Get your pie tins ready! It may be Monday, but it's never too soon to start thinking about actives for next weekend (and beyond). As our produce season heats up, Catherine Symon shares the best spots to take advantage of California’s bounty and support local farms by taking your family fruit picking. Strawberries are a perennial favorite, but peaches, Asian pears, apples, and more are ripe for the taking in the summer and fall. Most farms have limited u-pick times and some require reservations, so always check online or call before you go to confirm openings and availability of fruit.
Farm Stand and U-Pick: 25 Swanton Rd., Davenport (expected to open for u-pick mid-May 2018)
Coastways Ranch and U-Pick: 640 Highway 1, Pescadero (open for u-pick as of May 7, 2018)
A Bay Area staple, Swanton offers two u-pick locations with loads of strawberries. You can supplement your visit with pie, lemonade, and soup at the Davenport site.
3175 Sullivan Rd., Sebastopol (open now through July by appointment only)
U-pick at Gabriel requires a $36 CSA membership but includes 3 gallons of juice and the opportunity to pick multiple varieties of apples and Asian pears throughout the 6-month harvest season. Non-members can buy fruit, juices, and jams at the weekend farm store from late August to late October.
25221 Marsh Creek Rd., Brentwood (2018 season expected to run late May through early August)
They don’t call McKinney “a peachy place” for nothing! Get your fill of peaches and nectarines with daily picking in June and July. Call ahead to see which of the 19 varieties grown on the farm are ripe.
5105 Chileno Valley Rd., Petaluma (2018 season expected to begin mid-August)
Apple u-pick takes place on Sundays in late August, September, and sometimes October. Reserve a time slot online before your visit to get the discounted entry. Bonus: pick up some of the ranch’s grass-fed beef for dinner.
Catherine is a medical writer who dreams of having fruit trees in her yard. And her own yard.
The original version of this article appeared in the June/July 2017 issue of GGMG Magazine. Photo via Flickr.
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