Ripe for the Picking! The Berry Best U-Pick Farms

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There’s no sweeter way to celebrate spring than with a bounty of succulent, ripe berries! Take your little sprouts to one of the following nearby farms (be sure to see if they participate in a CSA box while you’re at it) to go strawberry picking or to pick their own blueberries, and to learn how food grows and have some fun in the sun! Read on for the details about berry and strawberry picking in San Diego.

Kenny's Strawberry Farm

Looking for fields of juicy red strawberries? Then this is your farm! We are berry pleased to say that Farmer Kenny’s main crop is strawberries. Hunt for the biggest red berries your littles can find.

Kenny's is open from now until July, and this season they are requiring reservations to go strawberry picking at their farm. Click here to make a reservation and to learn about the process for visiting the Farm.

Please be sure to respect social distancing while at the farm, remain patient with others, and stay together as a family. They have 7 acres of beautiful strawberry rows, so finding space shouldn’t be a problem and they encourage you to spread out.

Buckets for berries are $16 per large and $7 per small.

953 Rainbow Valley Blvd.
Fallbrook, CA 92028
951-212-5805
Online: kennysstrawberryfarm.com

Tanaka Farms

Head on out to Tanaka Farms to pick some sweet strawberries while socially distancing. You must register for a time to attend with your family to enjoy berry picking. Please be sure to register the exact number of people in your group who will be attending. The cost is $8/person (kids 2 and younger are free, but do not receive a basket). Each paying guest will get a 1.25 pound basket to fill with fresh off the vine strawberries. Additional baskets cost $6.50.

Notes from the Farm: Please arrive 10 minutes early to check in. Follow signs to Pick Your Own Strawberry Parking, then walk to Strawberry Picking entrance signs. Follow signs out to the field. Check in at the tent, then enjoy a walk out to the strawberry fields where you will spend 30 minutes picking. Afterwards follow the exit signs back to the parking lot. Then, if you choose, you may go through the Drive-Thru Produce Market Stand to purchase other Tanaka Farms items. 

Tanaka Farms Strawberry Picking Rules This Season:

  • Please bring your own masks and gloves. Gloves must be worn during picking.

  • Social Distancing rules apply. Please keep 6' away from other guests.  

  • No eating while in the field (Due to CDFA regulations for "You-Pick" operations)

  • If you touch it, please pick it. Please look carefully before you touch the strawberries.

Good to know: They are also offering veggie picking this year! Grab some lettuce and broccoli from the fields!

5380 3/4 University Dr.
Irvine, CA
949-653-2100
Online: tanakafarms.com

Carlsbad Strawberry Company

Located in Carlsbad, this third generation, family run U-pick farm is one of the oldest in San Diego County––they've been growing strawberries here for over half a century. Go for the ocean view, cool breezes and bountiful strawberries. If you walk a little further down the row, you may find even juicier red ones.

Carlsbad Strawberry Company is now open everyday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. This depends on weather. Due to rain they may be closed so call 760-603-9608 to double check before heading out. Wear shoes you don't mind getting dirty as it can get muddy. Face masks are also required.

U-Pick season starts now to July. No reservations are required, visiting to pick strawberries is via walk-in only.

This season there are additional activities being offered including Bounceland, Apple Cannon and a Sunflower Maze. $5 general admission (kids 5 and younger are free) admits you to the sunflower maze, games (additional fees), and photo opportunities.

Strawberry picking fees:

$5 field admission per person (admits you to strawberry picking area without the bucket).

$10 per person/bucket (about 2 lbs. of strawberries)––kids 5 and younger are free.

1000 Cannon Rd.
Carlsbad, CA
760-603-9608
Online: carlsbadstrawberrycompany.com

Temecula Berry Company

Like a bolt from the blue, 9-acres of blueberries will be ripe for the picking! This family-owned and operated farm in Temecula is a berry gorgeous destination. Pick a bucket full of blueberries, and you’ve got a memorable afternoon. The blueberry-picking season is short, so the earlier in the season you get there, the better the pickings. Come early or later in the day, as it gets hot in the valley.

Temecula Berry Company aims to open mid-May this season––exact date TBD. They will be open Sat. and Sun. from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Monday mornings if there is still plenty of ripe fruit available.

Please check their website or Facebook page to make sure they're open before heading out.

Prices for the picking containers this season are: Small/$5 Medium/$10 and Large/$20. These containers will be purchased at their info booth before entering the farm. Cash or check, please.

Good to know: Farm accepts cash or checks only.

39700 Cantrell Rd.
Temecula, CA 92591
951-225-5552
Online: temeculaberryco.com

Tips to Have a Sweet Berry Picking Experience:

  • Wear a hat and sunscreen and pack sunglasses for sensitive eyes.
  • Wear close-toed, comfortable shoes (you’ll be walking through dirt paths on the farms).
  • Always call the farm before you visit to confirm their hours and whether there are enough berries left for picking.
  • Arrive when the farm opens to get the cream of the crop and to pick the fruit in cooler temps.
  • Only pick strawberries that are fully red and ripe, and pick them by pulling on the stem, not the berry.
  • Take along some baby wipes and hand sanitizer to clean sticky hands and faces.
  • Take your camera for plenty of cute photo ops.
  • Once you’re home, don’t wash the berries until you’re ready to eat them (otherwise they spoil more quickly).

––Nikki Walsh & Beth Shea

featured photo via iStock

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