52 Weeks of Silicon Valley is a project where I visit, review, and take photos once a week of various places in Silicon Valley. For a more detailed explanation about this series, click HERE
Who: Gizdich Ranch
What: A family ranch where you can pick fruit right off the vine or tree. Berries available seasonally to pick are strawberries, olallieberries, boysenberries, and rasberries. Apple varieties are red-delicious, golden-delicious, newton pippin, royal gala, and fiji. Click HERE to see which fruit is in season. There’s a deli and bakery where you can buy lunch and enjoy freshly baked pies in their picnic area. Homemade jams and pressed apple juice are also available for purchase.
When: Open for berries from 8am-5pm, and apples are open from 9am-5pm. U-Pick season for certain varieties starts in spring and the ranch is opening throughout the fall. Call, or check their website to see what is seasonally available.
Why: Great for everyone! Ideal for a family outing to spend some quality time together. Great for a neat first date where you can chat and get to know each other while picking berries. Romantic Also great for a playdate. We went with our mom’s group and the kids loved running around together.
Cost: Free entrance and parking. Fruit is weighed by the pound. Our strawberries were $1.65/lb
My Experience: Technically Watsonville is not in Silicon Valley, but this ranch is one of the closest to visit and who doesn’t love berry picking? We left at 10am and showed up around 11am to meet up with our play group. You can bring your own basket and have it pre-weighed before picking your fruit, or you can use one of their pails and at checkout pay $1 for a box to take your fruit home. The kids were so entertained for a really long time. The moms and I actually got to chat leisurely while the kids picked berries and played. The field is so big and wide that the kids were able to run freely without the freak out mommy alarm going off. I recommend wearing rain boots, or shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. The soil is VERY dusty and if you have little ones sneaking bites of their berries, the combination of berry juice and the dust makes a muddy, messy combination. I would also recommend bring an extra pair of shoes for after berry picking. We had so much fun on this excursion. The taste of strawberries warm from the sun really is like nothing else.