Where in the Santa Cruz County area of California to find pick your own farms and orchards for fruit, vegetables, pumpkins and canning & freezing instructions!

This month's notes: October 2014: Apples are in full swing!  Raspberries tomatoes, corn and most vegetables are being picked in most places, most blueberries and peaches are finished. Find a corn maze, hayride or pumpkin patch here. Make your own homemade ice cream including low fat, low sugar and other flavors))  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".


the Santa Cruz County area of 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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Santa Cruz County

  • Ambling Ambystoma Farm - Certified Organic, blackberries,
    500 Peaceful Valley Dr, La Selva Beach, CA 95076. Phone: 831-345-8866. Email: m4perez@netzero.net. Open: We have re-planted on a quarter acre that will probably not be ready for U-Pick until 2015; Please check back for season updates; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am to 7 pm, mid July through September. Directions: From Santa Cruz: Take highway 1 south and exit at San Andreas Road Turn right, and proceed on San Andreas Road through La Selva Beach, past Manresa Beach before turning left on Peaceful Valley Dr. It is the next road just past the KOA. Cross railroad tracks and go over hill into valley. Take first right into farm. Click here for a map and directions. U-Pick thornless blackberres, open Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am to 7 pm, mid July through September. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Check. (UPDATED: May 23, 2014, from their website)  (ADDED: August 20, 2010)
  • Clearview Orchards - Certified Organic, apples, Honey from hives on the farm, U-pick and already picked, picnic area
    646 Trabing Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: 408-472-1958. Email: info@clearvieworchards.com. Open: Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 5pm, September 15 to November 4. Directions:  from Santa Cruz: Highway 1 South towards Watsonville Exit Buena Vista Road Turn left at stop sign Turn left on Trabing road to orchard. Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Click here for our Facebook page. (UPDATED: May 23, 2014, from their website)  (UPDATED: September 04, 2012) (ADDED: October 26, 2011)
  • Crystal Bay Farm - Certified Organic, olallieberries, raspberries (red), raspberries (yellow), strawberries, tayberries, picnic area, farm animals, birthday parties, school tours
    40 Zils Road, Watsonvillle, CA 95076. Phone: (831) 724-4137. Email: crystalbayfarm@mac.com. Open: Please call ahead for u - pick. Directions: From Highway 1 take the the San Andreas / Larken Valley exit to San Andreas road, drive 4.5 miles to Zils road We are at the corner of San Andreas and Zils Road. Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Check. We are a small family farm open to the public, located between two state beaches on the beautiful Monterey Bay. We offer a self-serve farm stand, a pumpkin patch, and farm tours. Our Self-Serve Farm stand operates on the honor system. If the farmer is not around take your fruit and place your payment in the cash tube at the corner of the farm stand. In the Fall we have a huge assortment of pumpkins and winter squash. So come on out, we look forward to seeing you in the field. Certified Organic by CCOF since 1997. Come and enjoy the best organic strawberries on the Monterey Bay and spend the day with us. (UPDATED: May 23, 2014, from their website) (UPDATED: May 24, 2009) (ADDED: October 12, 2008)
  • Gizdich Farm - apples, blackberries, boysenberries, olallieberries, raspberries (Spring, red), strawberries, Cider mill (fresh apple cider made on the premises), U-pick and already picked, farm market, gift shop, concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, school tours
    55 Peckham Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: 831-722-1056. Open: Picking updates: Click here for picking updates. Directions: From Highway 1 (southbound), take Riverside Drive EXIT, turn left overpass, straight through downtown Watsonville (high school on left side), over a bridge, left on Lakeview Road, right on Carlton Road, left on Peckham Road. From Highway 1 (northbound), same exit, right on Riverside, follow above. From Highway 101 (southbound & northbound), take 129 WEST to Watsonville, fork right on Carlton Road, (stop sign Thompson Road), straight on Carlton, right on Peckham Road. Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Visa/MasterCard. Strawberries: May to September. Olallieberries: June. Boysenberries and Blackberries: Mid June to July. Apples: September (3 weeks). Pie Shop open Daily 9am - 5pm Serving our famous farm fresh pies and our Award winning Apple Juice. They grow 16 varieties of apples but only Red Delicious, Newton Pippins & Golden Delicious are U-pick. (UPDATED: May 23, 2014, from their website)  (UPDATED: May 29, 2013)  (ADDED: April 14, 2011)
    Comments from a visitor on June 20, 2011: "This place has been around forever!! I picked berries here as a kid. I took my teenagers last year. My mom and all her friends use them for their jam berries. Worth the trip (unless Rancho Not So Grande can beat their prices. They are local while Gizdich is an almost 3 hour drive" Comments from a visitor on June 26, 2010: "Love it, have been going for many years. "
    Comments from a visitor on December 21, 2009: "Have been going to their ranch for years. It is a wonderful place. Their olallieberries and apples are the best! Gizdich Ranch is surrounded by other small family farms. The whole county is rich in agriculture. Fields of artichokes, strawberries, olallieberries, boysenberries, apples, vegetables, etc. In the fall the area it is a cornucopia to the season. They have a shop located in their barn that sells farm grown apples and fresh berries in season or bags of frozen berries ( 4 & 8 lbs.), frozen berry puree, freshly pressed apple juice and a variety of jams, etc.. There is also a bakeshop/deli that serves: freshly baked pies (sold whole or by the slice), shortcakes, pastries, apple dumplings, sandwiches, box lunches & drinks. Also have an antique shop next to the barn. Yes they have restrooms. Yes, credit card and ship nation wide. There are picnic tables & tours of ranch. Family friendly. They are not organic. But are trying a variety of natural approaches to cut back on spraying."
  • Live Earth Farm and Discovery Program - Certified Organic, apples, apricots, beans, blackberries, olallieberries, peppers, pumpkins, raspberries (red), raspberries (Spring, red), raspberries (Autumn, red), raspberries (yellow), raspberries (Spring, yellow), raspberries (Autumn, yellow), raspberries (black), raspberries (Spring, black), strawberries, tomatoes, Honey from hives on the farm, Fresh eggs, Cider mill (fresh apple cider made on the premises), concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, restrooms, picnic area, picnic area (bring your own food), face painting, farm animals, birthday parties, weddings and wedding parties, school tours, group reservations
    1275 Green Valley Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: 831-763-2448. Alternate Phone: 831-728-2032. Email: farmers@cruzio.com. Open: select Saturdays, 10 am to 3 pm, May to October; call before you come. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Click here for our Facebook page. (ADDED: May 12, 2014)
  • Swanton Berry Farm - ORGANIC, Strawberries
    25 Swanton Road, Davenport, CA.  Phone: 831-469-8804. Email: mail@swantonberryfarm.com. Open: Daily 8am - 8pm. Containers are provided. We have many attractive areas for relaxing after gathering your fill of berries or kiwis, so bring a picnic and spend the day with us at one of our ranches. Click here for a map and driving directions. Strawberry fields are at the Swanton Farm Stand.   Also pre-picked broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes and peas. Everything is Certified Organic by California Certified Organic Farmers. U-Pick Sundays beginning June 15th and continuing every Sunday until August 31st. Tours depart from our Swanton Ranch Farm Stand (just 2 miles north of Davenport on Highway 1) every Sunday at 9am. The day includes a 1 hour guided farm tour, variety tasting (all you can eat!), plus a dessert from our bakery kitchen. Bring a picnic to enjoy by our ocean front fields. Organic Strawberry U-pick is available for $3lb (2014 price). Farm Stand has fresh berry shortcakes, strawberry lemonade, strawberry apple cider & more! Enjoy these treats in our sheltered stand over a board game or a good read. (UPDATED: May 23, 2014, from their website) (UPDATED: May 17, 2009)

