Ah, the petite, sweet Ojai Pixie. What started out with Jim Churchill, known as a founding father for Ojai Pixie passion, encouraging a few of his farmer friends to grow the easy-to-peel tangerines in the late 1970s, has now evolved into a fruitful endeavor. According to the Ojai Pixie Growers Association, more than 40 families harvest Ojai Pixies from 25,000 trees.
Although Ventura Country is known for growing citrus, Ojai is the capital of the Pixie. Locals are so passionate about the fruit they’ve dedicated an entire month to celebrating it. Many of the restaurants, bars, bakeries and cafés offer Ojai Pixie-inspired eats and sips.
From Ojai Pixie-infused spa treatments to orchard jeep tours, here are our favorite fruit-centric festivities, organized by category, for the fourth annual Ojai Pixie Tangerine Month this April:
Foraging & Pixie Mixology Demo with Matthew Biancaniello
On April 10, renowned Los Angeles mixologist and author of Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails Matthew Biancaniello and Ojai herb specialist Lanny Kaufer will lead an intimate group to forage the Cozy Dell Trailhead and Earthtrine Farm before touring Friend’s Ranch Pixie orchard. The Ojai Pixies and foraged herbs will be showcased in a mixology demo by Biancaniello that will be followed by a cocktail and tapas reception at Azu Restaurant.
“Pixology” Cocktail Class at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Ojai Valley Inn & Spa’s popular cocktail class will be Ojai Pixie-themed every Friday in April. Led by the property’s award-winning bartending team, the session, held in the hotel’s newly opened Wallace Neff Heritage Barncludes a guided demonstration and sampling of cocktails using bourbon, honey, gin and lavender.
Ojai Pixie Tangerines with a Twist with Chef Robin Goldstein at The Lavender Inn
Though the quaint inn holds regular cooking classes, the April 10 edition will have a bit more zest to it. Featured dishes at the Ojai Pixie-centric lunch include citrus-marinated crudo; roasted organic chicken with Ojai Pixies, honey and herbs; and orange-fennel shortbread with Ojai Pixie tangerine curd.
Every day of the year, this 30,000-square-foot spa is dedicated to your relaxation. During Pixie season (through May 31), Ojai Valley Inn & Spa shows a bit of local love by offering 20 percent off Ojai Pixie Tangerine Body Polish treatments and Ojai Pixie-themed manicures and pedicures.
This whole month, have yourself an entire spa day dedicated to the sweet-smelling Ojai Pixie. Enhanced Spa offers an Ojai Pixie Custard Foot and Calf Treatment, Dreamsicle Massage and Pixie Spa Facial.
PIXIE FAMILY ADVENTURES
Ojai Pixie Orchard Tours at Friend’s Ranch
Learn the history of Ojai Pixies while picking and sampling the fruit during tours on April 16 and 30.
Ojai Pixie Pool Party at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Got kids? Head to Ojai Valley Inn & Spa for pool parties (April 16 and May 21) that will feature games and prizes for the whole family. Of course, Ojai Pixie popsicles will be a part of the fun, too.
Orchard Bike Tours
With the Experience Ojai Tour, The Mob Shop provides bikes and a guide for a two-hour, nine-mile ride through the historic town while passing acres upon acres of Pixie orchards in bloom.
Orchard Jeep Tours with Cloud Climber Jeep Tours
Explore vistas and gain bird’s-eye views of the beautiful patchwork of Ojai’s celebrated citrus groves in a custom, open-air, canopy-covered Jeep driven by a professional guide. The tour (Wednesdays through Sundays in April) includes a stop at Ojai Olive Oil, where you can sample a variety of citrus-flavored vinegars and local olive oils.
WHERE TO STAY
It only makes sense that Ojai Valley Inn & Spa would commemorate the season with the Ojai Pixie package (through May 31). Expect a special tangerine-tinged welcome amenity upon arrival, 50-minute Ojai Pixie body treatment, a breakfast for two at The Oak and two themed cocktails.
But even beyond all of that fun, the 220-acre property also provides a new valley-to-table restaurant, Olivella, an 18-hole golf course, four pools and much more. And to think, the Spanish-colonial-style escape is only an hour and a half from L.A.