there is plenty of room for physical distancing. Masks will be required upon check-in, check-out, in the Animal Center, in the stores, and on the wagon rides. 6' physical distancing between groups required. This = 2 rows between groups in the Pick-Your-Own fields and a horse's distance from others. There is a vast amount of space to distance from others in the Pick-Your-Own and Springtime areas and to move away from families/groups/individuals to another space if necessary. Numbers are monitored regularly to ensure a safe number of people on the farm. At any time, they may delay entry. If guests do not feel comfortable with these protocols or being around other people, they ask that they delay their visit until a time when they do feel comfortable. They also ask that guests take responsibility for their behavior.

Pull Wagons for the Win

When I was Underwood Family Farms in July, my daughter was in a boot. We chose to forgo the Tractor Ride to get us around the farm and instead had a blast driving her around in a pull wagon. The pull wagons are free but there are a limited number so you will want to come early to make sure you secure one of your own.

Enjoy Underwood Family Farm!


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