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

Santa Cruz County

  • Clearview Orchards - Certified Organic, Farm stand / farm market on a farm, all produce is certified organically grown, apples, strawberries, Honey from hives on the farm, porta-potties
    646 Trabing Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: (408)472-1958. Email: info@clearvieworchards.com. Open: See our website for current hours. Click here for current open hours, days and dates. Directions: from Santa Cruz: Highway 1 South towards Watsonville Exit Buena Vista Road Turn left at stop sign Turn left on Trabing road to orchard. Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Check. Click here for our Facebook page. (ADDED: October 26, 2011)
  • Live Earth Farm and Discovery Program - Certified Organic, Farm stand / farm market on a farm, Wide variety of seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables, all produce is certified organically grown, all produce is sustainably grown, all produce is grown using IPM (integrated pest management), Covered outdoor market, Fresh local eggs, Preserves, jams, jellies, Honey from hives on the farm, Fresh eggs, Cider mill (fresh apple cider made on the premises), concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, restrooms, picnic area, picnic area (bring your own food), face painting, farm animals, birthday parties, weddings and wedding parties, school tours, group reservations
    1275 Green Valley Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: 831-763-2448. Alternate Phone: 831-728-2032. Email: farmers@cruzio.com. Open: Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm, Year round. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Click here for our Facebook page. (ADDED: May 12, 2014)

