Nothing screams warm weather and summertime like snacking on juicy red strawberries! While it’s not officially the summer season just yet, the Southern California strawberry farms are open for business and ready to welcome your kiddos for a u-pick visit. Here are our choices for the best places to pick some strawberry goodness.
Photo credit: Leah Singer
Carlsbad Strawberry Company
Carlsbad Strawberry Company is the largest and oldest u-pick farm in San Diego County and the berries are undoubtedly some of the best around. Located just east of the 5 freeway off of the Cannon Rd. exit, you’ve probably driven by this field many times. It will cost you $10 for a small basket and $20 for the larger size. They even give you some water to rinse off the berries before popping them in your mouth. There’s truly nothing tastier than a berry right off the vine.
Good to know: If you’re in the mood for freshly picked strawberries but don’t feel like picking them yourself, Carlsbad Strawberry Company has stands at multiple locations. Click here for details.
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
1000 Cannon Rd.
Photo credit: Kenny’s Strawberry Farm Facebook page
Kenny’s Strawberry Farm
With the motto we ‘grow-em and you pick-em’ Kenny’s Strawberry Farm in Fallbrook is nothing if not a u-pick farm. All strawberries at Kenny’s Farm are grown hydroponically. That means they’re grown above ground, so there’s no need to worry about mud or dirt. The paths of the field are even stroller friendly! If you’re interested in learning more about the all the reasons hydroponic growing is good for the environment and healthier for you and your family you can take a 20-minute guided tour at the farm. Once you complete the tour your kiddo gets a signed accomplishment certificate signed by farmer Kenny himself. Who knows, if Kenny is at the farm you might even be able to squeeze in a selfie with him.
Good to know: Tours are totally free. The only thing you pay for at Kenny’s is the strawberries you pick.
Hours: Wed. – Sun., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
953 Rainbow Valley Blvd.
Fallbrook, CA, 92028
Photo credit: Suzie’s Farm Facebook page
This South Bay wonderland is the only farm in San Diego that grows certified-organic strawberries that are ripe for u-pick. Besides being organic, what makes Suzie’s Farm berries unique is the type of strawberry they grow. The Albion berry have a high sugar content and are incredibly sweet. The farm is open for u-pick, with the cost being $5 per pint, $15 for a 3-pint box, and $36 for a case (minimum 10 lbs.) And of course, they don’t charge for the berries you snack on in the field!
Good to know: Suzie’s Farm recommends long pants, close-toed shoes (no sandals), and a hat. Layers are recommended, as the farm can get chilly from the breeze (even on hot days). And don’t forget drinking water and sunscreen.
Hours: Tuesdays, 2 – 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
2570 Sunset Ave.
San Diego, CA 92154
For more tips on picking your own strawberries and recipes for what to do with those little beauties once you get them home, check out pickyourown.org. And, always remember to call the farms before you visit to make sure they are open.
What farms do you go to for u-pick strawberries? Got any tips or advice to share with your fellow readers?
— Leah R. Singer