Most of the year the tours are for children, but for a couple of months in the winter Farm Smart holds tours several days a week that are geared towards adults. For $25 you learn all about how the Colorado River was diverted to the Imperial Valley in the early 1900's and current farming practices in the area, You are toured around the property to learn how the University does research on farming practices for the future, plus you get lunch and a chance to pick all you can carry of the current crops in season.
If you love vegetables and have an interest in how crops are produced in the Imperial Valley this is a fun way to spend a day...here's a peak at our day:
|The first time we've seen burrowing owls!
|They watched the trolleys pass by...so cute!
|Me, siphoning water from a canal into a ditch.
Some farms still use this method, apparently the pros can start the water running with one swoop!
|Hans picked a scary looking purple carrot!
|It was super windy as we filled our big orange produce bags.
|Our haul...we may have gotten a little carried away!
Fortunately we'll meet up with some friends at our next stop so we can share the wealth!
We stayed at Sunbeam Lake RV Resort just West of El Centro. This large park is perched on the edge of a man made lake and mostly caters to seasonal visitors from Canada and other cold climates in the Northern US.
We had a perfectly fine gravel site with a concrete patio and picnic table and plenty of room for our truck. Roads are paved. Park wifi was slow but it worked. Verizon signal was excellent. The park is far enough off Interstate 8 that you can barely hear it. Hans played pickleball with a friendly group of people each morning and we both enjoyed the 9 hole disc golf course at the attached county park.
A pleasant surprise at this location was the many birds we saw on our evening walk. Sunbeam Lake is split into two sections, one abuts the RV Park and County Park, the second runs from the edge of the RV park to Interstate 8. Thousands of egrets and hundreds of cormorants and northern shovelers would come to roost in the salt cedar trees along the second lake each evening at sundown!
|Salt cedar covered in egrets!
The cormorants liked the tops of the trees and the bare stumps sticking out of the water.
|Looking down the lake you can see each tree on the right covered in white egrets.
|Golden field adjacent to the lake.
Next stop Yuma, AZ for dental and pickleball!