Local Honey Sources:

Santa Cruz County

  • Clearview Orchards - Certified Organic, Raw honeys, Honey from hives on the farm, U-pick and already picked, picnic area
    646 Trabing Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: 408-472-1958. Email: info@clearvieworchards.com. Open: Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 5pm, September 15 to November 4. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Click here for our Facebook page. (ADDED: September 04, 2012)
  • Live Earth Farm and Discovery Program - Certified Organic, Honey (retail), Honey from hives on the farm, Fresh eggs, Cider mill (fresh apple cider made on the premises), concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, restrooms, picnic area, picnic area (bring your own food), face painting, farm animals, birthday parties, weddings and wedding parties, school tours, group reservations
    1275 Green Valley Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: 831-763-2448. Alternate Phone: 831-728-2032. Email: farmers@cruzio.com. Open: Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm, Year round. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Click here for our Facebook page. (ADDED: May 12, 2014)

Meats, Milk and Eggs:

Santa Cruz County

  • Live Earth Farm and Discovery Program - Certified Organic, Goat meat, No hormones used, No antibiotics used, 100% grass and/or grain fed, Fresh farm breakfasts, Lunches offered, Farm dinners, Unpasteurized organic goat milk, Eggs (organic, free range, vegetarian fed), Brown eggs, Farm market with fruits and vegetables, Restrooms, Wedding facilities, Hiking trails, Within an easy drive to an Interstate road, Farm/ranch tours for visitors, School tours, children welcome, No pets please, meeting room available, Honey from hives on the farm, Fresh eggs, Cider mill (fresh apple cider made on the premises), concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, restrooms, picnic area, picnic area (bring your own food), face painting, farm animals, birthday parties, weddings and wedding parties, school tours, group reservations
    1275 Green Valley Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: 831-763-2448. Alternate Phone: 831-728-2032. Email: farmers@cruzio.com. Open: Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm, Year round. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Click here for our Facebook page. (ADDED: May 12, 2014)

Horse Rides and More:


Farm Bed And Breakfasts


Farm Venues for Events, Activities, Parties and Meetings:

Santa Cruz County

  • Live Earth Farm and Discovery Program - Certified Organic, 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, Classes, lectures or Speakers, School and educational groups, Daycare and preschool groups, Other Private Parties, Lighting, Cooking Facilities, Kitchen facilities available, Catering available, You may bring your own food, Some Tables and chairs are provided, Bring your own linens and table silverware, BYO alcohol, Corkage Fee Charged for alcohol, B&B nearby, Hotel nearby, Motel nearby, Apple Orchard, Peach/Nectarine, Apricot, etc. Orchard, Vegetables, or bush fruit, Pumpkin patch, goats, horses, chickens, Beautiful rural setting, Mountain views, Hiking trails, boating nearby, horse riding, golf nearby, swimming pool nearby, tennis nearby, fitness/health club nearby, Free Onsite Lot parking lot, Paid onsite parking lot, Valet parking can be arranged, Within an easy drive to an Interstate road, Bride and groom dressing areas available, children welcome, No pets please, Smoking allowed in designated areas, Vegetarian meals available, Honey from hives on the farm, Fresh eggs, Cider mill (fresh apple cider made on the premises), concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, restrooms, picnic area, picnic area (bring your own food), face painting, farm animals, birthday parties, weddings and wedding parties, school tours, group reservations
    1275 Green Valley Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: 831-763-2448. Alternate Phone: 831-728-2032. Email: farmers@cruzio.com. Open: Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm, Year round. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Click here for our Facebook page. (ADDED: May 12, 2014)

Wholesale Foods

Santa Cruz County

  • Live Earth Farm and Discovery Program - Certified Organic, Local sales at our farm, Local delivery, all produce is certified organically grown, all produce is sustainably grown, all produce is grown using IPM (integrated pest management), Preserves, jams, jellies, Wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, Honey from hives on the farm, Fresh eggs, Cider mill (fresh apple cider made on the premises), concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, restrooms, picnic area, picnic area (bring your own food), face painting, farm animals, birthday parties, weddings and wedding parties, school tours, group reservations
    1275 Green Valley Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: 831-763-2448. Alternate Phone: 831-728-2032. Email: farmers@cruzio.com. Open: Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm, Year round. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. We are certified organic for all crops! Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Click here for our Facebook page. (ADDED: May 12, 2014)

Resources For Farmers

Santa Cruz County


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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 a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you 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!