Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Swanton Berry Farm

I had heard from friends about the variety of local farms that offer pick-your-own fruit and was dying to do it myself. Step one was deciding what fruit I wanted. We're lucky to live in a region that has just about every fruit you could want, fresh and ready to pick. I decided on strawberries. Next I chose the place, Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport, CA because it's on the coast and also because they are organic. The last step was to make a call to my friend Megan who I knew would love to check it out with us.

We picked up Megan and her hubby, Todd, on Saturday morning to join us. The strawberries were amazingly fun and easy to pick. I had imagined it being a hunt of reaching into bushes to try and find a ripe berry that was suitable to pick, and it being a long process to find the amount I was wanting to bring home with me. Instead, the strawberry plants were in raised rows and the dirt was covered in plastic. The strawberries grow and lie on the plastic, so the ripe ones are easily identified.

This picture cracks me up. It is reminiscent of one of my favorite King of Queens episodes where Doug and Carrie are given a terrible painting of themselves as a gift. Doug has beaver teeth and Carrie has a huge hand. Lesson learned... Keep my strawberry-chowing hand far enough away from the camera lens to help it look not-so-enormous.

Carrie: Look at this. I got one tiny arm and one huge arm.
Doug: I think it's just the angle.
Carrie: Doug, look at my hands. That's a chicken foot and that's a catcher's mitt, are you serious?

Show clip can be seen here.

We picked our way up and down a few rows until we had enough to take home with us (and we may or may not have done a bit of taste-testing in the fields!). The guys were nice enough to carry our boxes while Megan and I went to town pulling off the ripe berries. The view of the coast from the fields was so beautiful. But being along the coast also meant battling with the wind (excuse the windblown hair in the pictures)! When we were finished, we walked up to the store, weighed our delicious treasure, and paid the honor till. Yep, you pay and make your own change. We sampled some of the farm's jellies and jams and looked at the amazing homemade baked goods. I couldn't resist getting a strawberry truffle. It was incredible!

We headed back to the car and decided that, although Swanton Farms had other U-Pick stands up the coast (olallieberries, blackberries, and kiwi), we wanted to continue on to Pescadero and stop in Harley Goat Farm for some goat cheese. Megan and Todd had not yet been to Harley's, so we were psyched to show them this little piece of heaven! We munched on some goat cheese and bread and then were ready to head back to the city.

Andy and I didn't do anything creative with our strawberries. We loved them so much just the way they were that we only accompanied them with some homemade whipped cream. Megan and Todd resorted to making these drinks.

Hopefully there will be another fruit picking date to happen shortly in the future! Maybe cherries or peaches?!


  1. I think it is crazy you are wearing long has been unbearably HOT here--in the 100's. I think we should have mnade a summer visit.


    1. The weather here is so different than anything we've ever experienced! It's always pretty cool at the coast but it also always gets cool when the sun starts to set. It makes for a lot of laundry! We often have to change from shorts and tshirts into long pants and long sleeves before the day is over. A summer visit would have been good to escape that crazy heat!