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From Fields to Fridge: Taste the Bounty of California Central Coast Farmland

Program Number: 14490RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/30/2014 - 4/4/2014; 4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Ventura, California
Price starting at: $899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Food & Wine Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

With more than 300,000 acres under cultivation, Ventura County is a cornucopia of foods from avocados to zucchinis. Visit traditional and organic family-owned farms to see what is in season, and go behind the scenes to observe the production of beneficial bugs, taste produce fresh from the field and enjoy lively food demonstrations, including an outstanding wine tasting and banquet guaranteed to have you returning to this land of plenty.




Highlights

• Explore rich Ventura County farmland and sample the bounty as you see firsthand how crops are picked, processed and shipped worldwide.
• Taste farm-fresh produce in the field and during a carefully crafted wine-pairing dinner experience.
• At Sun Valley Growers, watch a rainbow of fresh-cut flowers as they are harvested and bundled up for sale at major US retailers.



Activity Particulars

Walking and standing up to one-half mile, some uneven terrain in orchards and fields; stairs in packing house; moving equipment in commercial venues.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Ventura

A classic California beach community with surfers, art galleries, white-sand beaches and warm breezes, Ventura is situated between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara near the region's museums, historic missions and coastal wonders.



Accommodations
Ventura's only beachfront property, with balconied rooms and ocean views, is steps away from the historic downtown area and pier.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Suzanne Landry

Suzanne Landry is the author of The Passionate Vegetable and Fresh Food Matters. As a fresh food chef and wellness educator, author, and lively guest lecturer for over 25 years, she has inspired many people on their road to health and vitality. The Passionate Vegetable earned a Living Now Self-Published Book Award. She was the founder and director of Nature’s Table, a natural gourmet cooking school and has served as an industry consultant to manufacturers and retail stores as well as private individuals. Working for the renowned Issels Medical Center, she has developed the nutrition education program for their cancer patients since 2005. An author of numerous articles in newspapers and magazines, she was recently featured in the Santa Barbara Newspress Lifestyle section.
 
Richard Senate

Richard Senate is a Los Angeles native who grew up in the Conejo Valley of Ventura County. A longtime City of Ventura historian, Richard’s life took a turn in 1978 when, as part of a team of archaeologists working at a historic mission on the Central Coast, he encountered a ghostly monk. This profound experience led him to the study of psychic phenomena. Richard has since visited nearly 250 haunted sites and his investigations include studios, theaters and mansions in and around Los Angeles.
 
John Krist

John Krist is the chief executive officer of the Farm Bureau of Ventura County, the region’s oldest and largest agricultural association. Before joining the Farm Bureau, he was a journalist for over 24 years, working as an editor, reporter and columnist for the Ventura County Star. A published author, John’s books include: “Voyage of Rediscovery,” based on his experiences retracing the Lewis and Clark trail, and “Living Legacy: The Story of Ventura County Agriculture.”
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
  Ventura, California 5 nights
 Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Delight in the year-round sunshine of Ventura, California with its miles of clean, uncrowded beaches, spectacular mountainous back country, and the magnificent Channel Islands National Park on the horizon. At the center of it all, right at the water's edge, stands the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel. All of its guest rooms feature magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean and the mountainous curves of the California coastline. It is ideally situated within walking distance of historic downtown Ventura where you will find the San Buenaventura Mission, museums, antique stores, a wide variety of restaurants, bookstores, cafes, clothing shops, and art galleries.
  Contact info: 450 E. Harbor Blvd.
Ventura, CA 93001 USA
phone: 805-648-2100
web: www.cpventura.com
  Room amenities: All rooms are equipped with Crowne Plaza "Sleep Advantage" bedding; coffee maker; iron/board; hair dryer; high-speed Internet access; 27" TVs; ocean-view balconies; in-room movies. All rooms are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: The ocean-front Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach is a 12-story tower with balcony rooms, all with ocean views. There's a great walking path next to the hotel which stretches for miles up and down the coast. Guests enjoy a host of amenities including convenient parking; restaurants with outdoor patio dining; lobby lounge with ocean-front patio seating; room service; heated ocean-front swimming pool; exercise room; and laundry & dry cleaning with same-day service as well as a coin-op laundry. Wi-Fi Access: Road Scholar participants receive complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access as part of their package. The coverage includes all hotel guest rooms and public areas. Although there is no charge for this service, a password is required. This may be obtained from the front desk staff.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Based upon availability Call Laura Moran at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel at (805) 652-5142 to make a reservation for additional nights before or after the program and to inquire about rates.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Based upon availability Call Laura Moran at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel at (805) 652-5142 to make a reservation for additional nights before or after the program and to inquire about rates.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration is between 3:30-5:00PM in the hotel lobby.Orientation begins at 5:30PM followed by dinner at 6:00PM. Self introductions after dinner. You will be staying at Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach that night.
  End of Program:
Please arrange your transportation so you can join us for the final activity which will end about 10:30AM. You will be staying at Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. On the enclosed Participant Information Form, please indicate to us the name of your roommate/traveling companion. Also let us know if you are traveling with other individuals and wish to be assigned a room near them. Photo ID
  Parking availability:
Complimentary parking is available in the lot adjacent to the hotel, but the parking pass needs to be validated at the front desk.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Ventura, California
  Nearest city or town:  Santa Barbara
  Nearest highway: Highway 101 passes through Ventura
  Nearest airport:  Los Angeles International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Ventura, California
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

