Farmers' Markets and Farm Fresh Produce Around Ventura County

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Looking for fresh produce in Ventura County? "Lettuce" help you! There are over a dozen farmers' markets in and around Ventura County each week, not to mention another dozen or so stores and Community Supported Agriculture programs that sell organic produce.

Times, dates and places subject to change. Let us know of any updates!

FARMERS' MARKETS (In "day of the week" order)

VENTURA: Wednesdays 9 am to 1 pm at Pacific View Mall in front of Red Robin. Call 805.529.6266. vccfarmersmarkets.com/ventura

OXNARD: Thursdays 9 am to 2 pm at Plaza Park, 5th and C Streets. Call 805.247.0197. www.oxnardfarmersmarket.com

THOUSAND OAKS: Thursdays NOON to 5 pm (previously 1:30-6PM) at the The Oaks Mall east parking lot. Produce, flowers, food and more! vccfarmersmarkets.com/thousand-oaks 

VENTURA: Thursdays 3 pm to 7 pm at Ventura Community Park, 901 South Kimball Road Visit www.facebook.com/EastandWestVenturaFarmersMarket for more information. Open rain or shine.

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SIMI VALLEY: Fridays 11 am to 3:30 pm at Simi Valley Civic Center Plaza, 2757 Tapo Canyon Rd., next to TGI Friday's. www.coastalpacific.info/simi_valley.php or 805.643.6458 

VENTURA: Saturdays 8:30 am to noon at corner of Palm and Santa Clara Streets. Call 805.529.6266 or visit vccfarmersmarkets.com/ventura

CAMARILLO: Saturdays 8 am to noon 2220 Ventura Boulevard camarillofarmersmarket.com. Proceeds benefit Camarillo Hospice. Call 805.386.3584.

CALABASAS: Saturdays 8 am to 1 pm in Old Town Calabasas on Calabasas Road west of El Canon Avenue (across from Sagebrush Cantina). Call 818.591.8161.

VENTURA: Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 3 pm at Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Road is the Ventura College Foundation Marketplace. Fresh produce, nursery plants, flowers and more offered. www.venturacollege.edu/departments/administrative/foundation/marketplace

WESTLAKE VILLAGE: Sundays 10 am to 2 pm at 2797 Agoura Road (Village Glen). Call 818.591.8161. www.facebook.com/WestlakeVillageFM

OJAI: Sundays 9 am to 1 pm at 300 E. Matilija Street year-round, rain or shine. Produce, flowers and gourmet food. Call 805.698.5555. www.ojaicertifiedfarmersmarket.com.

OXNARD/CHANNEL ISLANDS HARBORSundays 10 am to 2 pm at 2805 South Harbor Boulevard year-round. Call 805.643.6458.

MALIBU: Sundays 10 am to 3 pm at Malibu Library Parking Lot, 23555 Civic Center Way. www.malibufarmersmarket.net

LOCAL STORES WITH FRESH PRODUCE:

Underwood Family Farms Market at 3370 Sunset Valley Road, Moorpark has farm fresh produce, pickled items, honey, nuts, juices, dried beans, farm fresh eggs and fresh cut flowers. Moorpark location is usually closed from late December through February. Open 9am to 6pm March to November and weekends in December (5pm after DST). Call 805.529.3690.

Underwood Family Farms Market at 5696 E. Los Angeles Avenue in Somis is open every day year-round 9am to 6pm (5pm after DST) with the exception of some holidays. Call 805.386.4660.

Underwood Family Farms Market in Moorpark.

Underwood Family Farms Market in Moorpark.

McGrath Family Farm at 505 North Wood Road, Camarillo is open March through December 9am to pm and offers organic fruits, flowers and vegetables.  Freeway convenient off the Central Avenue offramp of the 101. Call 805.983.0333.

Lassen's Natural Foods, with locations in Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Camarillo, Ventura and Simi Valley, has offered fresh produce since 1971.

