Farm life | May 27, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Eating Out - May 27, 2022

Farm life

10 Peninsula farms open to visitors

by Julia Brown

From fruit picking to hanging out with barnyard animals, there are farms throughout the greater Peninsula area that provide visitors an opportunity to learn about ranch life, as well as purchase fresh produce, cheese, jams and more. Here are 10 local farms to explore:

Webb Ranch: 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 offers horseback riding camps for children 7 and up. Locals can find the ranch's 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; webbranchinc.com. Check the website for the latest u-pick information and hours of operation.

Deer Hollow Farm: Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve is also home to Deer Hollow Farm, a 150-year-old property that serves as an educational center. 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; deerhollowfarmfriends.org

Hidden Villa: Hidden Villa is an educational nonprofit situated on more than 1,600 acres of open space in Los Altos Hills. Visitors can meet Hidden Villa's farm animals, explore the property's hiking trails and learn about food and sustainable farming. The nonprofit also hosts summer camps, schools and corporations, and farm tours.

Hidden Villa, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills; hiddenvilla.org

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, including peacocks and 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 tasting room also is open Fridays-Sundays. Check out the farm shop for a wide assortment of cheeses, bath and body products, spice rubs and more specialty goods.

Harley Farms, 205 North St., Pescadero; harleyfarms.com

Blue House Farm: Located on more than 70 acres in San Gregorio, Blue House Farm 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. Since it's early in the season, ripe fruit may be harder to find. Stick around and picnic, and bring your four-legged friends — leashed dogs are allowed in the parking and picnic areas. Come back in the fall for a pumpkin patch, or find the farm's produce at local farmers markets.

Blue House Farm, 950 La Honda Road, San Gregorio; bluehousefarm.com

Swanton Berry Farm: Swanton Berry Farm was founded in 1983 and became California's first certified organic strawberry farm five years later. In 1998, the Davenport property 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; swantonberryfarm.com.

Pie Ranch: Pie Ranch's 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.

Pie Ranch, 2080 Green Oaks Way, Pescadero; pieranch.org.

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. Skyline Chestnuts is the only such farm in the Bay Area, and one of only a handful left on the west coast. The orchard, managed by The Johsens family, which has managed the property since 2004, also keep honeybees and sell the honey at the orchard.

Skyline Chestnuts, 22322 Skyline Blvd., La Honda; skylinechestnuts.com

Andreotti Family Farms: The fourth-generation family farm, 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 its farm stand, and in the fall, Andreotti hosts a pumpkin patch, corn maze and u-pick sunflower field.

Andreotti Family Farms, 329 Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay; andreottifamilyfarms.com

Elkus Ranch: 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. 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; elkusranch.ucanr.edu

Email Editor Julia Brown at [email protected]

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