We are privileged to lease some of the most beautiful farmland in California. We take very seriously our responsibility for improving the land we farm. and for being good neighbors to the people, plants, and wildlife of the Coast. We farm in five different locations, each with a unique soil type and microclimate.
The Swanton Ranch is the location for our U-pick strawberries opening in May 2005. The property borders Highway One, and is the site of our Farm Stand and kitchen, various barns, a large shop, an office, and buildings housing about twenty employees. This ranch has a number of interesting features, including a sand dune populated with un-disturbed native species, and a reservoir that is home to migratory birds, newts, and numerous other creatures. We lease only 40 acres of this large ranch, because it has very little water available. Thanks to the Trust for Public Land, this beautiful part of the California coast has been premanently preserved. We lease fifty acres of this property beginning in 2000. While there is only enough water to support two acres of our U-Pick berries, we have headquartered our operations here.
This beautiful, historic ranch is located along Highway One, just across from Año Nuevo State Park, home of the Elephant Seals. Coastways is the site of our U-Pick olallieberries, and kiwis. We have been farming it organically since we leased it in December, 2003; it is now Certified Organic as of 2007. Coastways Ranch is owned by the Hudson family. We are fortunate to have Tim Hudson working with us as part of the Swanton Berry Farm family.
This ranch is located within Wilder Ranch State Park. We have farmed here for ten years, and are growing our second rotation of strawberries, which amazingly, have grown better than the first round. We have plenty of (expensive) city water, and have drawn most of our production from these fields in recent years. It has been a pleasure to work with the Park Service over the years to integrate farming with the public’s enjoyment of this important resource.
This field is currently fallow due to lack of water.
This ranch is owned by David and Stephanie Mills, who have graciously donated all the rent proceeds to the UCSC Farm and Garden. It has spectacular views of the Monterey Bay and produces great strawberries. We happily share the view with several families of bobcats, who fan out across the field to help with gopher patrol.