Meet animals, pick fruit off the vine and learn about farm life at these local spots.
From fruit picking and other seasonal activities to hanging with barnyard animals, there are farms throughout the San Francisco Peninsula that allow you to visit and learn about life on the ranch, as well as purchase fresh produce, cheese, jams and more to take home. Here are 10 to explore.
Blue House Farm: Blue House Farm, located about a mile inland from Highway 1 on over 70 acres of land in San Gregorio and Pescadero, has an organic farm stand stocked with fresh and seasonal fruits and veggies, flowers, jams and dried beans. The strawberry u-pick opened in mid-May and runs through the end of October (note that strawberry season just started, so there’s limited ripe fruit in the field.) Stick around and picnic, and bring your four-legged friend – dogs are allowed in the parking and picnic areas on leash. Come back in the fall for a pumpkin patch, and find their produce at local farmers markets.
Blue House Farm, 950 La Honda Road, San Gregorio. Instagram: @bluehousefarm. U-pick strawberries are $6/lb., and boxes are provided. There are no fees affiliated with visiting the farm, and reservations aren’t currently available. Open noon-5 p.m. on weekends.
Harley Farms: Goats, wine and cheese – what’s not to like? Pop by the Pescadero dairy any day between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to visit the goats and donkeys over the fence, or book a tour to see newborn goats in the spring and other farm animals, from peacocks to cattle. On Fridays the farm hosts a Goats, Cheese and Wine tour where visitors tour the farm and do a wine and cheese tasting. A wine and cheese tasting room is also open Friday-Sunday. Check out the farm shop for a wide assortment of cheeses, bath and body products, spice rubs and more specialty goods. And animal lovers, rejoice: The farm’s website also has an entire page dedicated to its other animals, including Jimmy the guardian alpaca, and a baby goat count on its homepage.
Harley Farms, 205 North St., Pescadero. Instagram: @harleyfarms. The tasting room and farm and cheese shop are open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday; the dairy itself is open daily from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tours cost $55 per person, tastings are $60/person. Picnic tables are available on the farm. Leashed dogs are welcome in the pond area.
Webb Ranch: Just off of Highway 280 in Portola Valley, the 100-year-old Webb Ranch has an organic blackberry u-pick generally open June-July depending on the crop, a pumpkin patch in October with kids’ activities on the weekends, and a Christmas tree lot starting the week of Thanksgiving. The ranch also provides horseback riding camps and lessons for children 7 and up. Find its produce at the Portola Valley farmers market, Bianchini’s Market in Portola Valley and Sigona’s Market in Redwood City.
Webb Ranch, 2718 & 2720 Alpine Road, Portola Valley. Check the website for the latest u-pick information and hours of operation.
Deer Hollow Farm: The popular Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve is also home to Deer Hollow Farm, a 150-year-old property that serves as an educational center for Midpeninsula residents and visitors. The farm produces and sells fresh eggs and seasonal produce, and annual events include spring farm tours, Ohlone Day in the fall, and Deer Holloween in October. Summer camps, farm classes and volunteer opportunities are also offered. Take a self-guided tour of the farm and see its animals, the orchard and volunteer-supported garden, and bring a picnic lunch to eat at the tables on the north end of the property.
Deer Hollow Farm, 22500 Cristo Rey Drive, Cupertino. Open Tuesdays and Thursday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission for all events is $7/person, and kids under 1 are free.
Hidden Villa: Hidden Villa is an educational nonprofit situated on more than 1,600 acres of open space in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Visitors can meet Hidden Villa’s farm animals, explore the property’s hiking trails and learn about food and sustainable farming. Make a day of it and bring a picnic lunch. The nonprofit also hosts summer camps, schools and corporations, and farm tours.
Hidden Villa, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills. Instagram: @hiddenvilla. Reservations are encouraged but not required. Open from 9 a.m. to dusk Tuesdays-Sundays from September through May (and select weekends June-August when summer camp isn’t in session – check the website for details). Entry fee is $10/person, and Hidden Villa will not turn anyone away due to the inability to pay.
Swanton Berry Farm: Swanton Berry Farm was founded in 1983 and became California’s first certified organic strawberry farm five years later. In 1998, they made history again as the first unionized organic farm in the country. Swanton has a farm stand currently open seven days a week, with offerings including an assortment of jams, pies, cakes and other desserts made almost exclusively with Swanton berries. Pick strawberries on weekends May through October.
Swanton Berry Farm, 25 Swanton Road, Davenport. Instagram: @swantonberryfarm. U-pick strawberries are $8/lb., and boxes are provided. No reservations needed. Farm stand is currently open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closing hours change with the seasons.) U-pick is currently offered Saturdays and Sundays; check the website or Instagram for hours of operation.
Pie Ranch: Pie Ranch was founded in 2002 out of a desire to create a regenerative farming and food system education center and make healthy food more accessible in the Bay Area. Its farm stand sells seasonal produce and pies along with other local goods. The ranch annually hosts more than 6,000 people of all ages in food and farming education programs, including private retreats that teach visitors about food justice and farm operations. Every third Saturday, Pie Ranch holds a volunteer work day and a meadow dance night with folk music played by a local string band. Volunteers are also welcome Tuesdays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Pie Ranch, 2080 Green Oaks Way, Pescadero. Instagram: @pie_ranch. Dance tickets are $15-$30 (sliding scale) for ages 12 and over, $10 for ages 5-11 and free for kids under 5. Farm stand open weekdays noon-5 p.m. (closed Tuesdays) and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends. Check the website or Instagram for the latest event information.
Elkus Ranch: Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center is part of the University of California Cooperative Extension San Mateo/San Francisco and has provided environmental education programs to local youth since 1975. Through field trips and summer and winter day camps, children can meet the farm’s animals and learn about plants, gardening basics and livestock husbandry. The ranch also hosts family events, including the ultra-popular Sheep to Shawl Day in June, when Elkus’ flock of sheep is sheared (event registration has already reached capacity for 2022), and preschool days in the fall and spring. Looking for a private tour? Book a small group or family tour for up to 10 people, when visitors can feed the sheep, view the ranch’s animal bone collection, hang with the goats and miniature donkeys and plant a seedling to take home.
Elkus Ranch, 1500 Purisima Creek Road, Half Moon Bay. Instagram: @elkusranch. Reservations are required for all events, and the ranch is not open to the public on a daily basis.
Skyline Chestnuts: In the fall, Skyline Chestnuts’ 20-acre orchard opens its chestnuts u-pick. The La Honda orchard’s 120 trees can produce several tons of chestnuts during the short harvesting season if all the right growing conditions are in place. Skyline Chestnuts is the only such farm in the Bay Area, and one of only a handful left on the West Coast. The orchard has been managed by the Johsens family since 2004, and the family started farming in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the early 1940s with a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm. The Johsens also keep honeybees and sell the honey at the orchard.
Skyline Chestnuts, 22322 Skyline Blvd., La Honda. Check the website for fall opening information.
Andreotti Family Farms: The fourth-generation family farm, conveniently located near Main Street and Half Moon Bay State Beach, has been in operation since 1926 and produces winter vegetables. The family sells the produce out of their farm stand and in the fall, Andreotti hosts a pumpkin patch, corn maze and u-pick sunflower field. Sunflower field selfies, anyone?
Andreotti Family Farms, 329 Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay. Instagram: @andreottifamilyfarms. Check their website or Instagram for hours of operation.