Where in San Diego and Imperial Counties in California to find pick your own farms and orchards for fruit, vegetables, pumpkins and canning & freezing instructions!

This month's notes: April 2014: Spring is just around the corner.  Strawberries are here in Florida, Texas and California, next in late March and April for much of the South, then in May for most of the country and June in cooler northern areas. See how easy it is to make strawberry jam or strawberry-rhubarb jam!

Organic farms are identified in green!  See our guide to local fruit and vegetable festivals!. Please tell the farms you found them here - and ask them to update their information!!

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I'm always looking for suggestions of more farms and events to add and feedback about any you have visited, so if you encounter any, just click on the preceding link, as appropriate!  And if you have a farm and want to add it or correct the information, please click on the link to "add my farm".


San Diego and Imperial Counties in California U-Pick Farms and Orchards, sorted by county

Remember: ALWAYS call (or follow the link to the farm's own website, if the name is a blue link) to confirm the information before you go! They may close, run out or change events, times, etc. without notifying me!

Current Weather - Click on a map for forecast, or enter a zip code for a different location.
Julian - Ramona near San Diego Bakersfield

Imperial County

San Diego County

  • Apple Starr Orchards - Certified Organic, apples
    1287 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: (760) 305-2169. Email: julian.applestarr@gmail.com.  Open: U-Pick starts on August 24 for the 2013 Season; 11 am to 4 pm weekends and by appointment on weekdays. Directions: We are in Julian located at the very end of Julian Orchards Drive (see map). We are approximately 1 hour from San Diego and 2 hours from Orange County. We are Certified Organic Orchard (CCOF) since 2000 growing Apples (delicious, fuji, gala, granny & jonagold) and Pears (bartlett, bosc, anjou). We are open for u-pick on weekends through October. Groups should email to schedule appointments. Our fruit ripens on the trees and is available for picking in beginning at the end of August and lasts though early October.  (ADDED: August 5, 2013, from their website)
  • Calico Ranch - Fruit stand and U-pick apples and pears
    4200 Highway 78, Julian, CA, 92036. Phone: 760-765-3620. Alternate phone: 858-586-0392. Email: cmybliss@aol.com. Open: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5pm, September to October. More than 100 types of apples and pears on 30 acres. Directions: Located on Hwy 78 at Calico Ranch Road between San Ysabel and Julian. Located in Spencer Valley, 3 miles from Julian.
  • Carlsbad Strawberry Co. - Camarosa Strawberries.
    PO Box 479, Carlsbad, CA, 92018-0479. Phone: 760-519-4154. Email: m1h2ouse@yahoo.com. Directions: Located on Hwy 5 at Cannon Road in Carlsbad. Open: U-Pick Fields open April 17th through June this year, perhaps as late as July 4th weekend. Open 7 days a week, 9 am to 5 pm til June 30, 2011. 2011 prices: $8.50 for a 1 quart bucket, $17.00 for a 3 quart tub. Free Educational Field trips, $3.00 each (small bucket) for Students, Girls Scouts & Brownies, Boy Scouts & Cub Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, Church Groups, and other qualified large groups. No admission charge for accompanying adults who do not wish to pick strawberries.. (UPDATED: May 31, 2011)
    Comments from a visitor on April 11, 2011: "Prices have changed. Big bucket $17 - small $8.50. "
  • Fairfield Fruit Co - Certified Organic, blueberries, Honey from hives on the farm, U-pick and already picked, concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, picnic area, picnic area (bring your own food)
    14224 Old Cole Grade Road, Pauma Valley, CA 92061. Phone: 760-742-5191. Email: info@fairfieldfruit.com. Open: Starting May 1st, 2014 to June 1st 2014 pm to Thursday to Sunday, 8am to 6pm. Click here for current open hours, days and dates. Directions: I15: Exit 76 East, stay on 76 for 12.8 mi, turn right on Cole Grade Road. Continue on Cole Grade road for 1.2mi, turn right onto Old Cole Grade Road. Continue until the road dead ends at Fairfield Farms. 78 (Escondido): Turn left on Broadway, followed by a right on E El Norte Pkwy, continue for 3.5 mi. Turn left on Valley Pkwy, continue for 5.9 mi. Turn left on Old Cole Grade Road, continue for 6.7mi. You will reach a hill, at the bottom, make a left turn onto Old Cole Grade Road. Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Visa/MasterCard, Discover, AmEx. Click here for our Facebook page. (ADDED: April 15, 2014)
  • Gastil Orchards - apples
    1055 Julian Orchards Drive. Phone: (760) 310-6368. Email: applesandart@sbcglobal.net. Open Saturday, August 31 and Sunday September 1, 2013 from 11 am to 3 pm. For individual u-pick.  U-Pick - Open Labor Day Weekend! (ADDED: August 5, 2013, from their website)
  • Heritage Farms - U-pick pumpkins , U-Pick strawberries, farm market
    3445 E Valley Pky, Escondido, CA 92027. Phone: (760) 741-1932. Open: call for picking hours. Offers customers fresh organic produce, corn maze (in the Fall), petting corral, tortoise races, picnic area.  (UPDATED: May 28, 2012, by a visitor)
  • Julian Mining Company - apples, corn (sweet), flowers, pumpkins, raspberries (red), strawberries, gift shop, porta-potties, picnic area, farm animals, birthday parties, school tours, events at your location (call for info)
