It's nearly pumpkin time at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark. But you can get a jump on fresh air and fresh food via the destination's year-round Pick Your Own program.
FALL FACTS: If your friend shows you a photo of their baby sitting next to a pumpkin, and it is outside, and there are some gentle hills in the background, and other families are strolling among the colorful gourds, we'll bet there's a 79% chance the setting is Underwood Family Farms. The Moorpark spread is one of the go-to autumntime destinations for people looking to get a little fall-ness in, despite the SoCal sunshine, and to snap a few cute photos among the stem-tall pumpkins. Oh, yeah; and people want to see those goats walking on planks overhead -- they really do that -- and try their hand at the tomato slingshot (which is probably one of the most awesome devices every invented, to be perfectly honest). But you don't need to wait for the Fall Harvest Festival, which runs from Sept. 28 through Oct. 31 this year, to get your agri-fresh-fun-o-sity on. Underwood runs a Pick Your Own program throughout the year, meaning this: You pick your own fruits and vegetables and then pay for your take by the weight.
NOPE... it isn't quite Pick Your Own pumpkin season yet, despite the photo above (we just are excited for fall, like anyone after a few hot streaks). But you can keep tabs on what is growing at the bucolic location on the PYO This Week page, which is updated regularly. Crops that are ready as of this typing include chard, hot peppers, blackberries, and heirloom tomatoes, and the price-per-pound is listed for each. Call it a vigorous and healthy beginning to a Saturday, picking your own vegetables, a Saturday that can end with you cooking a dinner from the vegetables that were in the ground or on the vine that morning. Pull-wagons are provided to help you out, and kids are definitely welcome to participate. There's an admission to the farm -- three bucks on weekdays, six bucks on weekends and twelve dollars on weekends when the Fall Harvest Fest is afoot -- and you'll want to bring some cash for whatever you pick.