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Summer is coming and strawberries are ripening at pick-your-own farms

Strawberry fields and other fruit orchards in Moorpark are thriving as parents take their kids for the experience of picking their own luscious fruit at longtime “you pick” establishments like Underwood Family Farms. Underwood has many kinds of fruits for picking and you can check ahead to find out what fruit you can pick that day.

Underwood Family Farms is just below the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and it offers 50 acres of its 200 acres to the public for fruit and vegetable picking. Strawberries are ripe now through July, followed by raspberries from July until November. It is currently open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. The farm also sells its produce at more than 14 certified farmers’ markets in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and other locales.

Uni Wallace, 10, picks strawberries at Underwood Family Farms’ pick your own fields in Moorpark on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 during a trip from Las Vegas to see her grandmother. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

“He has to eat the ones with no stem,” says Uni Wallace, 10. “That’s grandma’s rule,” she said as her and her 7-year-old brother Jus picked strawberries at Underwood Family Farms’ pick your own fields in Moorpark on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 during a trip from their Las Vegas home to see their grandmother. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Families visit Underwood Family Farms’ pick your own fields in Moorpark on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Jus Wallace, 7, jumps strawberry rows as he and his 10-year-old sister Uni picked strawberries at Underwood Family Farms’ pick your own fields in Moorpark on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 during a trip from their Las Vegas home to see their grandmother. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

A woman picks fava beans at Underwood Family Farms’ pick your own fields in Moorpark on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Strawberries are ready for picking at Underwood Family Farms’ pick your own fields in Moorpark on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Veronica Vasquez, of Eagle Rock, picks strawberries at Underwood Family Farms’ pick your own fields in Moorpark on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

People visit Underwood Family Farms’ pick your own fields in Moorpark on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Ali Selah, of Downey, leaves Underwood Family Farms’ pick your own fields in Moorpark on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 with strawberries and lettuce. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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According to family history, the original farm goes back to the 1930s when Monroe Everette bought it. His daughter and son-in-law, Linnea and Rick Brecunier, later took over, and about 30 years ago Rick came up with the idea of pick-your-own in Ventura County. At the same time, Craig Underwood was running a “roadside market in Somis in 1980” and the two men joined efforts.

Today, Underwood Family Farms owns and operates the land. Its message is: “With less than 2% of the country’s population involved in production agriculture, there is an opportunity here for children to see where and how their food is grown.” For more information, go to their website at underwoodfamilyfarms.com.

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