Pick Your Own Fruit

Summer is the perfect time to head to the farm and fill up a bucket with luscious strawberries or peaches. What better way to stock your pantry, make jams or assemble a tasty cobbler or pie? Here are some of the best family-friendly Bay Area places to check out:

Webb Ranch – 2720 Alpine Road, Portola Valley; 650-854-5417
Pick-your own raspberries, boysenberries and blackberries. The season starts in late May/early June. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 8am-1pm.

Gizdich Ranch – Offers pick-your-own strawberries, boysenberries, olallieberries, raspberries and apples. The season for strawberries starts May 14, olallieberries the second week in June, boysenberries and raspberries end of June/early July and apple picking is in September. Open daily, 9am-5pm. 55 Peckham Road, Watsonville; 831-722-1056.

Swanton Berry Farm –Features a farm stand selling baked goods and organic strawberries, as well as u-pick strawberries. The season starts in April/May. Open daily, 8am-7pm.  25 Swanton Road, Highway 1, 2 miles north of Davenport (about 12.5 miles from Santa Cruz); 831-469-8804.

Coastways Ranch – This spot also offers u-pick strawberries and the season starts in April/May. Open Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-5pm. An offshoot of Swanton Berry Farm located further north at 640 Highway 1, Pescadero; 831-469-8804.

Smith Family FarmFeatures peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and tomatoes. Open every weekend from 9am-5pm for u-pick in August through September. 4430 Sellers Ave, between Delta and Sunset Road, Knightsen; 925-625-3544; 925-625-5966.

Peter Wolfe Ranch -U-pick cherries, loquats, apricots and peaches. The season opens in late May. 700 Creek Road, Brentwood; 925-634-1308  

Chavez U-Pick Cherries -This is solely a U-pick cherry orchard. Open May 13. 23800 Marsh Creek Road, Brentwood; 925-625-3994.

Mike’s U-Pick – Offers cherries, peaches and nectarines. Payne Avenue location opens May 10 with U-pick cherries from 8am-4pm. The Concord Avenue location opens in mid to late-May. Two Brentwood locations: 611 Payne Ave. and 3230 Concord Ave.; 925-698-7459.

Chileno Valley RanchOffers a variety of u-pick apples on Sundays only from 9am-3pm. The season opens in mid-August and goes through September. 5105 Chileno Valley Road, Petaluma; 707-765-6664.

Now that your kitchen is full of fresh fruit, gather the kids and watch the video below for an easy strawberry shortcake recipe!

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