Strawberry picking season typically runs from May to September. This time, we had the opportunity to visit Gizdich Ranch Watsonville to do some strawberry picking for the very first time! (This is despite having visited Cameron Highlands, stayed at Strawberry Park and visited Strawberry Garden :P)
Getting to Gizdich Ranch for Strawberry Picking
Gizdich Ranch is located at 55 Peckham Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076 and they’re open daily from 9am to 5pm. Different fruits come into season throughout the year and you’ll be able to pick other fruits such as apples, raspberries and boysenberries.
If you’re following the GPS like us, at the end of the GPS route, make a left turn and follow that route directly to the entrance of the gift shop. However, if you’d like to go direct to the strawberry farm, follow the same road and at the end of that road, make a right turn and you’ll arrive at the strawberry picking area. We parked at the gift shop and walked because we knew we would head back for pies and to buy some freshly made jams!
How to do Strawberry Picking at Gizdich Farm
You may wish to bring your own boxes when you head over to Gizdich Ranch for strawberry picking. Alternatively, there are small containers at Gizdich Range that you can use to pick them. Strawberries cost $1.80/pound. Remember to pay for them before you eat. Eating as you pick is definitely not the way to go here.
After making eye-contact with the employee on site, he or she will bring you to designated to rows to commence picking. Remember, you’ll have to stick to your designated row and you’re not allowed to hop over to another lane even if you see the reddest, largest and most delicious looking strawberries there. Yup, the employees are watching…
According to the pamphlets given out by Gizdich Ranch, here’s how you should do strawberry picking (and other related and useful information)
1. Be sure when you pick strawberries to pinch and twist the stems, leave the hulls intact. Strawberries are fragile, place in shallow containers when picking to avoid crushing.
2. Don’t forget to look under the plant leaves where usually the best berries are hiding. Pick strawberries when they are firm and red. If you happen to get some that are a little green, leave them on a counter for a day to ripen or simply cut off the green portion.
3. Strawberries will keep for up to a week if they are refrigerated immediately, unwashed and covered loosely. To freeze, layout on a cookie sheet and freeze solid before packing in freezer bags. You can take out small portions at a time when frozen in this way. Strawberries are great to munch on frozen as well!
Did you know…
– Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside (average of 200 seeds each)
– Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the early spring
– Strawberries are in the rose family
– Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, iron, folic acid, fiber, potassium and cancer fighting antioxidants
– 88% of strawberries sold in the USA are from California!
What to do after a hard day out in the field of Gizdich Ranch picking Strawberries
After a hard day of work (about 20 minutes or so) picking strawberries at Gizdich Ranch, what better way to reward yourself than to have their famous pies and jams!
If you’re travelling in a group, it’s definitely worth it to order a whole pie ($11.35 for the apple pie) than a single slice ($3.95). Each pie divides into 6 huge slices! We would like to make a special mention about the apple pies here because they’re awesome! Large chunky apples with pastry pie. Yum! Best of all, the pie isn’t so sweet which allows you to taste the natural goodness of the apples! Remember to take home a souvenir by considering the assortment of jams that Gizdich Ranch offers.
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Hope you have enjoyed our coverage of strawberry picking at Gizdich Ranch! Enjoy!