The Avocado Sisters Share an Adventure with Friends

Baby Avocados appearing and New Foliage on the tree

Baby Avocados with New Foliage on the Avocado Trees

If you have been following the adventures of The Avocado Sisters,  you know that we have been enjoying exciting  avocado adventures ever since we met last September.    Rachael (La Fuji Mama) and I began hatching a plan to include more friends in our adventures a few months ago.  We came up with the idea of  gathering a group of 6 – 8 bloggers to have a day of relaxation and rejuvenation with avocados as our theme.  There would be no pressure;  just a day to enjoy each others’ company,  learn from our collective experiences and step back from our busy lives.

Our band of adventurers included  varied interests,  backgrounds,  ages, and life circumstances…it just happened to work out that way as we mentioned our plans and found people who were willing to come aboard for an adventure without guarantees!  Besides Mimi Avocado (yours truly) and La Fuji Mama (Rachael),   the group included  Diane (Created By Diane),  Laura (Family Spice),  Allison (Sushi Day) and her companion Son,  as well as Kristen,  Rachael’s delightful sister-in-law from Salt Lake City.   Driving in from San Diego, Escondido, Corona,  El Segundo and Murrieta, we started our day  in Temecula to tour the Eco Farms avocado packing house.

ECO Farms Tour

Enola Price of ECO Farms explains how avocados are graded and packed

We were treated to a personalized tour of the packing house by Enola Price.     My husband and I have known Enola  for many years as  avocado buyer as well as a personal friend.    Our children went through school together in Valley Center and several of them went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at the same time.  She is the one who interfaces with our family farm  as we sell most of our avocado crop to Eco Farms.   From there the avocados are shipped to retailers, including Costco and various grocery stores,  and food services.  We also have a gift box and monthly subscription service for folks who want to buy  premium, hand-selected fruit direct from our farm,  called California Avocados Direct.

avocado sorting

Rachael and Allison learn about sorting avocados

 

sorting avocados

So many avocados coming through!

 

Boxing avocados

Boxing various sizes of California avocados

Did you notice the stickers on these avocados?  Always check to see that you are getting California avocados!

Wayside Cafe in Fallbrook, CA

Lunch at Wayside Cafe in Fallbrook, the Avocado Capital of the World

Next we drove through the hills and canyons of De Luz, Calif to reach the Avocado Capital of the World:  Fallbrook, CA!   We arrived at the quaint and funky Wayside Cafe on Main Street.   We were seated at a huge table on the back porch…a private dining room!   We lost no time in ordering Fried Avocados with two different options for dipping:  ranch dressing and powdered sugar.

fried avocados with dipping options

Fried Avocados with Ranch Dressing or Powdered Sugar for dipping

Of course, we couldn’t eat them right away!   Bloggers take photos first and eat last!

photographing the fried avocado

Photos are the most important things!

We feasted on delicious entrees that feature California avocados.   I had the Tortilla Stuffed Hamburger with horseradish cheese, fresh greens, and avocado!  It was so nice to have a leisurely lunch with plenty of time to visit…no rush!

Tortilla Stuffed Burger at Wayside Cafe

Tortilla Stuffed Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

After lunch, we drove up Main Street and found parking in front of the Retro Candy Shop.   Signs lured us inside….Avocado Fudge!

Retro Candy Shop in Fallbrook, CA

Fallbrook's own Retro Candy Shop: Home of Avocado Fudge during the Avocado Festival in April

Avocado Fudge sign

How can we resist avocado fudge??

Inside we found a selection of flavors, plus fun vintage toys and games,  old fashioned candies and sodas.  We were having a great time looking around when the owner came out and offered to let us sample the fudge!

Selection of avocado fudge

Cup o' Fudge Flavors include Rocky Road, White Chocolate, Chocolate, Walnut, etc.

We enlisted Diane to cut the fudge samples…so the rest of us could take photos!  We were treated like royalty, enjoying the friendly and informative chat with the shop owner, and his very generous hospitality.  Of course we all bought some fudge to take home!

Fudge Tasting

Fudge Tasting is about to happen!

fudge tasting party

Avocado Fudge is very creamy and full of flavor!

We did some more browsing in the cute shops, finding fun avocado-themed tee shirts,  ornaments,  lotions,  postcards… who doesn’t love shopping?!

Finally our caravan drove south to our avocado ranch so we could take a walk through the groves and see the last of the   avocado flowers as well as the baby avocados beginning to grow.  The mature avocados that arel being harvested this year are also in the trees.  An exciting time to visit!

walking through the grove

Rachael and Laura

It's nice in the shade of the avocado tree canopy!

