Our trip to the Reed Avocado grove

We have been lucky in our meeting of great people from all over the world. Unfortunately, learning new languages has never been a strength of mine. I speak French with a German accent and my German is laced with Yiddish… and the Yiddish I know are all food words.

Thank goodness that the universal language turns out to be food (and a little English).

Though great food trends are often Country or Region centric, in our world, our focus for picking foods is less “popular” and more about great taste, works like it should, and we like the family who create it.

That’s how we ended up with these incredible Reed Avocados! Peter and Bonnie who grow more than a zillion (7) different types of avocados on their property and a few other fruits like bananas! They love avocados and can eat the different varieties freshly harvested year round.

So when Peter says the Reeds are the ones he loves the most, you gotta know they are pretty special. And after eating them, more than once, we know they are like no other food on the planet. You can find other fruit with the same last name and we have seen and tasted other large avocados (like in Hawaii) and they just don’t have the same buttery richness Reeds do.

So when we visited just before harvest and walked amongst the 60 year old giant grove of trees, and the newly planted newbies, what an amazing experience!

We were headed south, about 2 1/2 hours, from LA. It would seem much further, as we left the urban landscapes of the city and as the scenery changed from flat to undulating waves of dry earth. 

We stopped at a modern oasis on the way that was like a giant suburban shopping complex in the middle of nowhere just off the highway. Refreshed with new breath mints we gathered ourselves back into the car and continued south following the GPS, as well as paper directions. 

It’s a good thing we had written directions because out there there is virtually no cell service or Wi-Fi connections of any kind. I think this is what they call spotty as the GPS quickly stopped working and we relied on visual sightings. 

We drove through a series of roads up and down, right and left, all the while gaining altitude we rounded a corner and farms started to appear on the horizon. 

We knew we were getting close as we spotted big bushes that were dotted with baby avocados. 

Up a short dirt driveway we arrived at Herman Ranch and were greeted by Peter and Bonnie. A fabulous lunch welcomed us too, comprised of lobster, fresh greens and, what else, avocados!

[Avocado Bonnie Lunch Photo here]

Food stories were exchanged whilst we sat looking out over the delicious valley view and as they explained how close the fire storm came to their house and before the winds turned it down valley and away. Scary!

[Photo of Izabel in truck here]

After this amazing lunch we headed to the orchards. First a ride in a John Deere Gator to get a quick overview and the lay of the land, and then on to our feet to walk the grounds.

[Black and white photo of trees here]

These trees are tall! After passing the younger “bushes” seeing the 60 year old trees was amazing! The older trees still produce fruit, but are at the end of their useful life. Climbing the tall trees to harvest is expensive and dangerous.

The younger trees produce an abundance of fruit and much of it is low enough to be picked with ones feet firmly planted on the terra firma or a short ladder. It’s impressive to see any fruit on a tree, but when you see these giant green, one pound avocados hanging it is a bit awe inspiring.

Like any fruit, there will be ones that fall before their time. These “little” ones are “babies” and wouldn’t be mature for another year! (Spring buds are harvest a year later in August/September!) We collected them because they are so “precious” and photogenic.

Navigating within the 20 year old stands of trees you feel enveloped amongst them. With lots of foot “traps” all over the place. There are signs of the local vermin (not the rock band next door), the aggressive squirrels, everywhere and are real challenge to keep from eating all the good fruit and eating the bark of the new planted trees!

At the end of the visit we loaded up with fallen Reeds (once they touch the ground they can’t be sold), and lemons to take as gifts to our family & friends in LA. We were sad to have to head back to the city, into the traffic (which started the moment we left) and the pressure of auditions. Quite a contrast to the wonderful relaxed visit with Peter and Bonnie! We can’t wait to go back!

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