After reading this article on Kauai’s growing agro community I knew that Waipa Farmer’s Market was just up our alley. We arrived in Kauai on a Monday which means the only day to visit was the next Tuesday. After spending the morning in the water of Hanalei Bay, we had lunch and then headed to the farmers market. Apparently everyone else on the island had the same idea, as there were TONS of people milling around waiting for the market to open. We waited a few minutes looking at the clouds rolling over the mountains and then were shocked when the gates opened and people ran full speed into the area! They seemed mostly to congregate on a few organic produce booths but we took our time making our way in and around the small market.
Strawberry picking isn’t a very popular activity to do in the Bay Area. U Pick farms went away when the Valley moved toward a more technological industry. There are however a few places left, one being Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport, California which offers berry picking and a shop for jams and pies.
Swanton Berry Farm is north of Santa Cruz and accessible from Highway 1 along the coast. Parking is super easy as there is a large dirt field or you can park closely to the strawberry patch. Before heading out to the fields, head into the store to pick up a cardboard tray to hold your berries. When you are done wandering through the patch collecting berries head back into the store. Payment is on the honor system which I’ve literally never seen anywhere else. Weigh your berries and add your payment to the cash container.
The store has a ton of other items to purchase like fresh strawberry shortcake, strawberry apple cider, pies and cobbler.
After that we had a lovely lunch and then sat on the beach at Natural Bridges State Park and watched the rising waves.
Strawberry picking at Swanton Berry farm is such a fun hidden gem in the Central Coast. It’s perfect for tourists and bay Area natives alike, giving a country farm U Pick feel in a beautiful seaside location.
What to Know About Strawberry Picking at Swanton Berry Farms
- Bring cash, in addition to picking strawberries there are tons of berry products to purchase.
- The strawberries are organic but pricey at $4 per lb.
- The best time to visit is April – June but I’ve been as late as September and the berries were still delicious.
- The store has some history of the farm and lots of things to taste test so take your time and enjoy the view.
Mr P asked me why I thrift the other day. It really made me stop and think about where I spend my money. Sure I still spend it on frilly things from Anthropologie or things that I
need want from Amazon, but the thrill of the vintage hunt it also very rewarding. I always thought thrift shops smelled and were super gross (ok ok some actually are) but I can hold my nose for a few minutes to get a mint condition piece of pyrex that I will use for years to come. And I’m careful to only buy what I need. I’m preparing for a garage sale in two weeks and I’m absolutely astounded on the amount of money I spent on things in that past that I never even used. I’m really hoping that my “trash” can be someone else’s treasure, and really nothing is trashy at all considering I found things still in the darn package!
Speaking of the thrill of the hunt, my friend stumbled upon some adorable milk glass strawberry plates and she hit the jackpot from herself. Who knows how many people just passed over them without a second glance! But they were exactly what she had been looking for which I think is so infintely cool.
In Other News….
This makeover really makes me want to break down and get the IKEA Ektorp sofa. Lord knows we need a new sofa because ours is looking quite gross.
Have you read anything good lately?
After hunting for some metal popsicle molds and never finding any I purchased two sets of Tovolo molds from Amazon. Yes they are plastic. Yes I’m not thrilled with this. But since I’ve pretty much purged the rest of the plastic in the kitchen, I’m ok with using these. Plus they claim to be BPA free which makes me happy.
Anyway I had a carton of strawberries which looked to be on their last leg. I also have a TON of frozen bananas so I whipped up a smoothie concoction of organic whole milk, and fresh fruit.
Froze them for a few hours.
Popped them out after running under some warm water.
And she enjoyed them.