Agritourism Adventures in Wine Coast Country: Morro Creek Avocado Ranch
by Tina Swithin
Oh, how I love the Central Coast! Being that I am a lifelong resident of San Luis Obispo County, one would assume that I would know this county like the back of my hand. That isn’t necessarily true- it seems like there is always something exciting to discover in my beloved Wine Coast Country.
Case in point is the Morro Creek Ranch in Morro Bay, California. Over the past thirty years, I have driven past this ranch on the scenic route from Morro Bay to Atascadero more times than I could possibly count but I have never stopped to explore the property. With time on my hands during the holiday season, I made it my personal mission to stop and smell the roses…err…I mean, the avocados!
The Morro Creek Ranch is quite an amazing place to visit. The ranch boasts over 27,000 trees which produce de-li-cious Haas avocados of the highest quality. If organic avocados strike your fancy, you will be pleased to know that they also host 15 acres of land which is completely dedicated to growing organic avocados!
We were privy to a behind the scenes tour of the farm where the true magic happens! Popcorn. You heard me- popcorn! I am confident that the ladies at Morro Creek Ranch are in competition with folks at Orville Redenbacher. It turns out that all avocados are actually packaged and shipped in boxes filled with real popcorn! Sheela Remington, Office Manager at Morro Creek went on to explain, “Popcorn is actually the ideal packing material for two reasons: popcorn is completely biodegradable and it keeps the avocados from softening prematurely.” You learn something new each and every day.
The top sellers at the farm are the Hass avocados which are the only avocados sold both online and in their charming little country store called, “La Palapa” . My daughters and I had a great time exploring the property but especially this charming little country store. Inside the store, you will be greeted by the store manager, Cindy who is happy to share avocado facts and information on the history of the ranch. Some might refer to her as a real-life encyclopedia of everything avocado related! La Palapa is open year round selling avocado oils, hand and face creams along with a plethora of other local goodies. Do not leave without picking up the famous Guacamole Spice Blend and one of the cookbooks which has fabulous avocado recipes. You can thank me later!
If you haven’t visited the fine folks at Morro Creek Ranch, I suggest you stop by and see all that they have to offer. In the meantime, here are some great resources that I am happy to share with you:
• Health benefits of Avocados
• Avocado Oils can be shipped right to your door and are loaded with CoQ10
• As a final parting gift, I leave you with the official recipe from the Official Guacamole from the Haas Avocado Board.
4 ripe, Fresh Hass Avocados
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 small sweet white onion, minced
1 ripe Roma tomato, seeded, diced
2 serrano peppers, seeded if desired, diced
Cilantro, chopped, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
Peel, seed and gently mash all but one of the avocados with lemon juice in a bowl, leaving some chunks.
Gently stir in remaining ingredients.
Peel, seed and dice remaining avocado. Fold into the guacamole and serve immediately.
* Please note: Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.
Morro Creek Ranch
1800 Atascadero Road
Morro Bay, California.
PS You can “friend” them on Facebook for lots of avocado inspired recipes by clicking here