California Strawberries Farm And Culinary Tour

California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking

Can you fancy eating strawberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner for almost three days back to back? Well, that was precisely what I did last week at the ‘California strawberries farm & culinary tour’. You can say I was on strawberry high by the end of the tour and for me that was a perfect way to relish summer. If that was not enough, I came home with two humongous boxes of strawberries to resume the indulgence.


As some of you might have already predicted, this post is overloaded with photographs. When you are in the scenic city of Carmel, when you meet lovely people, attend such a beautiful gathering and visit strawberry farms, you want to capture it all. At least, I wanted to and I sure did.


We kick started the party at Carmel Valley Ranch by sipping cocktails, munching finger foods followed by a lovely strawberry dinner. Delicious it was! The strawberry manchego flatbread, pancetta wrapped strawberries, ricotta cannelloni with thyme infused strawberries were my absolute favorite. And oh, there were s’mores too and more cocktail, by the pool. Oh yeah!


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


The next day was the field trip. We visited two farms and Berry chill cooler. We met the multi-generational strawberry farmers, listened to their stories, learned and absorbed the picturesque strawberry farms. Did you know there are 400 strawberry farms in California? It’s the perfect combination of the sandy costal soils, moderate temperature and western ocean exposure, which gives California 12-month strawberry growing season.

One of the farmer said, ‘Strawberries grows where people like to live’.


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


After picking and eating the juiciest strawberries all the day long, we gathered by the pool in the evening and sipped some strawberry cocktails. It was a beautiful sunny day. The dinner was quite special, prepared by Chef Tim Wood, keeping strawberry in mind, of course.

And yeah, I chased a bee too, at the Carmel Valley Ranch, which is truly a beautiful place to stay. And the first thing you will notice once you step inside the ranch are the lavender plants, spread across the whole area.


Photography | Kankana - Playful Cooking


Photography | Kankana - Playful Cooking


The last day we met Chef Tim Wood – Executive Chef, Carmel Valley Ranch and watched him cook. He suggested few cookbooks and spoke about what kind of knives, pots and pans to invest on. And later there was a fun challenge, where we were paired in groups and were asked to prepare a strawberry influenced entrée.


Chef Tim Wood | Playful Cooking


Chef Tim Wood | Playful Cooking


Chef Tim Wood | Playful Cooking


Chef Tim Wood | Playful Cooking


Here are some Frequently Asked Question from California Strawberries:

Are organic strawberries healthier than conventional?

Available scientific data indicate that there is not a significant difference in the nutritional quality between organically and conventionally grown foods.. Many conventional farmers use some of the same production practices that organic growers use. Health and nutrition experts recommend eating fresh fruits and veggies – whether organic or conventional. According to the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most people should be doubling their fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce their risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight.


Is GMO is used to grow strawberries?

No. There are no genetically modified strawberries commercially grown and shipped. Different varieties of strawberries are developed for different climates and growing conditions. These varieties are developed using traditional breeding methods that involve selecting two parents and crossing them using their flowers.


I’ve heard that we shouldn’t eat fruit on the “Dirty Dozen” list because of pesticides. Should I be concerned about strawberries?

Not at all. Health experts recommend eating both conventional and organic fruits for optimal health. A panel of experts reviewed the scientific basis for the “dirty dozen” list and found it to be misleading. For more information abut this topic, check out the Alliance for Food & Farming website where you can find science-based facts. Visit


California Strawberry Farm Tour | Playful Cooking


Now you guys know why I said earlier that I was high on strawberries by the end of the trip. I cannot end this post with saying a BIG THANK YOU to all the amazing folks of California Strawberries. You guys are so friendly, approachable and totally huggable. Thank You for this wonderful experience! I will always remember and talk about it.


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Nisha says:

Surprised @ 400 farms fact, smiled @ what farmer said :)

What did your group prepare for the strawberry-influenced entrée? 😀

Kiran says:

Yummy tour and photos! Loved following it all on Instagram :)

Beautiful photos, I loved following along on IG! :)

Archana says:

Beautiful photos Kankana and such an awesome experience !

Siri says:

I simply love California. It’s indeed the best place to live. :-) Thanks to your gorgeous photographs, I was transported to the picturesque valleys of Carmel for a few minutes. Now, you got to tell us what was your strawberry-infused creation? so curious to know! 😀


Rosa says:

A wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing your impressions with us.

Delightful pictures!



Beautiful photos. I thought you might do this post since Id been following you on instagram. Quite some interesting facts about strawberries here..thank you for sharing.

A fun and educating culinary tour!

A gorgeous post! We had a strawberry farm in our area, but it closed down a few years ago. My children used to love visiting there. Thanks for sharing this ; )

lucky babe 😉 I once visited a beautiful farm in lonavala and i wish i has a camera back then.

okay so my strawberry farm experience was definitely different than yours. My consisted of wild crazy boys picking and eating to many berries while you had a nice leisurely stroll with wine and guidance! Oh i can only dream right? LOL! beautiful pictures and what a great experience to have done

You’re the awesomest photographer; I get that. But that doesn’t mean you have to take crazy good, insanely good photos all the time everywhere you go !

Asha@FSK says:

WOW! Seems like an amazing trip. I have yet to go strawberry picking arnd here.. I should get to it!!! :))

Jodi says:

Your photos are amazing and it was such a pleasure to meet you and have you participate! Big hug!

dixya says:

amazing photos and seems like you had an amazing time there :)

I am jealous of your trip, it looks like so much fun. I just wish you had taken more photographs, everything looks wonderful as always!

What a great trip. Love being out on the farm. We stayed up the road from there a while ago. Love Carmel and the area. How fun!

Oh my goodness girlie your photography is just amazing!!! It was so great meeting you, hopefully we will meet again one day :)

Eha says:

Thank you for taking us along on this interesting journey! I have 2-3 strawberry farms in close proximity here: you know the kind where one can go and pick one’s own, eating twice as much as picking 😉 ! Lovely to see how growing is done in a more commercial way! Do love strawberries as most do, but once a day would suffice, methinks :) !

Fabulous photos as always, especially the first one!

Interesting tour with beautiful pictures.

I’m happy that I could hear about this trip in person! 😀 It was really great to see you other day. You take great pictures out in the field!

Pia says:

What an experience, Kankana! And the photographs!! They completely and utterly transported me there amidst the strawberry fields :)

milkteaxx says:

beuaitful photos and those strawberries look devine!

I was waiting to read this post. Wow, What an experience and through your pictures we had a glimpse too. Thank you

dassana says:

beautiful photos and a fab virtual tour.

Loved reading this post. And if we predicted that this would be picture heavy post, I am the last one to be minding – if the pictures are as amazing as theses. Can a regular person visit or avail this tour?

Kankana Saxena says:

Thanks Ishita :) It’s a invite only private tour that the CA Strawberries guys organizes once a year!