Strawberry Picking Fun! Swanton Berry Farm U-Pik

As part of our annual summer camping trip to Butano State Park, our tradition is to go strawberry picking at our favorite organic u-pik farm, Swanton Berry Farm, located just south of Pescadero (or north of Santa Cruz).  This is an easy day trip from the Bay Area, and great to incorporate into a visit to Ano Nuevo State Park or Pigeon Point Lighthouse.

What’s not to love about this place?  The location of the patches varies each year, but they’re always located right off Highway 1, with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean.  Last year, the berry patch was on a bluff right above the ocean!  Gorgeous.  This year, it was on the other side of the highway, but still with beautiful scenery.  Additional benefit?  Organic berries!  And I love the payment system here.  The payment box is open, so we, the customers, weigh the berries ourselves, calculate what we owe, and put our money into the box, without anyone watching over us.  Gotta love the trust!

I coincidentally came across this NPR article last evening… The Psychology of the Honor System at the Farm Stand.  It’s about Swanton Berry Farm!

Here are the photos from our visit yesterday…

Interested in going?  In addition to strawberry picking, depending upon the season, the farms also have olallieberry, blackberry, and kiwi u-picks.  Check out their website for details…


  1. Planting Potatoes says:

    gotta love strawberries!


  2. thirdeyemom says:

    THere is nothing better than freshly picked strawberries! They are amazing. Your post is making my mouth water. Only two weeks and I will pick some here too!


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      They’re the best, aren’t they?? If you’ll be here in two weeks, you can also pick olallieberries!! The picking season here opens next weekend.


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      Mmm hmm… my son is eating a few right now.


  3. Alex Jones says:

    The “honesty box” is what they call them in UK.


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      It’s a great concept!


  4. Alex Jones says:

    I used to go to these type of farms myself as a child, and the fun was in the eating as you picked. Many people grow food, have their own hens and make jam, which they place outside their home with “honesty boxes” for people to place their money in if they wish to take any of the food on offer.


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