LAX to Ventura by VCA Shuttle

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Ventura Co. Airporter Shuttle
phone: 805-650-6600
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$35 P/P to drop-off point in Ventura; then taxi to Crowne Plaza @ $15
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 15 min to drop-off point + taxi ride (additional 20-25 min for wait time and ride) 

 

Distance:

 

67 miles from LAX to Holiday Inn Express at Ventura Harbor

   

VCA Shuttle offers 8 daily trips to/from LAX and Ventura at a great price p/p. However, it drops off passengers at the Holiday Inn Express at Ventura Harbor, 3.5 miles from Crowne Plaza Hotel. From the drop-off point you need to call a taxi to get a ride to the Crowne Plaza. Call Yellow Taxi Cab at 805-659-6900 at $15 per ride. CALL FOR PICK UP TIMES & CURRENT FARE AS PRICE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. Advance reservations are required. VCA Shuttle website: www.venturashuttle.com

 

Santa Barbara/ SBA to Ventura

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Runner Shuttle
phone: 800-247-7919
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$73 per person one-way
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

40-45 min from Santa Barbara Airport to the Crowne Plaza-Ventura Beach 

 

Distance:

 

38 miles from Santa Barbara Airport to the Crowne Plaza-Ventura Beach

   

Call for current rates as prices are subject to changewithout notice. Website: www.rrshuttle.com Roadrunner Shuttle local phone: 805-389-8196 Santa Barbara Airport website: www.flysba.com Santa Barbara Airport Info Phone: 805-683-4011 *** Rental cars are also available at SB Airport

 

Los Angeles/LAX to Ventura

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
SuperShuttle
phone: 800-258-3826
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$76 p/p one-way; $9 each additional passenger
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 20 min, depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

71 miles from LAX to Crowne Plaza Ventura Hotel

   

SuperShuttle is a primary shuttle service for LAX and operates continuously at the airport. Call for current rates and to arrange pick-up time. Price is subject to change. Advance reservations are required. Website: www.supershuttle.com On Arrival at LAX: Claim your luggage, proceed outside & look for the shared ride van sign on the inside curb just outside of Baggage Claim. ALTERNATE VAN SERVICE: Prime Time Shuttle. For info and reservations, call 800-733-8267; www.primetimeshuttle.com

 

Los Angeles (LAX) to Ventura

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Prime Time Shuttle
phone: 800-733-8267
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$66.50 per person each way
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 20 min, depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

71 miles from LAX to Crowne Plaza Ventura Hotel

   

Call for current rates and to arrange pickup time. Advance reservations are required. Price is estimated and subject to change. Website: www.primetimeshuttle.com for online reservations and exact fares. On arrival at LAX, claim your luggage, proceed outside and look for the shared ride van sign on the inside curb just outside of baggage claim. Alternate passenger van service: SuperShuttle at 800-258-3826 or www.supershuttle.com

 

Burbank/Bob Hope Airport (BUR) to Ventura

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Train
Amtrak Pacific Surfliner
phone: 800-872-7245
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$21 one-way (Call for current price)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Train ride is about 1.5 hours between Burbank and Ventura 

 

Distance:

 

Around 65 miles from Burbank Airport to the hotel

   

Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner makes 4-5 stops/day between the Burbank-Bob Hope Airport Station and the Ventura Station, located near the Crowne Plaza Ventura Hotel. See notes for Ventura/Amtrak Station. The Burbank-Bob Hope Airport Station is located at 3750 Empire Ave., Burbank, CA 91505. The station is unstaffed. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Call Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) or visit their website at www.amtrak.com for schedule and ticket information.