Sprouts Farmers Market sells local farm fresh produce as well as a full range of other grocery items, with local area locations at:

Whole Foods Market organic fresh produce and a full range of grocery items, with local locations in Thousand Oaks (740 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks) 805.777.4730 and Oxnard at The Collection (650 Town Center Drive) 805.751.4300

Green Acres Farm Market (2918 Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley) opened in 1968 and offers farm fresh produce, meat, fine wines and gourmet groceries. Call 805.526.1312.

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Rodela Produce and Flowers (formerly A & F Country Market) is at 4550 Olivas Park Drive in Ventura (at Telephone Road). From Thousand Oaks, take Victoria offramp from 101 south to Olivas Park and make a right. Store is on your left. Nice stop on your way to/from the Olivas Adobe and Ventura Harbor Village. 805.644.5470.

Santiago’s Produce is located on the northwest corner of Olivas Park Drive and Telephone Road at 4551 Olivas Park Drive.

The Berry Best stand at 3030 Dodge Road (at Pleasant Valley Road, just east of Rice Avenue) is strawberry, fruit and vegetable stand. Call 805.271.4490.

Francisco's Fruits is located at 1782 E. Telegraph Road in Fillmore. Fruits, nuts, snacks, and more. Great place to buy citrus! www.facebook.com/FranciscosFruit 805.524.4616

Lil Red Barn is located at 100 S. Victoria Avenue in Oxnard, with seasonable produce like strawberries, avocados, vegetables and more. 805.382.0799

CSA (COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE) AND LOCAL DELIVERY PROGRAMS

Local Harvest Delivery is based in Santa Barbara and delivers harvest boxes to homes as far as Ventura and Ojai.

Hello Harvest local delivery service has been serving Ventura County since 2010. Visit their site or call 805.551.3454 for more information.

The Abundant Table CSA offers pickup locations and home delivery throughout the area. csa.farmigo.com/join/jointhefarm

The Camarillo Health Care District has partnered with Food Share to distribute a variety of free produce items on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 11am to 1pm. Supplies are limited.

Farmers' Market Websites:

Farm Bureau of Ventura County: www.farmbureauvc.com/consumers.html

California-Grown Certified Farmers Markets: www.cafarmersmarkets.com

Ventura County Certified Farmers Markets: www.vccfarmersmarkets.com

Coastal Pacific Farmers Markets: coastalpacificfm.com

Retired Farmers' Markets:

NEWBURY PARK: Fridays 2pm to 7pm (The Village at Dos Vientos Ranch). www.facebook.com/goldenstatecertifiedfm Announced on 12/9/13 that market is closed.

SIMI VALLEY: The Simi Valley Town Center Market was discontinued effective 11/26/14 after running for a year and a half.

AGOURA HILLS: Sundays 9 am to 2 pm at 5835 Kanan Road (Agoura's Famous Deli parking lot) closed 6/28/15.

CAMARILLO: Wednesdays 3-7pm Pleasant Valley Certified Farmers' Market at the Camarillo Community Center parking lot closed 9/30/15.

NEWBURY PARK: Saturdays 9 am to 2 pm at the Newbury Park Library parking lot (Borchard Road and Michael Drive)  www.facebook.com/newburyparkfarmersmarket is closed Feb 2017

OXNARD: Thursdays 4 pm to 8 pm at The Collection at RiverPark thecollectionrp.com/connect/news/detail/133/farmers-market-thursdays

Conejo Valley Guide Facebook Followers Comment on Their Favorite Local Hamburgers

In a recent survey on the Conejo Valley Guide Facebook Page, followers were asked what their favorite hamburgers were in the local area, including the Conejo Valley and adjacent areas.

What prompted the question was a 2017 Harris Poll EquiTrend® that concluded on a national level that the top burger restaurants in America currently are:

  1. Five Guys Burgers and Fries
  2. In-N-Out Burger
  3. Shake Shack
  4. Wendy's
  5. Culver's
  6. Whataburger
  7. McDonald's
  8. SONIC
  9. Smashburger
  10. Steak 'n Shake

Out of the top 10 above, burgers available in the Ventura County area currently include Five Guys, In-N-Out, Wendy's, McDonald's and Smashburger. 

We asked a more specific question - what is your favorite burger. A bit of a popularity contest. The winner, hands down, was In-N-Out Burger, with 39% of the vote. The closest competitor was Habit Burger, with 17% of all votes.

