Ojai's Orange-Yummy Outings

Tour Friend's Ranch and discover the scintillating world of citrus growing.

PERHAPS FOOD, and the making of food, and where your food comes from, has been on your mind since the beginning of the year. After all, edibles, and how they fortify us, and how they're grown and prepared before they reach the stores and markets, are incredibly important matters for human beings to ponder (and ponder in a consistent, be-aware manner). But getting out to locations where one's foodstuffs actually start can be a bit tricky. How to find a peek or a tour at a spot where the growing is done? Begin, perhaps, with those California places that regularly hold events that give visitors a behind-the-scenes tour of how good things start (long before they reach our kitchen counter). Friend's Ranch in Ojai has held orchard-interesting tours for years, tours that pop up, like a surprising winter flower, in January. True, April is traditionally Pixie Month around Ojai, with plenty of juicy jamboree-ing, but a look at the whole arc of the citrus-growing process begins long before springtime arrives. In fact, the first tour date for 2017 is coming up, on...

SATURDAY, JAN. 14: You'll get to eye what a packinghouse looks like, and what goes on, as well as an honest-to-minneola orchard, where some "15 varieties of tangerines" are grown, in addition to other flavorful fruits. "TOURS TEND TO FILL UP," says the Friend's Ranch online HQ, so gather with your fruit-loving friends soon to decide if you're making a day trip and on what Saturday (there are a couple of Wednesdays in the mix, too). And if you want to time your day at the orchard with a certain tangerine-y release, review the whole schedule to make sure your moment is perfect. So, how does a tangerine or orange grow, and how is it packed, and what goes into keeping all of those trees so healthy? Here's where you go to the source, in Ojai, from mid-January to mid-May.

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