Friday, September 20, 2013

Vons Farm Fresh & Local Produce Tour

I am immensely grateful every single time I enter the produce department of my local grocer. The fruits and veggies are always lined up so neatly. The colors are eye-catching, the smells inspire stomach growls, and every now and then I sample a grape (don't tell anyone). I have often wondered where all that deliciousness comes from and how far it had to travel to get here.

A few weeks back I was invited on the Vons Farm Fresh & Local Produce Tour. Vons has partnered with local farmers for more than 75 years, bringing fresh goodness to our neighborhoods.

We visited Tutti Frutti Farms, which is located in beautiful Santa Barbara County. Tutti Frutti Farms is owned by fifth generation farmer, Chris Cadwell and his family, and they've been growing organic produce since 1988.

This gorgeous farm sits on more than 200 acres, near the Santa Ynez River.

Photo Credit: Vons
Chris is not only a great farmer, he's also a fabulous story teller too. He talked talked about various farming challenges like growing during dry seasons (this year was one of them), pesky bugs, and test crops.

One of Chris' most popular crops (which also happens to be my new favorite thing) is Heirloom Tomatoes. Tutti Frutti Farms has several varieties, including: Pink Brandy Wine, Chocolate Stripe, Persimmon, and Purple Cherokee. If ever you have wondered whether or not a tomato was a fruit or a veggie, once your mouth gets a taste of one of these babies, you'd wonder no more!

Photo Credit: Vons
The fresh from the vine taste at Tutti Frutti farms is great, but everything about the farm makes for an incredible meal too! Look at this beautiful spread:

Photo credit: Vons
The tour was awesome! The weather was hot, but breathtaking. The food was fresh and delicious. The people were warm and friendly. The experience was absolutely priceless. I had a great time!

Photo credit: Vons
As a California native, I am still completely in awe of this gorgeous state. My trip to Tutti Frutti farms made me fall in love with the land, all over again. I have always known that relationships make the world go round, but this experience confirmed it. The relationship that Vons has with local growers makes life better - for everyone.

Photo credit: Vons
The next time you're in the market, ask where your produce comes from. You might be surprised to find out how close to homegrown it really is!

This is not a paid post. Travel and accommodations were provided. All views expressed are the honest opinion of Just Say I Told You So.

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