Whether you're looking to stock your kitchen with fresh berrries or locally grown vegetables like bell peppers and corn, these expansive farms in and around Los Angeles have acres and acres of pickable produce. Spend a day at one of these “U-pick” farms for an all-ages adventure much more satisfying than a morning at the farmers' market. From apple picking to strawberry picking, each location has its own list of self-service, pay-per-pound produce; fruit and veggie seasons vary, so be sure to call ahead before you visit.
Self-serve farms in Los Angeles
At the base of Wilshire Peak, with sweeping views of the San Gorgonio Mountain Range, sits this farm and event space where families can ride horses, attend outdoor film screenings and pick their own produce. Wander through rows of strawberry and raspberry bushes during the summer, then head back for apples in the fall and pumpkins all the way through November.
This farm has an impressive selection of produce, with per-pound picking available for items like baby squash and blue lake beans (and even sunflowers in the fall!). Snack on plump raspberries and blackberries while you pick during summer months; Underwood even boasts “U-pick” olallieberries, a sweet, blackberry-raspberry hybrid. Wagons are available to pull wee ones through the fields, and the farm offers pony rides, a petting zoo, an electric train and a bounce house for even more kid-friendly fun.
Here wagon rides take you to the patches you’ll pick from; the farm’s biggest (literally!) draw during the summer months is a patch of fat watermelons, which practically burst off the vines. Each “U-pick” tour lasts roughly an hour and includes time among a variety of crops such as strawberries, corn, bell peppers, tomatoes and Swiss chard.
Riley’s (not to be confused with the Los Rios Rancho Riley’s) is known for its seemingly never-ending strawberry season, which sometimes lasts from May straight through November (the berries start tart and get sweeter as the summer progresses). Choose half-pint, pint, quart or gallon containers, and fill up on strawberries, blackberries and raspberries during warmer months, followed by pears, apples and pumpkins by the bagful in the fall.
In addition to hosting aviation enthusiasts, a flight school and a skydiving club, Brian Ranch Airport is home to a “U-pick” orchard of apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches and plums. Bring home stone fruit by the freshly picked boxful during the summer, and snag bags of pears and apples in the fall (there’s also a pumpkin patch in October). Homemade, seasonal fruit butters are also available in the gift shop.