Five Guys is a much newer brand to our local area and thus I suspect only a fraction of folks that have eaten at In-N-Out Burger for nearly seven decades have actually tried a Five Guys burger.  It received only one mention in our survey.

Other eateries that were mentioned by 4-8% of commenters were Hook Burger, Red Robin, Stacked and Umami Burger.

Others mentioned at least once included BLVD BRGR in Old Town Camarillo, Twisted Oak Tavern in Agoura, P&L Burger in Thousand Oaks, BJs, Freddy's Steakburgers in Westlake Village, Finney's Crafthouse and Kitchen in Westlake Village, Grinder Restaurant in Moorpark, Dog Haus in Thousand Oaks, Wood Ranch BBQ, Lucky Dogs at Janss Marketplace, Smashburger, Winchesters Grill in Ventura, Little Craft Creamery in Thousand Oaks, the Scratch Food Truck, Fusion Grill, Vintage Grocers, Cheesecake Factory, Breakfast Cafe, Ranch Hand BBQ and Marmalade Cafe.

So if you're looking for a good burger, this list may come in handy. Feel free to comment on your own best burger in the local area.

My First Encounter with the Impossible Burger at Umami Burger Thousand Oaks

When I first heard about the new the Impossible Burger, a meatless burger that is supposed to look and taste like a real hamburger, I had to give it a try.

While I'm not a vegetarian or vegan, I do try to minimize my red meat consumption for health reasons. and tend to go with burger alternatives like fish and veggie burgers. But a burger that actually tastes like a burger but is not made from a cow or other mammal sounded too good to be true.

The Impossible Burger is the first product of a Silicon Valley startup called Impossible Foods. The initial question addressed by the company in 2011 was, "Why does meat taste like meat?"

With scientific research, the company created a non-meat version of ground beef using wheat, coconut oil and potatoes, augmented by "heme." Heme is a naturally occurring protein in meat that gives meat its flavor when it is cooked. Heme is also a naturally occurring protein in plants in a different protein. This protein is taken from soy, attached to a yeast strain and grown through fermentation. The heme is then isolated and added to the Impossible Burger.

You don't have to know the science behind it, but I found it fascinating because this burger does taste quite a bit like a meat-based burger.

I know because I tried the Impossible Burger at Umami Burger at The Lakes at Thousand Oaks yesterday. The Impossible Burger recently launched on a very limited, dine-in only basis at nine Umami locations while Impossible Foods ramps up its production facilities.

I did a taste comparison - I tried the Impossible Burger side by side with the Manly Burger.

The Impossible Burger at Umami comes decked out with two 2 1/2 oz. patties, caramelized onions, American cheese, miso-mustard, house spread, dill pickles, lettuce and tomato. The Manly Burger comes with cheddar cheese, bacon, onion strings, ketchup and mustard spread.

The Impossible Burger looked and tasted quite a bit like a regular burger! It was good! So was the Manly Burger. There are definitely some subtle taste differences between the Impossible Burger and regular burger, but less than you would expect from a meatless alternative.

Gourmet burgers at Umami Burger run from $11.50 for a Throwback Burger to $15.50 for a Royale Burger (braised short rib, truffled aioli, truffle cheese, truffle glaze). The standard Umami Burger is $13. The Impossible Burger currently is priced at $16. Definitely not priced to compete with the In-N-Out Burgers and Habit Burgers of the world. But a unique treat.

Impossible Burger patties are 100% vegan but do contain gluten as they are made with wheat protein. The Impossible Burger as prepared at Umami is not vegan.

Learn more about Umami Burger at www.umamiburger.com. Learn more about the Impossible Burger at www.impossiblefoods.com.

Toppers Pizza Tops the List of CVG Facebook Followers in Recent Drawing

In a recent drawing on the Conejo Valley Guide Facebook Page, we asked folks to comment on their favorite local pizza place in the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas. 

