Strawberries (credit: FRANK PERRY/AFP/GettyImages)
Summertime in the Bay Area is a veritable eden for fresh produce lovers. With the combination of fertile soil and spectacular weather, California cannot be beat when it comes to producing quality summer fruit. Growing everything from summer berries to peaches, u-pick farms are located throughout the Bay, and visitors can enjoy the experience of selecting ripened fruit fresh from the source. Dress in layers if going to one of the coastal farms and head out early to avoid the heat of inland locations. Don’t forget to bring along plenty of sunscreen and water. Also remember to bring containers for fruit gathering as they are not available at all farms.
2700 Pescadero Road
Pescadero, CA 94060
Phipps Country Store and Farm in Pescadero grows strawberries, olallieberries and boysenberries for u-pick. All berries are an extremely competitive $1.50 per pound. The farm charges a $3 entrance fee for visitors ages five to 59. The seasonal farm store sells goose eggs, farm-raised beans and gourmet foods. There is a picnic area and petting zoo for the kids.
700 Creek Road
Brentwood, CA 94513
Wolfe Ranch grows six varieties of peaches available for u-pick. Make sure to check the farm website as to what’s available as each variety ripens at a different point in the season. The ranch also grows apricots, plums, cherries, tomatoes and loquats. There are on-site containers available for fruit gathering, but there is no picnic area. Fruit pricing is very reasonable.
40 Zils Road
Monterey, CA 95076
Certified organic since 1997, Monterey’s Crystal Bay Farm is a small, family-run operation. The farm grows a selection of berries ranging from red and yellow raspberries to strawberries and olallieberries. There is a self-service farm stand, as well as picnic spots and farm animals. Guests pay a $2 entrance fee, $3 per pound for strawberries and $4 per pint for other berry varieties. Call ahead for the latest u-pick hours.
172 Litchfield Lane
Watsonville, CA 95076
Watsonville’s Live Earth Farm grows over 50 different crops. All produce is certified organic. The farm offers a range of ways to enjoy California’s bounty of summer produce, including CSA subscriptions, farm camps, and special events. There are several regularly held late-season U pick tomato events. Fresh eggs, cider and farm-produced honey are available for purchase.
640 Highway 1
Pescadero, CA 94060
Located seaside, Swanton Berry Farm has two u-pick locations, one in Davenport with organic strawberries, kiwis and a farm stand, and another seasonal one in Pescadero with olallieberries and tayberries. Strawberries are $3 per pound. Farm tours and tastings are available. Many folks make a day of visiting the farm and enjoy a lunch under the trees comprised of produce both picked and purchased from the farm stand.
Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.