Enjoying the shady canopy of trees: Diane, Laura and Kristen

walking through the grove

Allison, Son and Rachael

It’s always fun to see how people who have never been in an avocado grove are excited  to see the things that we take for granted.  Baby trees sprouting in the thick carpet of leaves,  fruit hanging over our heads in the tall trees,  bees attending to their work in the blossoms,  fallen fruit that has softened on the ground and has been tasted by wildlife that live in the grove.   We took quite a hike around the ranch, stopping to see the stumped trees that will be out of production for several years.   We visited the room where gift boxes are packed for California Avocados Direct customers.   Since we hadn’t carried any water bottles along,   we picked  sweet tangerines to give us a little boost as we headed back to the house.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies Created By Diane

Our last and very special treat of the day was a personal bag of chocolate peanut butter heart cookies from Diane!  The perfect ending for our avocado adventure day!   It was everything that Fuji Mama and I had wished for:  a day with friends,  learning and sharing,  becoming better acquainted, and best of all….relaxing!  We hope to have more adventures with friends too, so if you want to come along on one of our special days,  just let us know!

The Avocado Sisters

 

Fallbrook Avocado Festival: It’s All About Shopping and Eating!

Avocado Festival Fallbrook poster

This morning I decided to drive up to Fallbrook and check out the 2012 Avocado Festival.    Last year we had a booth to introduce California Avocados Direct, but this year I wanted to  soak up the festivities as a visitor.   I parked at a beautiful new school with one of the most amazing views in the area.  A shuttle bus was waiting and delivered me directly to one end of the street where the festival was already in full swing by 11:30 am. The Fallbrook  Avocado Festival  attracts 60,000 people or more on a Sunday in April each year.   Large family groups,  older couples,  people with strollers and dogs on leashes…it was hard to navigate the street at times, even on foot!

Avocado Festival 2012

Crowds made it difficult to get close to some of the booths

The festival area covered about 4 large blocks of the city…quite a distance…and I walked the entire area three times!   In addition to the food and merchandise booths,   some of the local shops and galleries were also open.    There was a wonderful Avocado Art exhibition too!

Avocado Art Show

Beautiful and creative avocado art in this show!

There were some really nice paintings, sculptures and other art items in the show.   The ones I liked the most were not for sale.

California Avocado Commission's Dave Cruz

Dave Cruz of the California Avocado Commission

The California Avocado Commission had lines of folks waiting to pick up the free magnets, avocado slicers, recipe brochures and stickers.   I had a chance to say hello to staffer Dave Cruz.

Fried Avocado

Fried Avocado from The Wayside Cafe in Fallbrook, California

I stopped for lunch at The Wayside Cafe, relieved to sit down and have a bite to eat!  The fried avocado was available with ranch dressing or powdered sugar…so I asked to try them both!

Wayside Wrap with Tuna, Avocado, Fresh Greens and Tomato

Wayside Wrap with tuna, avocado, fresh greens and tomato

 

The Wayside Cafe is a very cute and funky restaurant with friendly people and delicious food made with the freshest ingredients.    I’ll be going back to try  more of their menu items!  Today I  bought an Avocado Brownie, frosted with avocado creme:  avocado, powdered sugar and cream.  I delivered it to Dave back at the California Avocado Commission booth.  Bon Appetit, Dave!

brownie with avocado creme

Avocado Brownie, frosted with avocado creme

 

Guacamole and chips were available all along the route of the festival, as well as more unusual items like avocado ice cream, avocado milk shakes, avocado gelato and even avocado fudge!

Avocado Fudge Shop

This candy shop was selling avocado fudge!

One of the newest exhibitors this year was selling handmade furniture made from avocado wood.   This table was made from a 40 year old avocado tree! Check out Woodwaves Inc. in Murrieta, Ca.

table made of avocado wood

Love this table made of 40 year old avocado wood!

I brought home some more treasures too:  a beautiful antique Franciscan plate from “The Broken Chair” shop,  a bathing suit cover-up,   and a really fun rustic sign by Julio Wahl Weathered Signs in Thousand Oaks, Ca.     I even found a nice ceramic hen (yes a huge chicken to carry around all afternoon!) in a very nice shop called “A Few Of Our Favorite Things“.   The day at the Avocado Festival in Fallbrook  was a winner!   Lots of exercise,  good food,  great shopping!

Garden signs

 

wind chimes

Need some Avocado Wind Chimes?

ceramic hen

My ceramic chicken made it safely home to the kitchen!

Fallbrook, California is a beautiful place to visit any time of year.   The name “Avocado Capital of the World” might be an exaggeration, but their other name “The Friendly Village”  is definitely true!  If you don’t like crowds,  find another time to visit Fallbrook,  as several of the shops and restaurants carry avocado items all the time.    If you want delicious premium  fresh avocados and can’t come to Southern California,  be sure to visit California Avocados Direct for a monthly subscription to our family farm-grown fruit!

avocados from CaliforniaAvocadosDirect.com

8 Big and Tall Avocados from California Avocados Direct

 

 

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