A California strawberry has a very blessed life. Brilliant sunshine, breezy seaside views and dedicated farmers who treat it like the queen that she is. Come along as I visit a local strawberry farm and meet the farmer who makes it happen!
Living in Ventura, I drive by strawberry fields going just about anywhere. California grows 88 percent of the nation’s strawberries and many of them come from right here in Ventura County.
In fact, Ventura County is home to the California Strawberry Festival! One of our favorite springtime activities (pre-COVID of course).
The long rows of strawberry beds are beautiful, but there is one very special farm that I’ve driven by a million times that always leaves me breathless.
Nestled between the hillsides and the ocean sits Sea Cliff farm. This long strip of land is the home to the most idyllic California strawberry farm and Uriel Hernandez is the farmer behind it all.
meet a california strawberry farmer
I was honored to be invited for one of California Strawberries’ Strawberry Farm Stories. If you haven’t checked out this series of videos featuring California strawberry farmers, I can’t recommend them enough.
These beautiful short films highlight the devoted men and women who own and work in California’s strawberry fields.
Uriel is emblematic of a farmer’s tenacity. Born in Mexico and raised in the Central Valley, his parents were migrant workers who raised eleven kids with very little money, but lots of love.
He has carried that spirit of purpose and faith from a boy who could barely speak English to a man who graduated from college with a degree in agriculture and a dream of having his own farm one day.
His family grew melons and other fruits and vegetables that flourished in the hot valley sun, but when he moved to Ventura it was strawberries that he learned to farm.
Uriel now farms one of the sweetest spots in all of Ventura County and grows acres of strawberries that are shipped all over the country.
I learned so many things by visiting the farm. For instance did you know, no strawberry goes to waste? What can’t be sold as fresh gets prepped and frozen or made into jams, jellies, and even juice.
uriel’s favorite strawberry recipe
While Uriel was pretty tight-lipped about his favorite strawberry recipe he talked a lot about how much his family loves strawberries.
Whenever he goes home to the Central Valley to visit they expect him to bring a pallet of his fresh, juicy strawberries. They are just that good!
California Strawberries asked if I could share a recipe to celebrate our trip to the farm and I was inspired by Uriel’s family story.
When he was talking about his childhood in the Central Valley he mentioned how his parents would buy cases of chicken legs and every weekend have a grand barbecue.
The kids always thought they were delicious, however, it was his parents who knew another benefit: chicken legs could feed a ton of people for very little money.
My family adores chicken legs too, so I took to the kitchen and made these smoky, delicious BBQ Chicken Drumsticks with Strawberry-Chipotle Sauce .
In other words, these will definitely be on heavy rotation around here this summer. Head to California Strawberries for the recipe!
more strawberry recipes to try!
- Strawberry Tamales with Horchata Sauce
- Meyer Lemon Tres Leches Strawberry Shortcake
- Hibiscus Strawberry Paloma
- Rhubarb and Strawberry Paletas
- Fruit Salad with Strawberries and Honey-Lemon Dressing
- Tres Leches French Toast Casserole with Strawberries
- Masa Pancakes with Vanilla Strawberries
see the magic for yourselves!
If you can’t visit a California strawberry farm in real life, head to the California Strawberries site and check out Uriel’s Strawberry Farm Story. Then hop on over to their recipes page and grab the recipe for my BBQ Chicken Drumsticks with Strawberry-Chipotle Sauce.
In support of this small business, ¡Hola! Jalapeño earns revenue in a few different ways. Several sponsored posts are published each month, such as this one here which is sponsored by California Strawberries. I also earn an affiliate commission on the sales of products I link to— there are a few of those links in this post. I only feature items I genuinely love and personally use on a regular basis. This commission is an arrangement between the retailer and ¡Hola! Jalapeño (readers never pay more for products) therefore, this income allows me to run the site. Thank you for reading!
Top photo by Amelia Lara for California Strawberries