    4444 highway 78, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: 951-313-0166. Email: julianminingco@aol.com. Open: Year around Saturday 10 am to 4 and Sunday 12 pm to 4; October hours Saturday 10 am to 5 and Sunday 10 am to 5. Directions: 3 Miles West of Main Street Julian on highway 78. Click here for a map and directions. Harvest tour includes cider pressing, hayride, and a visit to the animal corral This begins the last weekend of September through November. Payment: Cash, Visa/MasterCard. Spooky night-time hayride (not really spooky, just fun and totally kid-friendly!) please call in advance for reservations/payment. Available Saturday nights in October. We also have year around gem mining and gold panning as well as field trips featuring Pioneer Life, The Civil War, The Revolutionary War, The Gold Rush and Native Americans. Julian Mining Company also offers various living history tours and field trips such as the California Gold Rush, Civil War Adventure, Native American tour, and Creation Science tours. For those that 'drop by' a bag of mining rough can be purchased and used at the extensive sluice box, Gold Panning trough, or 'rockers' to reveal gold and other semi-precious gems and minerals. Other activities include tomahawk throwing and archery. (UPDATED: August 09, 2010).(UPDATED: August 06, 2013)
  • MJ Ranch - No pesticides are used, apples
    1111 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: (760) 604-3070. Email: nicioaguilera@gmail.com. Open: September 7 & 8  and 14 & 15, 2013, from 10 am to 4 pm. Call for large groups.  (ADDED: August 5, 2013, from their website)
  • Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin Patch - Christmas trees, Pumpkins, corn maze, petting zoo, hayrides, haunted house
    842 Hwy 78, Ramona, CA. Phone: 760-788-8703. Petting zoo with birds, calves, pigs and ponies. Large corn maze and take a hayride tour of the ranch.
  • Peacefield Orchard - apples
    3803 Wynola Road, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: (760) 443-3930. Open: September 11, Start of the 2013 Season; Saturday and Sunday with no appointment, Monday through Saturday 8am to 6pm , and by appointment only on Monday through Friday. U-PICK apple orchard. Plus Healthy Chocolate & Healthy Coffee. U-Pick. (ADDED: August 5, 2013, from their website)
  • Sentenac Ranch - No pesticides are used, apples, pumpkins, restrooms, picnic area, farm animals, birthday parties, weddings and wedding parties
    3515 Highway 78, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: 619-518-9335. Email: info@sentenacranch.com. Open: Saturdays and Sundays in October from 10am to 4:30pm. Directions: From San Diego, take the 8 East to 67 North, which becomes the 78. From Escondido: Head east on the 78. Make left when you enter Ramona onto Main Street which becomes the 78. Turn right into driveway at 3515 highway 78. Follow driveway all the way in - 1.2 miles There is a wooden sign that says Sentenac Ranch, look hard because it's easy to miss. The driveway is shared with 3663, and that sign is more visible. Just follow the driveway all the way in. Please Google Map for a visual. Click here for a map and directions. We do not use pesticides on the crops. Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard, Discover. 2011 is our first year open for you-pick! Cash only for the pumpkin patch and apple orchard. (ADDED: October 03, 2011)
  • Summer's Past Farm - herbs, pumpkin patch, corn maze, herbal soapmaking
    15602 Old Hwy 80, Flinn Springs, CA, 92021. Phone: (619) 390-1523.
    A visitor writes: "There is a lot to do for children like making a fairy garden, corn mazes, sweet pea mazes. There is also herb paper making, herb soap making, herbal oil, vinegar, and more in there class schedule, Very child friendly, coffee bar with pastries, fun, touristy, and wonderful animals everywhere. A shop for those who want to buy the harvested goodies.. "
  • Susan's Backyard - Uses natural growing practices, Lychees,
    1035 So. Clementine Street, Oceanside, CA 92054. Phone: 760-822-0425. Email: tsunamy69@hotmail.com. Open: Friday, Saturday and Sunday; Please call for appointment.   Directions: 3 blocks North of Oceanside Blvd., and 3 blocks East of North Coast highway. Price is negotiable. Lychees are ripe and delicious! Also a super anti oxidant food.We use natural practices, but are not seeking organic certification. Payment: Cash, only. (ADDED: September 09, 2013)
  • Temecula Valley Strawberry Farms - Minimizes chemical and pesticide use, strawberries, U-pick and already picked, farm market, gift shop, concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, picnic area, school tours
    5452 5th Street, Fallbrook, CA 92028. Phone: 951-212-4899. Email: kfietz3@gmail.com. Open: Thursday 10:00 am to 6:00 Friday 10:00 am to 6:00 Saturday 10:00 am to 6:00 Sunday 10:00 am to 6:00. Click here for current open hours, days and dates. Directions: 15 Freeway South Exit Rainbow Valley Blvd, Turn Left Right on Old highway 395 Left 5th Street Destination is on the left at the end of the paved road (past the fire station) 15 Freeway North Exit Rainbow Valley Blvd, turn right Right on Old highway 395 Left 5th Street Destination is on the left at the end of the paved road (past the fire station). Click here for a map and directions. Strawberries: March 15 pm to August 30. We minimize use of pesticides and other chemicals. Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Click here for our Facebook page. (ADDED: December 19, 2011)
  • Volcan Valley Apple Farm - apples
    1284 Julian Orchards Dr. Julian, CA 92036. Phone: 760-807-1816. Email: volcanvalleyapplefarm@gmail.com. Open Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; Appointment only on Monday through Friday. Directions: call or email. Family Fun 7000 trellis grown apple trees, 7 varieties easy hand picking by all ages. Contact for "Group" and "Special" needs’ arrangements. $10.00 / purchased bag (2013 price) (ADDED: August 5, 2013, from their website)
  • Wholesome Heritage Farms Pumpkin Patch - U-pick strawberries, Uses natural growing practices,
    21345 San Pasqual Road, Escondido, CA. Phone: 760-746-8822. Open year-round. Fresh organic produce, U-pick strawberries, corn stock maze (in the Fall), petting corral, tortoise races, picnic area. School and group tours welcome. $5 per person and includes a pumpkin. Open through October 31, noon-6 pm.
  • Weidners' Gardens - U-pick operation for flowers, plants, bulbs
    695 Normandy Road, Encinitas, CA, 92024. Phone: 760-436-2194 or 760-436-3681. Email: staff@weidners.com. Open: Monday to Sunday 9:30 - 5. Closed Tuesday. Winter . Open: 9:30-4:30. Workshops, farm tour, garden/nursery tour, ag gifts/crafts. Directions: I-5 to Leucadia Blvd. Exit, then east to Notmandy Rd at Piraeus St.