Over 50 pizza places were mentioned in 380 responses to the half-day drawing. There was a clear top choice - Topper's Pizza Place

Operating for over 20 years, with Ventura County locations in Thousand Oaks, Oxnard (3), Camarillo, Simi Valley and Ventura, Toppers clearly has a huge fan base. It received 143 votes, nearly 38% of all votes cast.

Toppers all the way! Love their combination pizza and salad bar! Plus their turkey and bacon sandwich is pretty darn good too. - Maria D.

But the beauty of this survey was to learn about other local places to expand our collective pizzeria universe. I for one have not tried all of the 50+ pizzerias called out.

Rounding out the top 10 most mentioned pizzas:

Fresh Brothers in Westlake Village! Pepperoni, pineapple and jalapeno! Their pizza is cut into smaller squares so I don't feel so guilty eating more squares ;) -Meredith J.

This next group of a dozen local pizza places had a solid showing, receiving between five and seven mentions.

After consuming all this pizza, you might think about training for an upcoming 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon around town at THIS LINK.!

But there were dozens of other pizzerias mentioned that may be worth a look. Or taste.

Receiving 2 to 4 mentions: BJ's (deep dish pizza), Custom Pie (Moorpark), Butler's Pizza (Thousand Oaks), Tony's (Oak Park), Al Mulino Eatalian (Westlake Village), Draughts (Thousand Oaks), Farfalla (Westlake Village), Papa Johns (various), Jax (Moorpark), Pizza Man Dan's (various). Allegro Pizza (Thousand Oaks), Pizza Nosh (Agoura Hills)

I love the gluten-free pizza at Pizza Man Dan's in Moorpark. So good! -Chelsee D.

Other mentions included Spumoni (Newbury Park), Roma Deli (Newbury Park), Tonino's Place (Westlake Village), Palermo (Simi Valley), Little Caesar's (various), Tony's (Camarillo), Marcello (Thousand Oaks), Valentino's (Camarillo), Santino's (Ventura), Whole Foods, Stonehaus (Westlake Village), Guido's (Simi Valley), Boney Mountain Tavern (Newbury Park), Chuck E. Cheese's, Blaze Pizza (Oxnard), Pizzeria Bianca Russo (Camarillo), Blue Table (Thousand Oaks), Pizzeria La Piccola (Thousand Oaks), Brick Oven Pizza (Moorpark) and Domino's.

Cisco's, 3 Amigos and Los Agaves Top List of CVG Followers' Favorite Local Mexican Eateries

A random, delicious looking burrito combo plate from an unnamed Mexican eatery (from the Conejo Valley Guide archives).

A random, delicious looking burrito combo plate from an unnamed Mexican eatery (from the Conejo Valley Guide archives).

In a recent drawing on the Conejo Valley Guide Facebook Page, followers commented on their favorite Mexican eatery in the Conejo Valley and nearby Ventura County areas. There were nearly 300 responses in less than a day.

We tabulated the responses and it was quite a horse race. But in the end, Cisco's, with restaurants on Westlake Boulevard in Westlake Village and Avenida de los Arboles (at the 23 freeway) in Thousand Oaks, was mentioned the most, a total of 32 times.

Close behind with 30 mentions was 3 Amigos, with locations on Avenida de los Arboles (at Moorpark Road) in Thousand Oaks and on Reino Road (at Borchard) in Newbury Park.

In third place was Los Agaves at The Shoppes at Westlake, with 29 mentions...oh so close to 3 Amigos. Coming in at #4 was The Alamo in Newbury Park, with 24 mentions. And, amazingly, but not surprisingly, Lupe's Restaurant, which closed its doors on August 29, 2016, garnered a 5th place sentimental vote with 20 mentions.

Here is a rundown of all of eateries mentioned by Facebook followers in order of number of mentions (when more than one eatery was listed, we tabulated only the eatery mentioned first).

