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California Travel Tips

Strawberry Fields Forever in California Where U Can Pick Em

Published on: January 17, 2012

Strawberries are huge in California! Many of us who curtailed our strawberry consumption due to the studies that the berries absorb more pesticides than other fruits and plants will be glad to know that growers are working to provide healthier, sustainable berry crops that you can eat with berry much enthusiasm. Many of the farms have gone organic, in fact. Why not go visit the farm, pick your own and make the process more meaningful?

California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries, producing 88% of the country’s total fresh and frozen strawberries (around 2 billion pounds per year.)  Ranking below several other crops, the value of strawberries comes in at 6th most valuable fruit crop in California.

If you have the time and are looking for a fun outing, the good news is that most regions of California can grow strawberries that are found nearly everywhere, and have a year-round growing season in the state.  The growing and picking seasons vary according to the region-Northern California is the late, mid-to-summer bloomer and Southern California berries are popping up in February through May usually. It’s easier to go to the markets and buy the berries fresh but picking offers fun for families, adults and kids.

Here are some “U Pick Em” strawberry fields and farms:

  • CONTRA COSTA COUNTY –  Strawberries April – August, harvest4you.com (website contains list of berry farms)
  • SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY  – April 15 to July,  Saevang Strawberry Farm –  Corner Of highway 88 And Brandt Road, Lockeford, CA. Phone: (916) 712-2831
  • SAN MATEO COUNTY 
    Swanton Berry Farm, 640 Cabrillo Highway, Highway 1, Pescadero, CA. Phone: 831-469-8804. swantonberryfarm.com all organic
  • Phipps Ranch – Strawberries late April or mid May through the end of September. 2700 Pescadero Road, Pescadero, CA. Phone: 650-879-0787.
  • SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
    Crystal Bay Farm, 40 Zils Road, Watsonvillle, CA. Phone: (831) 724-4137. Email: crystalbayfarm@mac.com.
    Gizdich Ranch – Open: Daily 8am to 5pm, May 1 through July 31. 55 Peckham Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: 831-722-1056. Fax: 831-722-2458. gizdich-ranch.com.
  • SONOMA COUNTY
    Love Farms Organic Produce – Open: April to November 9 am to 5 pm. 15069 Grove Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448. Phone: 707-433-1230.lovefarms.com
    Senk Farms – PYO strawberries thru September on Wednesdays & Saturdays, from Noon to 5 pm. 1369 Keiser Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Phone: 707-585-8811. Senkfarms.com.
  • ORANGE COUNTY – middle of March. Tanaka Farms U-Pick Strawberries
    Tanaka Farms Strawberry Fields, 5380 3/4 University Dr Irvine, Ca 92612. 714-968-6588. tanakafarms.com
  • SAN DIEGO COUNTY  April – June Carlsbad Strawberry Company carlsbadstrawberrycompany.com Call 760 603-9608
    corner of Cannon Road and Paseo del Norte, just east of Interstate 5 at the Cannon Road exit in Carlsbad. We’re located right around the corner from the Carlsbad Flower Fields, the Carlsbad Company Stores, Legoland and Car Country Carlsbad.
  • SANTA BARBARA COUNTY 
    Daren’s Berries, Corner of East Stowell Road and Highway 101, Santa Maria, CA. 805·928·9114

We’ll continue to update our strawberry picking list and add more counties upcoming. Also stay tuned for the Strawberry Festivals in California–at least half a dozen!

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