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

​Spring is in the air, and there’s no sweeter way to celebrate the season than to visit a local farm and pick berries (be sure to see if they participate in a CSA box while you’re at it). Visiting the farms and learning where our food comes from is a great way to spend the day and enjoy the fresh-off-the-vine sweet treats. So read on for how to navigate the u-pick scene in San Diego and make some delicious memories!


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Kenny’s Strawberry Farm

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 require reservations to go strawberry picking at their farm. Click here to make a reservation and learn about the process of 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 $17 per large and $7 per small.

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

Tanaka Farms

Yun C. via Yelp

Head out to Tanaka Farms to pick some sweet strawberries and enjoy a wagon ride around the farm to learn about the importance of farming. You must register with the exact number of guests and a time to enjoy berry picking. $20 per person (kids two and under are free) includes the wagon tour, one fresh veggie picked from the fields, unlimited strawberries off the vine, one quart of strawberries to take home, plus the petting zoo and loads of photo op spots!

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

Carlsbad Strawberry Company

Kathy N. via Yelp

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

The fields are now open every day (weather dependant) 9 a.m.-5 p.m through July. If rain is in the forecast, call 760-603-9608 to make sure they are open. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty as it can get muddy. Also available are the corn maze and tractor ride. Food vendors are on-site on the weekends.

Strawberry picking fees:

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

$12 per person/bucket (about 2 lbs. of strawberries)––kids five and younger are free.

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

Temecula Berry Company

J C. via Yelp

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.

U-pick sessions will begin in May (exact date TBD) and will be open Sat. and Sun. from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Monday mornings if there is still ripe fruit available.

Check their website or Facebook page to make sure they’re open before heading out.

Prices for the picking containers are:
Small $5
Medium $10
Large $20

Good to know: Farm accepts cash or checks only.

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

Julian Farm and Orchard

Natalya S. via Yelp

A trip to Julian is always fun, but a trip that includes berry picking is even better! Julian Farm and Orchard is the new kid on the block in the u-pick world and will be open for berry picking beginning in June. The farm also has a petting zoo, axe throwing, tractor-pulled hayrides, and tons of photo spots. 

Open Saturdays and Sundays 10-4 pm. Text 951-313-0166 for berry updates.
Admission is $10 per person (kids under 2 are free) and includes ten activity tickets to use on the hayride, axe throwing, or petting zoo. 

Insiders Tip: Julian Mining Company is under the same ownership and is located across the street, so plan to make a day out of your visit.

4444 State Hwy 78
Julian/Wynola
951-313-0166
Online: julianminingcompany.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).

––Kimberly Stahl, Nikki Walsh & Beth Shea

featured photo via iStock

RELATED STORIES:

14 San Diego CSAs Delivering Farm Fresh Fruits & Veggies

Local Chefs Share Amazing Recipes Your Family Can Make Together

8 San Diego Nature Preserves to Explore with Your Kids

 

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