 

Ventura/ Amtrak Station

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Yellow Cab
phone: 805-437-7977

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Minimum fare of $10 per ride one-way will be charged
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Under 2 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

Amtrak Station is 0.3 miles from hotel

   

Amtrak (1-800-872-7245) provides transportation service to Ventura via the Pacific Surfliner route. The covered Amtrak platform is located outside Seaside Park (Ventura County Fairgrounds) at 20 W. Harbor Blvd. near Figueroa St. You may walk 4 blocks from the station to the hotel, or call a taxi. Amtrak website: www.amtrak.com

 
Driving Directions
  Northbound Highway 101 Going North on Hwy 101, take the California St. exit. Turn left onto California St. at the top of the exit ramp. Turn right onto Harbor Blvd. then left into the hotel parking lot.
  Southbound Highway 101 to Crowne Plaza Ventura Hotel Going South on Hwy 101, take the Ventura Ave. exit. Turn right on Thompson Blvd. and continue for approximately 4 blocks to California St. Turn right on California St. and go over the freeway to Harbor Blvd. The Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach hotel will be directly ahead. Turn right onto Harbor Blvd. then immediately left into the hotel parking lot.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals
(Sunday, March 30)

Note: Participants should be physically fit and in good health. While activities are not strenuous, participants should be aware of the conditions on field trips. Field trip destinations involve getting on/off bus, walking/standing on guided walks, uneven terrain in orchards and fields, stairs in packing houses, and attention to moving equipment in commercial venues.



   
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Check into Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel after 4:00PM

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet which we'll review during the orientation session before dinner.

ORIENTATION: We'll have an overview of the program ahead and review the up-to-date schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, any other administrative issues, and answer your questions. Please be aware that local circumstances may require adjusting the program elements. In the event of changes, we will notify you as quickly as possible.

We anticipate an exciting week featuring Ventura County agriculture and food. During the week we will visit traditional and organic farmers in the orchards and fields, tour a packing house and insectary, and participate in a National Food Share project.

Below is a TENTATIVE schedule of activities and field trip destinations. The final schedule will be in your registration packet and be determined by the availability of our agricultural contacts.

We appreciate your understanding.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel

Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants. This program has only two choices for meals: standard and vegetarian. We are unable to customize menus for individuals. However, we have found that by requesting sauces and dressing to be served on the side, we are able to accommodate various food intolerances and allergies. Vegetarian meals must be requested in advance on your Participant Information Form. Unfortunately, there are no other special meal options. Participants with special dietary needs should be prepared to avoid certain foods or supplement the regular meal plan as needed.

 Evening: CROSSING POINTS: Participants introduce themselves to the rest of the group.

Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.

   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Field trip to Sun Valley Growers and Mission Produce/Walking Tour of Ventura
(Monday, March 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Take a guided walk of Sun Valley Growers, where floral crops thrive year-round in our warm, coastally moderated climate.

Afterwards, visit Mission Produce's highly efficient avocado packing facility where one can watch the entire process from hydro-cooling and washing to the grading and packaging of avocados. Even though California grows avocados year round, Mission Produce is unable to keep up with the ever-growing demand for avocados, so they import avocados from Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and South Africa.

 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious lunch at Fresh and Fabulous Cafe in the historical Woolworth Building
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Take a guided walking tour of downtown Ventura with a local historian.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: CLASS: The History of Agriculture in Ventura County

This absorbing presentation includes biographical histories of some of Oxnard's early farming families.

   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field trip to Ojai/Churchill Orchard/Olive Orchard/Wine tasting
(Tuesday, April 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Ojai Citrus

The group travels to Ojai for a guided walk of Churchill Orchard in the beautiful East End of the Ojai Valley. The Churchill Orchard grows about 12 acres of several varieties of tangerines--including Pixie tangerines, Page tangors, Seedless Kishu mandarins, Owari Satsuma mandarins as well as a few others. Walk through the orchard with Jim Churchill and enjoy the sweet taste of freshly picked tangerines.

