I had the joyful pleasure of visiting Ramos Strawberry Farm
in Watsonville, CA two weeks ago. I was beyond excited since this was my first visit ever to a farm in California AND my first visit to a strawberry farm in the whole world! I was a guest of the California Strawberry Commission
for both a farm tour and lunch at Ella's at the Airport
, surrounded by a bunch of equally enthusiastic food bloggers.
|Me with Farmer Miguel Ramos, owner of the farm|
From the moment we met owner and grower Miguel Ramos, I could tell this man lived and breathed strawberries. He spoke passionately about his farm, his strawberry crops, and the fundamentals of working on a strawberry farm for more than 30 years. Mr. Ramos also threw in a few funny strawberry stories from his years on the farm which made the group laugh. (Stolen strawberries?! Not on his watch!) My favorite quote of the day was when Ramos said "Strawberries are the shape of our hearts and the color of our blood." Clearly, this man LOVED his strawberries which helped make our tour even better.
|Mr. Ramos showing off his beautiful strawberries|
Throughout the day we learned interesting facts about strawberries, which are definitely are an integral part of farming in California. According to the California Strawberry Commission, "California's 400 family strawberry farmers sustain their communities. They create 70,000 jobs, have funded more than $2 million in scholarships for children of field workers and invest 97 cents of every farm dollar back into their communities." (source
) As we learned from Mr. Ramos, who lives in the area, many strawberry farmers both live and work in the communities where they farm. Protecting the health of the neighbors, the land, and the environment is their top priority.
Once we learned about strawberry farming practices, we were let loose on the farm. I was so giddy to bend down and pluck strawberries right off the vine to eat. I got to try different varieties and consumed strawberries as big as my palm! I even got down and bit one right off the vine which was the winning #StrawberrySelfie of the day. (see below)
|Caught taking a #strawberryselfie|
|It doesn't get fresher than this! The winning #StrawberrySelfie|
After I think I consumed my weight in strawberries, it was time for lunch at Ella's at the Airport. Of course, we had a strawberry-themed lunch. My favorite dish of the day was the strawberry, pineapple, and pancetta-encrusted goat cheese skewers. Look at these delicious things!
|Simple to make, yet so delicious!|
I had such a great time meeting California-based bloggers on the Ramos Strawberry Farm. This was my first non-NYC blog event and everyone was so friendly. We bonded over strawberries and all left that day with a strawberry-stained smile on our faces and our bellies full. I have always been a fan of strawberries since they are naturally gluten-free and full of flavor. The visit to the farm made me truly appreciate where my strawberries come from and the labor of love that goes into growing them. Thank you to the California Strawberry Commission for a wonderful day!
|The CA Strawberry Commission, bloggers, and Miguel Ramos on the farm.|
|I did not go home empty handed. Strawberries for DAYS!!!|
DID YOU KNOW??
- Research suggests that eating just 1 cup (#8aday) is good for the whole body, promoting heart health, diabetes management, supporting brain health, and reducing the risk of some cancers.
- With year-round availability and a 12-month growing season, California strawberries are an easy way to pack a nutritional punch in your daily diet!
- With more vitamin C than an orange and loaded with nutrients, California strawberries are a nutritious and versatile fruit to enjoy every day.
- Strawberries are naturally sweet but low in sugar -- only 7 grams and 45 calories per cup!
To learn more about California Strawberries, please visit the following websites
NOTE: This is post is sponsored by California Strawberries. All opinions are my own. With or without this trip to the farm, I will always be a fan of strawberries!