Farmer's Markets, Farm Stands and Roadside Stands, Etc.
(NOT pick-your-own, unless they are also listed above)

San Diego County

  • The Farmstand - Farm stand / farm market on a farm, Wide variety of seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables, some produce is grown using IPM (integrated pest management), Covered outdoor market, Fresh local eggs, restrooms, picnic area, school tours
    2115 Miller Ave, Escondido, CA 92025. Phone: 760-738-9014. Email: farmstandwest@gmail.com. Open: Tuesday to Friday, from 12 pm to 6 pm; Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm, April to October; Monday to Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm, November to March. Click here for current open hours, days and dates. Directions: From I-15 Take Felicita exit and go East on Citricado Pkwy. to Miller Avenue Go left on Miller Avenue and take immediate left into parking lot. Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Click here for our Facebook page. (UPDATED: October 30, 2011)
  • Grebar Farms - Wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables,
    401 Pile Street, Ramona, CA. Phone: 760-789-4261. Open: Regular Summer Hours: Wednesday to Friday 10:00-6:00; Saturday, Sunday 10:00-4:00; closed Monday,Tuesday; Special hours for 4th of July: Tuesday 3rd 10:00-4:00; Wednesday 4th 8:00-12:00.. Directions: Call for directions. Payment: Cash, only. They ran a big add this week in the local paper, tree ripened Peaches, 2 varieties; blueberries, blackberries and boysenberries; apricots; zucchini, cabbage and carrots, and more (Suggested by a visitor, ADDED: July 01, 2012)
  • Julian Mining Company - Farm stand / farm market on a farm, Wide variety of seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables, Baked goods, Preserves, jams, jellies, gift shop, porta-potties, picnic area, farm animals, birthday parties, school tours, events at your location (call for info)
    4444 highway 78, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: 951-313-0166. Email: julianminingco@aol.com. Open: September through December. Directions: call for directions. Harvest tour includes cider pressing, hayride, and a visit to the animal corral This begins the last weekend of September through November. Payment: Cash, Visa/MasterCard. Spooky night-time hayride (not really spooky, just fun and totally kid-friendly!) please call in advance for reservations/payment. Available Saturday nights in October. (UPDATED: August 06, 2013)

