After our tour of West Pak Avocado, we headed out South-East of Temecula to the Pauma Valley for an avocado-centric lunch and a grove tour at Fairfield Farms.
Fairfield Farms is owned by Bill and Carol Steed, who hosted us in the backyard of their home on the property.
Lunch began with some hand-held snacks, the first of which was a toast of avocado bread topped with hummus, a jam (made from what, I can't recall) and a slice of avocado on top for good measure. Very tasty.
Next up was a panko crusted fried shrimp skewer drizzled with a lemon avocado-oil vinaigrette:
Taking a bite revealed some avocado tucked inside along with the shrimp:
The final appetizer was a smoked avocado gazpacho, which was the only dish of the lunch that we didn't really enjoy. An interesting idea, though.
Lunch proper included some very nice salad preparations. This one, with watermelon and avocado and a balsamic dressing made for a surprisingly good combination:
A simple, but very well seasoned salad of greens, avocados, orange segments and pumpkin seeds:
and finally a quinoa avocado salad:
I'm often not a big fan of quinoa, but I really enjoyed it here.
The main part of lunch was rounded out with a piece of steelhead topped with an avocado and corn salsa:
Dessert was an avocado frozen yoghurt topped with granola and fruit. It was rich and creamy, with just the right amount of avocado flavor.
Overall, it was a lovely lunch. The food was catered by Sorrel Restaurant / Bistro in Temecula. If you are in the area, you should check them out.
After lunch, we piled onto a tractor-pulled wagon and headed up into the avocado groves.
We wound our way through the groves, ducking avocado branches as they passed overhead, and arrived at one of the sections currently being picked.
The pickers use a simple, but effective tool - a long pole with a basket on the end. A rope along the pole controls cutting blades in the mouth of the basket.
Once a few avocados are in the basket, the picker pulls them down, snips off excess bits of stem, pops them in his bag and then goes up for some more.
In addition to avocados, Fairfield Farms also grows blueberries and several kinds of citrus.
But today, the focus was squarely on the avocado.