For Angelenos serious about eating local, McGrath Family Farms in Camarillo offers a delicious opportunity: Farm tours that let locavores see exactly where and how their organic produce is grown. It's home-grown education -- five generations of it -- whether for children who wonder if carrots grow on trees or adults who hope to pick up organic gardening ideas.
You don't need to travel to Camarillo to get a taste of McGrath Family Farms' organically grown produce, however. The farm has a stand at many local farmers markets, where Phil McGrath and other family members offer beets, carrots, and lettuces along with other fresh in-season veggies.
For a taste of the farm, hit a farmers market near you, then try cooking up this nourishing McGrath family recipe.
Bavarian Lima Bean Soup
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 dried red pepper pods or 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper mix
1 cup diced ham
10 oz fresh lima beans
2 Italian sausages
Saute onion, carrot and celery (optional) in oil in soup pan. Add garlic, chicken broth, tomato sauce and hot pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes for flavor blend. Add ham, lima beans and sausage. Cover pan and simmer another 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Remove sausage and slice into bite size bits. Serve with warm bread, fruit and cheese.
Find McGrath Family Farms' stand on Wesdnesdays at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, Thursdays at the South Pasadena Farmers Market, Fridays at Topanga Canyon Certified Farmers' Market, Saturdays in Santa Barbara and Camarillo, and Sundays in Ojai, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. In addition to the markets, McGrath Family Farms also offers produce for sale at its Farm Center in Camarillo, where passers-by can stop in to buy fresh-picked organic vegetables, fruits, and flowers.