Local Honey Sources:


Meats, Milk and Eggs:


Horse Rides and More:


Farm Bed And Breakfasts


Farm Venues for Events, Activities, Parties and Meetings:

San Diego County

  • Bates Nut Farm - Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception, Wedding Rehearsal Dinner, Banquets / Dinners, Birthday parties, Business meetings, Business outings, Corporate events, PR or Marketing events, Filming or photo shoots, School and educational groups, Daycare and preschool groups, Other Private Parties, Lighting, Catering available, You may bring your own food, Some Tables and chairs are provided, Bring your own linens and table silverware, Hotel nearby, Motel nearby, Pumpkin patch, sheep, goats, chickens, llamas/alpacas, other animals, Beautiful rural setting, Mountain views, Fishing nearby, golf nearby, Free Onsite Lot parking lot, Within an easy drive to an Interstate road, Bride and groom dressing areas available, children welcome, Pets welcome, No smoking allowed, handicap accessible, Fresh eggs, gift shop, concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, restrooms, picnic area, farm animals, birthday parties, weddings and wedding parties, school tours
    15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center, CA 92082. Phone: 760-749-3333. Email: info@batesnutfarm.biz. Open: 7 days a week, 9 am to 5 except Thanksgiving and Christmas; September 29 to October 31, Monday to Friday from 9 to 5:30, Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 to 6:00. Click here for current open hours, days and dates. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. Pumpkin Patch and Straw Maze are open from September 29 through October 31;. Payment: Cash, Visa/MasterCard. (UPDATED: September 03, 2012)
  • Sentenac Ranch - No pesticides are used, Lighting, Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception, Wedding Rehearsal Dinner, Banquets / Dinners, Birthday parties, Business meetings, Business outings, Corporate events, PR or Marketing events, Conferences, Filming or photo shoots, Classes, lectures or Speakers, School and educational groups, Other Private Parties, Catering available, You may bring your own food, Some Tables and chairs are provided, Some Linens and table silverware are provided, BYO alcohol, B&B nearby, Hotel nearby, Cattle ranch, Apple Orchard, Pumpkin patch, dairy cows, steers/cattle, chickens, other animals, Lake views, Beautiful rural setting, Mountain views, Hiking trails, Fishing onsite, hunting nearby, Free Onsite Lot parking lot, Within an easy drive to an Interstate road, children welcome, No pets please, Smoking allowed in designated areas, handicap accessible, restrooms, picnic area, farm animals, birthday parties, weddings and wedding parties
    3515 Highway 78, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: 619-518-9335. Email: info@sentenacranch.com. Open: Year - round, contact for availability. Directions: From San Diego, take the 8 East to 67 North, which becomes the 78. From Escondido: Head east on the 78. Make left when you enter Ramona onto Main Street which becomes the 78. Turn right into driveway at 3515 highway 78. Follow driveway all the way in - 1.2 miles There is a wooden sign that says Sentenac Ranch, look hard because it's easy to miss. The driveway is shared with 3663, and that sign is more visible. Just follow the driveway all the way in. Please Google Map for a visual. Click here for a map and directions. We do not use pesticides on the crops. Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard, Discover. 2011 is our first year open for you-pick! Cash only for the pumpkin patch and apple orchard. (ADDED: October 03, 2011)

Wholesale Foods


Resources For Farmers


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Picking Tips

[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!]  [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]

Home Canning Kits

Features:

Ball Enamel Waterbath Canner, Including Chrome-Plated Rack and 4-Piece Utensil Set

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also s simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if your want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!