Swanton Berry Farm at Coastways Ranch
Swanton Berry Farm was founded in 1983 by two dreamers who had previously worked on farmworker-owned cooperatives here in Central California. Jim Cochran and Mark Matze both got the farming bug and couldn’t resist trying it on their own. They rented 4 acres of land, bought an old tractor, and planted four acres of strawberries. At that time no one had grown strawberries organically on a commercially successful basis, and everyone in the industry said it couldn’t be done. Two earlier dreamers, Cesar Chavez and Rachel Carson had spawned a dream.The first couple of years, they experimented with both chemical and organic methods, and had enough success to pay the bills, but not much more. Mark decided to move on, married a wonderful woman, Claire, and eventually wound up farming in Argentina, where he is today. Jim stayed on, said his vows to the farm, borrowed some money, and continues today, renting four beautiful ranches strung along Highway One, north of Santa Cruz, California. Our organic strawberry u-pick is currently open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Our organic strawberries start at $5/lb - if you pick 10 or more pounds, the price becomes $4.50/lb. Please wear farm appropriate clothing and footwear. We recommend wearing layers as the weather is quite variable and constantly changing. We provide boxes for picking and take cash, check, and credit cards.