One of my fondest memories growing up happened every summer when my grandfather would take me strawberry picking. We would spend a few hours plucking quarts upon quarts of ripe, red strawberries off the vines. My mother and grandmother would be at home waiting for us with the rest of the ingredients for strawberry pie and strawberry cobbler. That night we would eat warm pie or cobbler with vanilla ice cream on the outside porch. Every time I have strawberry pie or cobbler, I think of these memories.
I always enjoyed picking strawberries, and my interest in picking other produce peaked when I saw a picture in a weekly magazine of someone picking their own produce. I researched the Underwood Family Farm, and decided to finally visit. I drove the 45 miles northwest, paid the $3 admission fee, grabbed a cart and containers. I read the white board, which had the placement of the produce in the fields. Since it was my first time visiting the Underwood Family Farm, I decided I would visit each ripe produce.
I ended up picking raspberries, strawberries, green peppers, yellow peppers, purple peppers, romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and tomatoes.
As you can see by the sign, the farm has posted the type of plant, price per pound, how the produce should appear when ripe, and how to pick the produce.
I bought other produce from the stand in addition to the produce I picked. I could not wait to get home to start cooking dinner.
Since I had many peppers and tomatoes, I decided to make taco stuffed peppers. Below is the recipe and fresh picked produce makes a major difference in cooking. The flavors are much more vibrant.
Taco Meat Ingredients:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Ground turkey (or ground beef or chicken if you desire)
Taco seasoning packet
Stuffed Pepper Ingredients:
4 Peppers (make sure they stand up on their own)
1/2 Yellow Squash
1 Medium Tomato
1 Packet Thawed Frozen Chopped Spinach
1 Can Drained and Rinsed Black Beans
Black Olives to garnish
Coat bottom of skillet with olive oil
Place ground turkey in skillet and brown
Crumble meat with wooden spatula or spoon
Follow directions on taco seasoning packet
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
While the taco meat is cooking, cut pepper tops off and clean inside.
Wrap peppers in tin foil and cook in oven for 15 minutes-when done, open tin foil and let peppers cool
While peppers are cleaning, chop yellow squash, zucchini, tomato, and onion and add to taco meat
Squeeze the water out of the thawed spinach and add to mixture
Add pepper, onion powder, and garlic salt to taste
Add rinsed black beans to mixture
Cook until veggies and black beans are heated throughout
Add shredded cheese to mixture (amount depending on how cheesy you would like it)
Scoop mixture into peppers (may have leftover mixture)
Bake peppers in oven for 15 minutes
Garnish peppers with black olives if desired
Enjoy! If you have the chance to go to a local farm to pick your produce, I highly recommend doing so. I will definitely be going back to the Underwood Family Farm and can’t wait until they have a new batch of fresh produce to choose from!
Underwood Family Farm
3370 Sunset Valley Road
Moorpark, CA 93021
5696 Los Angeles Avenue
Somis, CA 93066