Olive Oil

Enjoy a guided walk through Ojai Olive orchard and sample their estate extra virgin olive oils in the pressing room.

 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: HANDS ON EXPERIENCE: Wine tasting at a tasting room in the heart Ojai that features wines produced and blended locally.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel

As part of our dinner, the Crowne Plaza Culinary Staff will prepare and demonstrate a dessert for our group.

 Evening: EVENING PROGRAM: Historian lectures on Ventura County's history with seeds, bulbs and flowers.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field trip to Santa Paula/Insectary/Agriculture Museum
(Wednesday, April 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Santa Paula

In a guided walk of Associates Insectary, learn about a variety of beneficial organisms that they raise to help grower-members fight destructive pests which threaten local citrus and avocado crops.

FIELD TRIP: View agricultural exhibits at Museum of Ventura County/Agriculture Museum

 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Hansen Agricultural Center/Faulkner Farm

Part of the University of California Cooperative Extension, the grounds and facilites are designed to enhance the well-being of people, plants, and the environment through science-based gardening education.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Field trip to Strawberry fields/Organic family farm/Food Share/Wine pairing dinner
(Thursday, April 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Guided walk of strawberry fields

Visit with local owners in their strawberry fields and taste freshly picked berries.

FIELD TRIP: Organic Farm

Meet local farmer, Phil McGrath, and join him for a guided walk of his family-owned organic farm.

 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP AND HANDS ON EXPERIENCE: FOOD Share

Discover more about FOOD Share and a related work project through a guided walk of its facility. FOOD Share is a food bank that houses and distributes millions of pounds of food per year to the hungry of Ventura County.

 Dinner: Wine and Food Pairing Dinner

As part of our final dinner, the Crowne Plaza Culinary Staff will prepare and demonstrate a dessert for the group

   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Independent Departures
(Friday, April 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: CLASS: Food demonstration by cookbook author and chef, Suzanne Landry

HOTEL CHECK OUT: This concludes the program. We hope you have enjoyed our Ventura County Agricultural program and will join us for other rewarding adventure in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys.

   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Ventura, California Museum of Ventura County
100 E. Main Street

Ventura, CA 93001

(805) 653-0323

One of the museum's permanent exhibits explores the community's past from the Chumash era through the 21st century. It consists of a fascinating collection of artifacts and displays focusing on Native Americans, Spanish and Mexican pioneers, and European and Yankee settlers. Especially notable are the George Stuart Historical figures, which are intricately carved figures from history that are dressed in elaborate period costume. For additional information, visit www.venturamuseum.org

  Channel Islands National Park
Five of the eight Channel Islands make up the National Park which is home to more than 2000 species of plants and animals - 145 of which are unique to the islands. Anacapa Island is just 14 miles from Ventura Harbor and is accessible for day trips and overnight camping. The Channel Islands National Park was established by Congress in 1980. For additional information, visit www.islandpackers.com
  Mission San Buenaventura
211 E. Main Street

Ventura, CA 93001

(805) 643-4318

Mission San Buenaventura was founded in 1782. It is the ninth of California's 21 missions and the last to be established by Father Serra. Visitors will discover a small museum with mission artifacts such as Chumash basketry, a quiet courtyard, and 250 year-old paintings of the Stations of the Cross. For additional information, visit www.sanbuenaventuramission.org

  Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau
101 S. California Street

Ventura, CA 93001

(805) 648-2075 or (800) 333-2989

Ventura offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as beach walks, biking and hiking trails, bird watching, camping, golf, sport fishing, water activities and whale watching. The Crowne Plaza Hotel is situated next to the beach and an oceanside boardwalk that stretches for many miles. Some trail heads are within walking distance of the hotel. For additional information, visit www.ventura-usa.com

Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Living Legacy The Story of Ventura County Agriculture


Author: John Krist


Description: Follow the seasons, from the clutches of winter through the gentle awakening of spring and into the lush growth of summer. Pause in fall to linger over the history of farming in Ventura County and enjoy the harvest bounty. Living Legacy: The Story of Ventura County Agriculture, by award-winning journalist and Ventura County Farm Bureau executive director John Krist, is at once a history, a photo essay and a lesson in modern farming.





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