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: June 2015: Strawberries and blueberries each have a very brief season; don't miss them: See your state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops. And see our guide to local fruit and vegetable festivals, such as strawberry festivals and blueberry festivals. Organic farms are identified in green!  Also make your own ice cream - see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals.)  Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy canning and freezing directions!

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!

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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 in late August; 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.  (UPDATED: April 26, 2015, JBS) (ADDED: August 5, 2013, from their website)
  • Apples and Art Orchards - apples
    1052 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian, CA 92036. Email: applesandart@sbcglobal.net. Open: Daily by appointment only, for groups only, 10 bag minimum purchase; September 1 to October 15, or whenever the apples run out. Directions: DO NOT USE GPS (it is usually wrong) Take highway 8 past Alpine to the highway 79, Julian, Descanso turnoff, turn left, north. Go about 2 or 3 miles and go left at the sign for highway 79 and Cuyamaca. Follow signs through Cuyamaca to Julian and turn left into town. Go north (straight) out of Julian on Farmer Road (Main Street) for just over 2 miles, across Wynola Road (straight at stop sign) to Julian Orchards Drive. Go past Volcan View Orchards, past Menghini Winery to the second to last building on the left - green and white. or Take highway 67 or 78 east to Julian, turn left, north. Go north out of Julian on Farmer Road (Main Street) for just over 2 miles, across Wynola Road to Julian Orchards Drive. Go past Volcan View Orchards, past Menghini Winery to the second to last building on the left - green and white. IMPORTNAT NOTES: Apples and Art Orchards- for groups only is a U-Pick apple orchard where for only $10 you can pick a "half peck of apples" which is about 5 pounds and spend a fabulous afternoon in our beautiful mountain orchard and charming gold-rush era town. Our apples are pesticide free and all natural - they have never been sprayed. Our soil has not been contaminated with pesticides or weed killers either. In addition to taking home your apples, you get apple facts, a tour of the orchard, and your own free apple cider making and tasting experience. A deposit of $50 is required up front to hold the reservation two weeks before the date. (ADDED: April 26, 2015, JBS)
  • 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: Saturdays and Sundays during the season from 10am to 4pm, 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. (UPDATED: April 26, 2015, JBS)
  • Carlsbad Strawberry Company - Camarosa Strawberries.
    Hwy 5 and Cannon Road, Carlsbad, CA, 92018-0479. Phone: 760-519-4154. Email: m1h2ouse@yahoo.com. 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 5:30 pm til the end of June.Directions: Located on Hwy 5 at Cannon Road in Carlsbad; We are located at the 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. No admission charge for accompanying adults who do not wish to pick strawberries.  (UPDATED: April 26, 2015, JBS) (UPDATED: May 31, 2011)
    A visitor writes on May 26, 2014: "The prices have increased drastically. Two years ago our whole family filled a bucket & paid $10. It was a wonderful day out with the family. Took some great candids with the kids. Went back several times to buy from the stand. Today we went to the stand and for the whole family 3 kids and 2 parents to enjoy the same experience would be $50. The price is now $10 per person. Absolutely ridiculous!"
    Comments from a visitor on April 11, 2011: "Prices have changed. Big bucket $17 - small $8.50. "
  • 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: April 26, 2015, JBS) (UPDATED: August 06, 2013)(UPDATED: August 09, 2010).
  • Kenny's Strawberry Farms - Minimizes chemical and pesticide use, strawberries, Corn, Pumpkins, Peppers, Tomatoes, Green Beans, WatermelonU-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. U Pick Crops; We ‘grow-em and you pick-em’. We offer a variety of crops for you to pick at Kenny’s Strawberry Farm, also known as "Temecula Valley Strawberry Farms". The crops will vary by the time of year and what season we are in. Here is a list of some of the crops that we offer: Strawberries, Corn, Pumpkins, Peppers, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Watermelon, and more… (UPDATED: April 26, 2015, JBS) (ADDED: December 19, 2011)
  • Kevin's Strawberry Farm - Strawberry, concession stand (drinks, snacks and/or food)
    5452 5th Street, Fallbrook, CA 92028. Phone: (951) 212-5805. Open: Fridays and Saturdays. Directions: Call for directions. Payment: Cash, only.. Hydroponic strawberries (ADDED: May 28, 2014, suggested by a visitor)
    A visitor writes on May 28, 2014: "Had a great time with the kids cutting berries. "
  • MJ Ranch - No pesticides are used, apples
    1111 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: (760) 604-3070. Email: nicioaguilera@gmail.com. Open: September, see their website for exact dates,, from 10 am to 4 pm. Call for large groups.   (UPDATED: April 26, 2015, JBS) (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. Note: there are a variety of contentious and conflicting reviews on Yelp about this orchard.  (UPDATED: April 26, 2015, JBS) (ADDED: August 5, 2013, from their website)
  • Sentenac Ranch - No pesticides are used, apples, gift shop, concessions / refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area (bring your own food), farm animals, birthday parties, weddings and wedding parties
    3515 Highway 78, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: 858-342-1667. Email: info@sentenacranch.com. Open: Saturdays and Sundays in October from 10am to 4:00pm. 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. We have a big sign that says "Sentenac Ranch 3515". We are between Wynola and Julian. Follow driveway all the way in - 1.2 miles. Please click Google Map for a visual. Click here for a map and directions. We do not use pesticides on the crops. Payment: Cash, Visa/MasterCard. We are the only orchard with apples off of Highway 78 for the 2014 season!! We use nothing but water on our trees. We also have country-style bbq served. Gift shop has antiques, locally handcrafted candles and art. (UPDATED: September 23, 2014) (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.. "
  • 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.  (UPDATED: April 26, 2015, JBS) (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)

SSan Diego County


Local Honey Sources:


Meats, Milk and Eggs:

Orange County

  • Windy Bottoms Farm - Chicken (free range), Turkey, Duck, Eggs (free range), Within an easy drive to an Interstate road, children welcome, No pets please, Turkeys, Fresh eggs, porta-potties, picnic area (bring your own food), farm animals
    6533 Lebanon Road, Mebane, NC 27302. Phone: 919-304-1151. Email: jfrank12@yahoo.com. Open: Call for times. Directions: Take I-40/I-85 to the Efland exit (#161). Head north on Mount Willing Road If coming from the East/Durham, you will turn right onto Mount Willing. If coming from the West /Burlington, you will turn left onto Mount Willing. At the Stop sign, turn left. Follow the curve. Go straight through the light. Go past McAdam's Farm about 1/4 mile. Turn LEFT onto Lebanon Road Farm will be on the right, approximately 3 miles. Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Check. Click here for our Facebook page. We sell eggs from our chickens. We raise and process chicken, duck, and turkey for meat. Meat and eggs can be purchased throughout the year on the farm. Call ahead to verify availability. Pumpkin Patch Runs the end of September through October. Our farm will be open from 10am to 6pm Saturday's and Sunday's starting September 27, 2014 until Halloween or we sell out of pumpkins. We charge $10 per person for admission or $40 per family (includes 4 pumpkins), and each person gets to pick out a pumpkin and is able to enjoy the other fun activities we have. -Pumpkin patch -Hay ride -Playset for the kids -Chickens and Turkeys -Games For an additional $1 take four shots with our giant potato sling shot. We encourage everyone to bring a picnic lunch and spend a few hours relaxing out in the country. (ADDED: September 24, 2014)

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:

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