I Pick, U-Pick: California Fruit Farms

Road Journals Blog—Looking for ripe fruit that's literally just been picked? You'll find plenty at one of Northern and Central California's many u-pick farms. The seasonal parade of fruits begins in spring with arrivals like cherries and strawberries, then marches right through summer with favorites like peaches, melons, nectarines, and more, and winds up with fall offerings like apples, pears, and pumpkins. Here’s a sampling of farms to get you out and pickin'. Call ahead to the individual farms to find out what juicy produce has come in.


Pluck juicy peaches, melons, and other colorful fruits at u-pick farms in Northern and Central California. | Courtesy of Agricultural Research Service

Farley Farms In the San Joaquin Valley, south of Fresno, you can choose from eight varieties of freestone peaches, plus green and red table grapes, plums and tomatoes. 512 N. 7th Ave., Kingsburg, (559) 897-7112, upickgrapes.com.

Gabriel Farm Load up on organic apples at this Sonoma County farm, including McIntosh, Gilbert Golden Delicious, Fuji and Rome Beauty varietals; don't leave without a quart of their Asian pear-apple juice.  3175 Sullivan Rd., Sebastopol, (707) 829-0617, gabrielfarm.com.

Impossible Acres A veritable cornucopia in Davis offers u-pick berries, peaches, cherries, tomatoes, apricots, and more. 26565 Rd., 97D, Davis, (530) 750-0451, impossibleacres.com.

Tachella Family Farms Cherries, cherries, and more cherries, with at least a dozen varieties that include Bing, Utah Giants, Burlat, Rainier, and Chelan, satisfy your craving at this Contra Costa County farm. 2017 Walnut Blvd., Brentwood, (925) 513-8495, tachellafamilyfarms.com.

Webb Ranch An organic berry haven sits smack dab in Silicon Valley, with olallieberries, kid-friendly thornless Navajo blackberries, golden and red raspberries, and loganberries, plus pumpkins later in the season. 2720 Alpine Rd., Portola Valley, (650) 854-3134, webbranchinc.com.

What are your favorite u-pick places?

This blog post was first published in June 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

Comments

Thanks, Ray. Don't know of anything up your way but I will check out Wolfsen Farms next time I'm "up north."

Great article, Christopher. Anything as far north as Humboldt County, where I live? The only one we've ever found up here is Wolfsen Farms off US 101 in McKinleyville, a family-friendly place to pick blueberries. It's worth a stop if you're passing through.

Sorry i missed that when i was in concord,next time when i am in that area i visit these farms thanks for the info.

I second the recommendation from Mary Allen Davis...the Wolf Ranch in Brentwood is a must, but that's just the beginning. There are over 40 fruit ranches and farms in Brentwood that sell directly to the public. Visit www.harvest4you.com for details. The Brentwood area is a treasure in the backyard of the entire East Bay region!

Don't forget the Apple Hill area , just a short drive from Placerville, where there are numerous U-Pick orchards and lots of fun activities. Go to http://www.applehill.com/
there you will find a list of over 50 growers and their activity schedules. Many of these growers have a lot of fun activities going on in the fall during the harvest season, and many have either restaurants or some other form of food service during this season as well. One of my favorites is High Hill Ranch:
http://www.applehill.com/site/archive/highhill.html

Thanks, Ann. I haven't been there but I understand that Swanton Farm, near Santa Cruz, does u-pick kiwi. http://www.swantonberryfarm.com/

Loved this article. Do you know where the farm to pick kiwi fruit is?

You're welcome. Since I'm one of those people who find it almost impossible to drive by a rural farm stand without stopping to at least check out the goods, this article was a pleasure to write.

Helpful information. Thank you.

Thanks for your input.

You're welcome. There are some terrific fruit farms in your neck of the woods.

Missed this one when I was in Davis recently. Thanks.

You're very welcome.

Great recommendation. I'll be sure to stop by next time I'm in the Brentwood area during fruit season.

All of them love the fruits.

Thank u for the update on these great places to pick your own fruit Iwill be sure to visit Kingsburg I'm only in Fresno

davis farm for corn slouthhouse ca(hiway16)

Thank you for this great information. It would have been hard to find all this without your help.

For the absolute best-ever upick apricots, cherries, plums and peaches you MUST visit the Wolfe Family farm in Brentwood.

Wolfe Ranch
Farming in Brentwood, California since 1936
164 Payne Ave, Brentwood
http://www.peterwolfe.com/
Wolfe Peach Varieties:
Spring White Peaches -mid May
Queencrest yellow-mid May
Summer White Peaches - late June/ July
Suncrest - early/mid July
Fay Elberta - late July/early August
Cling -late July early August
Apricots: Perfection - Royal/Blenheim
Helena - Patterson – Tilton

Cherries:
Bing
White Rainier
Lapin

Black Friar Plums

Also available are hard to find LOQUATS (but not upick) and daughter

CATHY'S RED & HEIRLOOM Tomatoes.

PURE WILDFLOWER HONEY MADE BY THE BEES ON THE RANCH
goes quick.

Even though we live in Santa Cruz we always detour at Vasco Road to visit the ranch on our way to and from the Sierras several times each summer and have never been happier. Sign up for their email alerts and you will always know what's available.