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Matt Molinari/Flickr

U-pick Farms

U-pick Farms
Bountiful harvest, family fun

Apples and berries abound for anyone willing to pick their own fruit at many California farms. These seven U-pick farms, listed north to south, offer trees and patches for you to harvest yourself, as well as tastings and even food made from the produce at hand.

Apple Hill, Placerville

In the heart of the Gold Country, choose from more than 50 farms and ranches offering old-fashioned pumpkin patches, apple picking, and delicious cider donuts.

Cover’s Apple Ranch, Tuolumne

Take a side trip on your way to or from Yosemite to harvest crisp apples, visit with barnyard critters, and picnic on fresh deli items and homemade pies, which change seasonally based on the freshest fruit.

Swanton Berry Farm, Pescadero and Davenport

Typically between May–September, you can pick the organic strawberries at one of this farm’s two locations between Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Depending on the season, you might also get to pick your own juicy Olallieberries or try some of the farm’s other unique fruits like Tayberries and Loganberries.

Villa del Sol, Leona Valley

Plan a spring or early summer agri-road trip to pick your fill of five varieties of sweet cherries at this expansive orchard, about an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles. You can also purchase the local raw honey on site.

Kenny’s Strawberry Farm, Rainbow

They grow sweet, hearty strawberries “hydrophorically”—in containers above the ground—in these family-friendly strawberry fields in Rainbow, five minutes from Temecula. You can also pick watermelons, pumpkins, and other vegetables during your visit, depending on time of year.

Carlsbad Strawberry Company, Carlsbad

Near the region’s famous flower fields, pick your own big, juicy berries, or stop by a trio of stands to buy these locally grown beauties.

Peacefield Boutique Orchard and Home Garden, Julian

Go on the grower-led “all you can eat” tour to see and taste how produce grows at this pesticide-free natural farm in historic Julian. Afterwards, you can fill a bag with a variety of apples, pears, and plums. If you have kids in tow, bring some organic grapes so they can feed the farm’s rescue chickens.

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