Today I took my kids to check out the new farm center at McGrath Family Farm in Camarillo. We desperately needed an outing and this seemed like a destination that would make us all happy. As we drove down the 101, I tried to ignore the incessant fighting coming from the backseat, and instead fantasized about the fresh produce and flowers and the petting zoo awaiting us. And then, there it was, right off the Central Avenue exit: this little beautifully landscaped oasis overlooking fields and fields of flowers and vegetables.
We started with a little tour of the petting zoo and learned all about the animals they keep on the farm. Aside from being adorable and entertaining the kids that visit the farm - most of the animals play an integral role in the farm. The ducks and goats assist in weeding in parts of the field and are also skilled in trimming back the lettuce. The goats provide milk and the chickens provide eggs, most of which go to the many workers on the farm. The kids also got to touch a white pigeon and an adorable bunny, and squealed over the two baby lambs that were born last week.
We then went inside the new farm stand, packed full of beautiful plants, lush bunches of fresh flowers, and a bounty of organic produce, just begging to be sampled. My kids are adventurous eaters, but not enough to yet appreciate the fresh cilantro, mustard greens, or beets that I was ogling. But being kids, they made a beeline for the strawberries. We bought a pint and sat outside at the table, watching the animals and admiring the fields, grateful to have such a neat little spot within 15 minutes of our house.