Since delving into the world of blogging (and also owning a small business), I've acquired very faint social media sensibilities; I am more aware of Instagram trends, filters and destinations alike. This year, it seems, my timelines and feeds are flooded with pumpkin patches galore, fueling my ever-existing love affair with autumn.
When previous plans fell through, I recruited my future-journalist and New University editor-in-chief companion, Caitlin, to visit a farm/pumpkin patch that I'd had my eye on for a while: Tanaka Farms. Just like Caitlin, I did my undergrad at the University of California at Irvine, and even though I lived there for five years, I never found my way to Tanaka Farms, with the exception of one short visit in which the farm was closed but we stopped by the produce stand anyway.
Tanaka Farms is a real, working farm that has strong family roots and simple authenticity, even in the midst of an overly manicured city like Irvine. Offering seasonal produce, tours and activities, Tanaka Farms is making farming cool again.
Instagram and social media platforms have been instrumental in seasonal trends spreading like wildfire, and it became obvious very quickly that Tanaka Farms is becoming less and less of a secret. Upon our arrival before 11AM, the parking lot was almost full! Thankfully we did our homework and booked parking ahead of time, along with an entrance package.
For weekends in the fall, Tanaka Farms has a Weekend Fall Harvest Festival, including snacks, local vendors, a petting zoo, wagon rides, and even a pumpkin cannon.
We ran our hands through the sheeps' soft wool and fed some very hungry goats. We enjoyed a bumpy wagon ride through the veggies and tall corn stalks. The corn maze engulfed us and we followed the fresh scent of growing corn. We even invented a narrative for the drooping sunflowers in the sunflower field, feeling like one of them would lift its sad head and address us in an Eeyore-esque voice. The spirit of fall was upon us, even in Southern California.
We were sad to leave, but my spoils made up for it! I left with the perfect pumpkin, a Maui onion, a few zucchini and fresh ears of corn. It was definitely a fulfilling day, and I would highly recommend a visit to Tanaka Farms, for adults and kids alike.
Make sure you check their website for upcoming events, U-pick tours, and more!
Until next time,