  • Cisco's (33 votes)
  • 3 Amigos (30)
  • Los Agaves (29)
  • The Alamo (24)
  • Lupe's (20) (closed in August 2016)
  • Yolanda's (Camarillo/Simi Valley) (12)
  • Sabor (Westlake Village) (12)
  • Latigo Kid (Agoura) (11)
  • Los Dos Amigos (Thousand Oaks) (10)
  • Habanero Mexican Grill (Newbury Park) (8)
  • Bad Ass Tacos (Thousand Oaks) (8)
  • Don Cuco's (Simi Valley) (8)
  • El Sancho Loco (Newbury Park) (8)
  • Money Pancho (Camarillo) (6)
  • Sea Casa (Westlake Village) (6)
  • Plata Taqueria (Agoura) (5)
  • Margaritas Mexican Grill (Oak Park) (4)
  • Taqueria Jalisco (Moorpark/Simi Valley) (4)
  • Lalo's Mexican Food (Moorpark) (5)
  • Manny's Mexican Grill (Thousand Oaks) (4)
  • Patron Mexican Bar & Grill (Newbury Park) (4)
  • Snapper Jack's (Camarillo) (4)
  • Others mentioned 3 times: El Tecolote (Camarillo), Mariscos Cancun (Thousand Oaks)(closed in Feb 2018), Establos Meat Market (Thousand Oaks), El Tapatio (Moorpark) and Tacos de Mexico (Simi Valley)
  • Mentioned 2 times: Adobe Cantina (Agoura), Burger Express and Mexican Grill (Simi Valley) and Chipotle
  • Also mentioned: Somis Market, Antonio's Mexican Food (Port Hueneme), Taqueria Tlaquepaque (Santa Paula), Rosabella's (Ventura), Baja Fresh, Rubio's, El Pollo Loco, Cinqo, Ay Chihuahua (Fillmore), Tito's Mexican Food (Simi Valley), Mercado Guadalajara (Newbury Park), Campos Famous Burritos (Simi Valley), Luna Llena (Simi Valley), Los Toros (Chatsworth), Vallarta Restaurant (Fillmore), La Fiesta Mexican Grill (Moorpark), Sharky's and Los Arroyos (Camarillo)

Enjoy exploring this list of nearly 50 popular Mexican eateries in Thousand Oaks and neighboring cities.

El Tecolote   opened its doors in 1948 and moved to its current Camarillo location in 1952.

El Tecolote opened its doors in 1948 and moved to its current Camarillo location in 1952.

Conejo Valley Guide Facebook Followers Share Their Favorite Desserts at Local Eateries

As part of a one day ticket drawing on the Conejo Valley Guide Facebook Page, we asked folks to tell us their favorite desserts at any restaurant in the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas. Boy oh boy did we get the best compilation of great sounding desserts EVER! 

We are going to share these comments with you but be sure to keep in mind, eat desserts only after finishing your dinner. To quote a Pink Floyd lyric "If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?!" ("Another Brick in the Wall" 1979)

And here they are, in no particular order:

