Spring means U-Pick season throughout our local backroads. From the sweetest cherries to the juiciest strawberries, U-Pick is the fruit lovers dream. As you explore the outskirts of Brentwood, Ca, you will come across a variety of orchards and farms that provide you the experience of U-Pick, which means you can pick the freshest fruit of your choice directly from the tree. Even better, farmers are excited to announce that this year is one of the best harvests they have had in nearly a decade! The long, cool winter allowed the trees to remain dormant for a longer period of time. This also extended the pollination period. Compounded with an extra rainy spring – the trees were extra hydrated. Together, this means we get to pick the juiciest, sweetest berries! To get ready for an exceptional U-Pick experience, be sure to follow these tips and tricks.
Tips for U-Pick
- Visit Harvest Time Brentwood’s website: HarvestForYou.com This website is your best friend when it comes to learning which farms to
- hours of operation
- what fruits/veggies
- U-pick availability
- Pre-picked availability and so much more
- Start your day early: The heat of East County can be intense. Plan your day and plan on arriving at your first farm at open. This gives you the chance to pick fruit in cooler temperatures and offers you the first pick of the day!
- Keep an eye on your children and do not climb trees: These are working farms. This means there are open spaces kids might want to explore. It also means there are many hazards. To truly enjoy your experience, takes steps to keep everyone safe.
- Ask before you picnic: As much fun as a picnic in the orchard sounds, picnics are not permitted in the orchards. Some farms offer designated picnic areas, but not all do. Just be sure to speak with the individual working at the fruit stand before you sit down to eat.
- Be respectful: These are family farms. This means as you pick fruits, you are also visiting someone’s home. Follow any posted rules and be sure to take any litter, such as empty water bottles, with you.
Tricks for U-Pick
- Find the best fruit: To find the best fruit, look for the boldest colors. Cherries should be a dark red. Any yellow color means the berries should stay on the tree a bit longer. Remember, if you pick the fruit, you are expected to purchase it. Pick your fruit mindfully for the ripest, sweetest fruit.
- Keep the stem on: Cherries will stay fresh longer on your counter at home with the stem still attached. That means when you pull the fruit to pick it, you should gently pull on the fruit and ensure the stem remains intact.
- Bring a cooler: Your fruit will stay fresh on the drive home if you bring a cooler. Before you leave the house, add some ice to it. This allows you to transport your fruit home in ideal conditions and keep your farm fresh berries as delicious as when you picked them.
- Dress appropriately: These are all working farms. That means there is working farm equipment, tripping hazards and lots of dirt and mud. Closed toed shoes and comfortable fitting clothes will keep you safe and comfortable.
- Bring a change of shoes: The orchards are well irrigated. This keeps the trees healthy, but also means there may be a lot of mud. One trick is to bring an extra pair of shoes to wear while picking that can be muddied and another pair for post-picking stops. Stash an extra plastic bag in the car to keep muddy shoes apart from your clean car and fresh fruits.
U-Pick is a very fun way to spend the day. Not only can you treat yourself to some of the most delicious fruits and veggies in Northern California, you get to spend the day outside enjoying time with your friends and family. With the kick-off of U-pick around the corner, make time to explore your local backroads to enjoy our local farms and U-Pick orchards.
Cherry U-Pick Farms Open on Weekends
Cherry Pre-Picked Farms
- #7 Uban Edge Farm Store – They have transitional organic pre-picked cherries
Strawberry U-Pick or Pre-Picked
Cherry Farms open during the week
A special thank you for Maggiore Farms for inviting us to their U-Pick orchard and opening up the opportunity to sample some phenomenal cherries and openly film in their orchard.
Recommended Articles: https://localbackroads.com/2019/04/20/springtime-is-kick-off-to-farm-fresh-produce/