Orange County has a great agricultural history that is shrinking year by year as farms are turned into housing tracts or shopping malls, but there are a few hold outs, and one is Tanaka Farm in Irvine. Believe it or not, Irvine was one of the largest agricultural centers in the county at one point. The land is fertile and early on, it was plentiful. Tanaka Farm is an organic farm right in the heart of Irvine, on University Drive near Michelson. They are a working farm that produces fruits and vegetables year-round. The Tanaka family is 3rd generation Japanese and are hands-on owners. They offer school education programs, tours, and lucky for us, a pumpkin patch!
While I have been to farms in the past, Melody had not and so I decided that picking out a pumpkin from the farm where it grew – rather than the grocery store or in some parking lot somewhere – we would go. Today! Let’s go! Once we arrived at the farm, we could tell it was very popular, as there were numerous cars and even bus parking! The farm has a festival atmosphere, with a petting zoo, games for kids, face painting, a wagon ride, corn maze and of course, pumpkin patch. For a reasonable price, you can exhaust yourself.
Melody wasn’t a big fan of the petting zoo because the goats scared her. They were, as goats tend to be, hungry for the food we had. We did talk her into petting one, but that was it. She was much more interested in getting her face painted! We then caught the wagon ride back around the farm – including a quick stop at the pumpkin cannon – and went over to the pumpkin patch.
Click on the photo of Melody to get to the gallery where there are more photos from our day. We really enjoyed ourselves and I would definitely go back to Tanaka Farm, either off season or for the pumpkin patch again. We headed home with three pumpkins that we will carve for Halloween. It was a great day!