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Free Ramona road trip offers Dragon Fruit, sheep and llamas

The farm Dragon Delights is opening its farm up for free visits on weekends until September 24.

RAMONA, Calif. — This weekend a Dragon Fruit farm in the East County is welcoming the public to experience its unique tasting fruit as well as meet their sheep and llamas. 

In this Zevely Zone, I visited Dragon Delights. In the hills of Ramona, you'll find the sweetest of love affairs blossoming in a cactus patch. 

Kevin and Betsy Brixey moved to Ramona from Australia in 2000, where Kevin was farming. Wanting to try their hand at a unique crop, they decided on dragon fruit. Diving into research, they quickly became familiar with the fruit and learned how to propagate and grow it organically in their unique microclimate.

Credit: Dragon Delights

Betsy grew up in San Diego and was swept off her feet by the adventurous Australian. "He can fly, he had his own boat and he traveled and did a lot of things so very different from anyone I had dated prior to that," said Besty. "Yes, he also had the accent."

Kevin grew up on a dairy farm but decided to try his hand right here in Ramona at growing Dragon Fruit. "Dragon fruit is a very unique tropical cactus that is being grown around the world now," said Kevin. 

The couple opened their farm Dragon Delights, with the hopes of sharing the super fruit with every San Diegan. "It has a lot of protein, iron, magnesium, vitamin C," said Besty. Their son, Leighton told me the number one question he's asked. "Probably, how to eat it because you look at it and say how do I open this thing?" said Leighton.

Credit: Dragon Delights

Betsy showed me how it's done. "So, when I cut it, I just cut straight down the middle. It's softer than you would think," said Besty. Inside what looks like dragon scales, you'll discover bright, vibrant colors.  "Wow, that's fantastic. I was not expecting that," I said.

Their property used to be an avocado grove but after the devastating fires of 2007, the Brixeys decided to switch to a water-efficient crop. 

With their dog Scout leading the way, Kevin told me how the flowers on this mysterious cactus only bloom at night. The flowers bloom one time. Every year, the Brixey family opens their farm for several weekends for free so visitors can meet their sheep and llamas and then dig into the Dragon Fruit. "My first bite of dragon fruit," I said. "Yum." "It's not too sweet, but it's very refreshing," said Betsy.

Credit: Dragon Delights

With the crunch of kiwi and the sweetness of watermelon, San Diegans will get a free chance to slay the dragon. Unlike a kiwi which can be difficult to peel, the skin falls right off dragon fruit. "Look at this, you just go like this, and you have this huge piece of fruit," I said.

Credit: Dragon Delights

Another lesson in life; never judge a cactus but its cover. The Brixeys want to share their amazing and unique fruit with you. 

They invite you to visit and experience their farm, where you can touch, smell, taste and see everything that is dragon fruit. See how the plants grow, learn about the flowers, the fruit, and so much more. 

Come pet their llamas and sheep, while also enjoying some unique Australian flora. During the fruiting season, they open their farm up on the weekends for people to come and visit. It is free admission, and they offer free samples of fruit to try as well as different varieties to purchase.

Dragon Delights is offering free admission and free samples every weekend this month until September 24th. For more information click here.

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