LV Life Editor
Amy’s Farm in Ontario houses some of the fluffiest sheep and produces the most nutritious organic greens in the area.
Fresh manure and cow pies make you forget about the surrounding sprawling suburbia and industrial warehouses, transporting you to a place where all that matters is hard work.
Across the 10-acre farm, visitors get a chance to pick and eat their favorite fruits and vegetables.
Amy’s, founded by Randy Bekendam and named for his daughter who also helps run the family farm, is known for rainbow carrots. And with spring around the corner, the farm also has an abundance of its award winning salad mix.
Visitors, including lots of school groups, also get up-close and personal with their favorite farm animals.
With reservations, Amy’s farm tour offers visitors a glimpse of daily farm living, including milking a cow.
The farm has been conducting tours, selling produce and educating the community about small scale sustainable organic farming since 1998
Today Amy’s Farm says it sees over 30,000 visitors a year.
Amy Bekendam said the farm tour idea started when she graduated from college.
“I wanted to do something with the farm where I could raise my family here and have my kids along with me while I did my career,” Bekendam said.
After ironing out details and pricing with her father, they began to invite elementary schools to come and explore the grounds.
Amy Bekendam that juggling the farming, the educational tours, and the animal care with family time has been challenging.
Though she added, “It’s a balance of all the different businesses combined that makes this work.
“We do rely on donations also, volunteers coming to help out, the farm tours, everything comes full circle to keep us open.”
The farm grows hundreds of different fruits and vegetables across the diverse landscape including colossal naval oranges and even pumpkins in the fall.
Veteran tour guide and volunteer Avery Ollman said everything grown and produced on the farm, including the animals, are organic, with absolutely no added chemicals or pesticides.
“We let the natural course of growth happen and also we feed our animals an all organic diet,” Ollman said. “When we say everything here is Beyond Organic, there’s just no other way to get that point across.”
With playful pigs to pet, goats and horses to feed, colorful veggies to pick and take home with you – and farm fresh food to enjoy at Amy’s Café, families can spend a full day.
“It’s an amazing place to bring the kids and it’s always funny to see them get excited about the animals,” said Ontario resident Rachel Dolores, who visited the farm with her family on Saturday.
Amy’s grows produce for local businesses to use daily, including organic Italian restaurant Uno Tre Otto in Claremont.
Amy’s Farm is a 501c3 non-profit organization that not only provides food for visitors and farmers markets, but also to local food centers including the Claremont Joslyn Senior Center and food pantries.
“We grow so much food here that it’d be criminal not to share,” said Randy Bekendam. “We simply know that we’re going to grow more than we could use.”
Amy’s Farm is located at 7698 Eucalyptus Ave. It is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The farm store and café also accept debit and credit cards as well as EBT.
Andrew Alonzo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.