  • Pastries from Champagne Bakery
  • Strawberry Shortcake at Boccali's in Ojai
  • Butter cake at Mastro's Steakhouse Thousand Oaks (mentioned 27 times)
  • Pizookie at BJ's Restaurant in Thousand Oaks (mentioned 44 times)
  • Cinnamon Puffs from Pizza Nosh in Agoura Hills
  • Creme Brulee at Aroha Restaurant in Westlake Village
  • Richie's Magic Bar at Pearl District (mentioned 2 times)
  • Warm peach cobbler at Lazy Dog Restaurant
  • Cheesecake Factory (mentioned 42 times - banana, Oreo, strawberry, chocolate fudge, key lime, tiramisu, Limoncello, banana cream, red velvet, Snickers, peanut butter, White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, Linda's Fudge Cake, Dulce de Leche Caramel, Godiva, Peanut Butter)
  • Apple fritters at Best Donuts
  • Chocolate cake at Bandits' BBQ
  • Banana cream pudding in Mason jar at Public School 805
  • Carrot cake at Boney Mountain Tavern (mentioned 2 times)
  • White chocolate pretzel cheesecake at Lazy Dog Restaurant
  • Creme brulee or cobbler at Blue Stove in The Oaks Mall (mentioned 2 times)
  • Donuts and cupcakes at Karma Baker (mentioned 3 times)
  • Carmelized almond bowl with white chocolate laced chantilly cream and fresh berries at Mediterraneo in Westlake Village
  • Creme brulee at Lazy Dog Restaurant (mentioned 2 times)
  • Cheesecake with blueberries at Stonefire Grill 
  • Creme brulee or pecan pie at Mastro's
  • Cannoli at Roma Deli in Newbury Park (mentioned 2 times)
  • Blackberry crumble at Lure Fish House
  • Salted chocolate chip cookie at Urbane Cafe
  • Banana cream pie at Paul Martin's (mentioned 3 times)
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes (mentioned 4 times)
  • Fudge brownie sundae at Bandits BBQ
  • Key lime pie at Mastro's
  • Green tea ice cream at Kabuki
  • The Wonderbar at Pearl District (mentioned 2 times)
  • Apple strudel at Jeanette's Edelweiss in Newbury Park (mentioned 2 times)
  • Mountain High Mud Pie at Red Robin
  • Chocolate fondue at The Melting Pot (mentioned 7 times)
  • Ice cream sundae at Stacked
  • S'Mores at Holdren's in Newbury Park
  • Menchies Frozen Yogurt
  • Kona Pie at Islands
  • Butter cake with vanilla ice cream at California Pizza Kitchen (mentioned 3 times)
  • Fried cheesecake at Sutter's Mill in Simi Valley
  • Tiramisu at Marcello Ristorante in Thousand Oaks
  • Brownie ice cream sundae at Pickles Deli in Newbury Park
  • Brownie at Stonefire Grill (mentioned 3 times)
  • Bread pudding at Twenty88 in Camarillo
  • Donuts at Dunkin' Donuts
  • Deep fried ice cream at Cisco's
  • Chocolate Dome at PF Chang's
  • Caramel apples from Newberry Candies in Thousand Oaks
  • The gooey center of a Cinnabon
  • Black and white cookie at Brent's Deli (mentioned 2 times)
  • Chocolatine French Cafe
  • Salted caramel cheesecake at Blue Stove
  • The Melting Pot - any dessert
  • Sweet quinoa cake from Grabbagreen in Thousand Oaks
  • Cinnamon chips at Snapper Jack's Taco Shack in Camarillo
  • Ice cream at Lure Fish House
  • Dessert sampler at Holdren's in Newbury Park
  • Chocolate cake at Brent's Deli (mentioned 2 times)
  • Apple pie at Stella's in Newbury Park
  • Banana spring rolls at PF Chang's
  • Baklava at Mama's Hummus
  • Spotted dick at Crown and Anchor in Thousand Oaks
  • Pavlova at Aroha Cuisine
  • Shave It (mentioned 4 times)
  • Gelato at Urban Pizza
  • Banana pudding bread at Cafe Firenze in Moorpark
  • Carrot cake at Stonefire Grill (mentioned 6 times)
  • Shakes at In-N-Out Burger
  • Apple fritters at Rolling Pin Donuts in Camarillo
  • Little Calf Creamery in Thousand Oaks (mentioned 26 times)
  • McDonald's strawberry and cream pies
  • Molten chocolate cake at Lure Fish House
  • Lava cake at Chili's in Newbury Park (mentioned 2 times)
  • Macaroons from Lemonade
  • Ice cream at Rite Aid (mentioned 2 times)
  • Creme Brulee at Tuscany in Westlake Village (mentioned 2 times)
  • Cotton candy at Zin Bistro in Westlake Village
  • Fried ice cream at Yolanda's in Camarillo (mentioned 2 times)
  • Molten Chocolate Cake at Marmalade Cafe in Westlake Village
  • Salted caramel pudding from California Pizza Kitchen
  • Fruit cobbler at Lazy Dog Cafe
  • Chocolate mousse cake at Blue Stove (mentioned 2 times)
  • Eclairs at Brent's Deli
  • Carrot cake at Old New York Deli in Newbury Park
  • Mud Pie at Holdren's
  • Ice cream sandwiches at Stacked
  • Raised chocolate donut at Foster's Donuts
  • Nutella and Biscotti Semifreddo at Cafe Firenze
  • Frozen yogurt at Tutti Frutti
  • Nutella cheesecake at Lemonade in Westlake Village
  • Chocolate chip brownie sundae at Lazy Dog Cafe (mentioned 2 times)
  • Chocolate cake at Paul Martin's
  • Chocolate souffle at Mastro's
  • Berry cobbler at Lure Fish House
  • Chocolate lasagna at Olive Garden
  • Brownie sundae from Sunset Terrace
  • Florentine art dessert at Mediterraneo
  • Churros (Nutella filled) at Sabor (mentioned 2 times)
  • Baskin Robbins (mentioned 10 times)
  • Cannoli at Italia Deli & Bakery
  • Baklava at Baba's Kitchen
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes (mentioned 14 times)
  • Black Forest Cake at Paul Martin's
  • Strawberry cake at Jeannette's Edelweiss
  • Sticky rice at Sawadee Thai in Camarillo
  • Neapolitan Shake from In N Out Burger
  • Pastries and tiramisu at Al Mulino Eataliano
  • Hot fudge sundae at McDonald's
  • Sticky coconut rice and mango at Bangkok Avenue
  • Strawberry shortcake at Country Harvest in Newbury Park
  • Pizza cookie at Topper's Pizza
  • Peruvian cookies at Mouthful Eatery
  • Baklava at Mediterranean Pita Grill
  • Flan at Don Cucos
  • Fruit tart at Viktor Benes
  • Butter cake at Lazy Dog Cafe
  • Ras Malai and Gulab Jamun at Anarbagh in Westlake Village
  • Cold Stone Creamery (mentioned 3 times)
  • Wild Cherry Yogurt
  • Carrera's Bakery (mentioned 15 times for items like triolgia, fritelle, gelato, cannoli)
  • Tifa Gelato (mentioned 6 times)
  • Sweet Arlene's (mentioned 6 times)

