They tell us that role-play is a good way to spice up our relationships! You know, keep things interesting, but what about our relationship with ourselves? Aren’t we supposed to put ourselves first? The whole love yourself before you can love someone else spiel. So why not spice up your inner relationship and go to Underwood Family Farms to play farmer for the day! Wear your sexiest piece of flannel or your most reliable pair of overalls, I’d strongly suggest the latter, and head to Moorpark to pick your own fruits and vegetables.
It sounds strange, I know. Why would I want to pick my own crops when I can just dive to the market and grab myself a tomato? Clearly you lack fun, inventiveness and adventure, although, a farm may not be the adventure you’re thinking of when you gaze at the “Dream Big” poster on your bedroom wall of a cat staring up at the clouds and the tiger that’s emerging from them. If it is, Underwood Farms is your Holy Grail.
Upon arrival, you pay an entrance fee where you then get your own wheelbarrow! First you pass the exotic peacocks, the awesome Llamas and the eemu, which I mistakenly thought was an ostrich, until I was screamed at by a 10-year-old girl who told me I wasn’t educated in “animal.” Guess I skipped that course at USC. Then you’re unleashed into fields and fields of crops. I have to say I didn’t think much about how exciting it could be to spot lettuce in the distance, but it REALLY REALLY was. I went with my cousin and her friend and it was hard to agree with where to start. It was like when you go to Disneyland with your friends and you need to compromise where you want to go first. Do we go ride the tomatoes or the cucumbers? It got pretty heated at one point, but we found common ground soon enough.
In the beginning, I literally stopped at EVERY crop. Like EVERY. I think I had about 10 different types of radish and lettuce before I realized there is SO MUCH more to get through, and I had no room left in my barrel. So I suspiciously looked around, made sure I wasn’t being watched and tossed a couple back out. So if you don’t want to be a farmer
fugitive pick wisely because there is so much more ahead of you. I know the first couple fields are exciting, but trust me, you don’t want to waste your time and space on radish and lettuce. When it came to zucchinis, there were SO MANY varieties, but in the end, it became a competition of who can harvest, essentially pick, the largest most grotesque one. They get big! Like REALLY big. It was fun looking for your perfect pick, although you need to be carful because some of the vegetables attract bees. The perfect zucchini, which was the size of a watermelon, was actually encircled by said bees. I knew that that specific zucchini would win me the best zucchini prize, but I’m not cool with bees, like, we’re not friends, but in the name of pride I held my breath, ran into the bee smog, grabbed it and came out. Why I thought that holding my breath specifically would prevent me from getting stung, I have no idea. I guess during a crisis, we do strange things, but it worked, even though I could’ve sworn one was following me around the whole day plotting its revenge. My favorite part was the berry and strawberry fields. They were gorgeous. Underwood Farms provides you with plastic containers to carry your berries. They also give you plastic bags to store things in before you head into veggie and fruity bliss. First we swirled and twirled throughout the strawberry fields singing Strawberry Fields Forever, because how can you not? They really were strawberry fields forever. I know you’re supposed to wash your fruit before eating it because of all the pesticides they spray them with, but I couldn’t help using my bottle of water to superficially rinse off a couple of strawberries, then bite into them right there in the middle of the field. The farm was very peaceful and the strawberries were juicy and, honestly, mind blowing.
The hardest part were all the avocado trees. So I knew they grew on trees and all, but I’ve never had to actually pick them. Personally, I’ve never really been a tree climber per say, and I’m 5”8 not 10”10, so I had a hard time actually getting to them. They weren’t one of those back yard avocado trees either. They were huge. I tried to climb to get to one that was hanging kind of low but realized after an hour that I had only gotten a step or two off the ground and my body wasn’t going to go any further. Then I resorted to my zucchini. I grabbed one on the bigger side and granny chucked it at an avocado hoping it would knock it down. It didn’t, mostly because I completely missed the avocado I was aiming at, but what did come down was my zucchini. I forgot about gravity and so my perfectly grotesque zucchini, clunked onto the ground and erupted into a zucchini gut splat. I’d bring a stick next time, or maybe recruit a tree climber to tag along, but I was lucky because a man who was harvesting some a couple trees down, came up to us like Moses with his stick and I got my avocados. Let me state for the record that if I had that stick, I’d be able to get to the avocados too. His penis in no way made him more capable, but his other stick definitely did.
After four hours of the most exciting grocery shopping I have ever done. We headed back to the front where they weighed our crops in their small store. I spent about $60 on vegetables and fruits, but keep in mind, I overdid it BIG time. When I took them home, there was absolutely no room in BOTH our refrigerators. My grandma was furious, because even if we lived on this stuff for a week, she still knew half of it would go to waste. I got EVERYTHING. I even got three different types of radish, even when nobody in the house liked radish. But pulling that thing out of the ground was way too fun to pass up. Granted, while I was picking veggies, I kept think about how fresh, colorful and pretty it all was and how when I got home I’d look up some cool recipes and make vegetable stew or ratatouille or something. Safe to say I didn’t do either. I think the most I did was cut up the tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce and tossed up a nice salad. But I have to say that the vegetables and fruits were delicious. I didn’t know fresh actually had a taste. I thought it was just an idea, especially the berries. They were incredible, although thinking back, they were very time consuming to pick. It’s really incredible to see them in their natural state though. The oversized veggies tasted amazing and I started to wonder why I would never stumble upon a deformed tomato or a baseball sized zucchini at Ralphs or even Whole Foods. I realized that aesthetic appearance in our society isn’t only limited to people and just like people, veggies are underestimated by their appearance when they have so much to offer beyond that. Taline’s lesson for the day, eat the ugly vegetables.
So if you’re looking for something fun and different to do during the day, clearly this is not a night time adventure, Underwood Farms is an awesome experience. Another piece of advice is don’t go on a super hot day. There is no shade and you may get sunstroke. Take water to keep hydrated and enjoy!