Sweeten Your Day with a Visit to Bennett's Honey Tasting Room in Fillmore

We were in the Santa Clarita area ready to head back home to the Conejo Valley, when I decided, how about if we take Highway 126 for once. So we did.

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It was a leisurely drive on a late Sunday morning, when we came across a sign that caught my interest.

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After passing the sign, I asked my son if he would like to do some honey tasting, to which he replied, "SURE!" So we turned back!

Bennett's Honey Tasting Room is located just north of Highway 126 at 3176 Honey Lane in Fillmore. It feels really off the beaten path, but is just 5 miles east of central Fillmore.

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There's a small parking lot in front of the retail store. We walked up the steps, opened the door, and found ourselves in a small, one room shop, where we were greeted by smiling staff and stacks of honey jars and products.

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But what really caught our eye, the reason for our stopping by on this mild, Sunday morning, was the honey tasting kiosk in the middle of the room. We treated ourselves to samples of honey derived from orange blossoms, sage, wildflowers, buckwheat, avocado, clover, eucalyptus and cactus. Honey heaven!

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How is honey made? Worker bees suck nectar from a blossom and carry it back to the hive in their honey sacs (i.e. stomachs). On its way home, acid secretions in the sacs start changing the nectar to honey. In the hive, the honey is passed to a receiving bee where it is processed and concentrated for storage in empty honeycomb cells. 70,000 nectar "loads" become one pound of honey. Housekeeping bees "dry" the honey by fanning their wings in unison, then the cells are sealed for beeswax. Honey will keep for years.

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My top choice was the cactus flavored honey as well as the "creamed" honey. We inquired about a honey that would be best for combating pollen allergies, and were told the wildflower honey was the best bet. And then we asked about the raw honeycomb shown above.

We were immediately offered a sample of the honeycomb. Heck, why not! Are we supposed to eat the wax comb? Some people do, but most swallow the tasty honey and spit out the wax.  The honeycomb was a delicious treat and we bought one of those too!

Bennett's Honey Farm was founded by Red and Ann Bennett and is currently owned by Chip and Taydee Vannoy. They produce their own honey right here in Ventura County under brands "Topanga Quality Honey" (found at Whole Foods and other specialty markets) and "Piru Canyon Honey" found at farmers' market and fruit stands in local counties.

To learn more, visit www.bennetthoney.com or call 805.521.1375.