Sixty miles from Davis off of Highway 50 is a beautiful and bountiful valley. It is in the quaint little mountain town of Camino that we found one of the best farms around for fresh berry picking. Patrick’s Berry Farm offers many different varieties of fresh and delicious berries and beautiful scenery to feast your eyes upon as you pick.
It is a nice little drive along the El Dorado county farm trails that winds it’s way through Apple Hill where you will come upon a little red barn and a colorful sign welcoming you to Patrick’s. There is lots of easy parking and friendly staff to get you on your way to finger stained goodness picking berries on their farm.
You first check in at the farm store and make your choice of picking into a plastic, bag lined bucket, or into plastic berry containers that you would find in stores. The containers can be just one or an entire flat of them depending on your voracity for yummy sun ripened berries. Patrick’s charges for the berries by the pound and you can mix and match or separate the berries by type to be weighed separately. Once you have chosen your method of collection, it is off into the fields to get your bounty.
As you walk down the little dirt path to the endless rows of berries, you are hit by two things; an amazing view, and the heat of the summer. The view is sprawling and covers the valley, and the heat…well, it is currently Summer in the Sacramento Valley. I suggest wearing a hat or other sun protection and brining your own water to swig as you harvest. We went with our four year old and took along his trusty radio flyer wagon. It made it easier to pull him around and gave him a nice little place to sit and take a rest as we picked away. It was hot but it was not an issue since we were prepared.
Patrick’s also offers a peaceful little garden area with shade and picnic tables to sit and enjoy lunch or your berries after purchase. It also has the view of the valley and is a great spot to sit and cool off and just enjoy the scenery.
Once you are out in the rows of berries, they are easily navigated with clearly marked signs on the ends of the posts, and with the use of the little map given out at the farm store when you check in and get your buckets. There is an abundance of berries, and we noticed the deeper down into the rows you go the more you will find…that is because not everyone walks all the way down the rows.
Though there is an abundance of berries, Patrick’s is a popular place and some varieties can run out fast. Always do a quick check of their website to see what is still available on the farm and what is done for the season. In addition to many varieties of berries Patrick’s also grows many varieties of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, squash, onions, potatoes and much, much more! Everything is harvested just short of peak ripeness for your enjoyment within a few days.
We had a wonderful visit to Patrick’s and very much enjoyed eating our fresh blackberries and boysenberries over the next few days that followed. I had ambitions to bake, or to make some homemade syrup…but they were just so delicious nice and fresh with a little drizzle of agave nectar, that we ate them all up before the grander plans for the berries could be executed. I think we will have to go back and pick more fresh berries, and this time purchase some of the syrup and jams made fresh on the farm at their store.
If you are not able to make the short drive up to the farm, Patrick’s also sells their goods at many local farmers markets including;
Davis Farmers Market- Saturday from 8am-1pm
16th and P street, Sacramento- Tuesday from 10am-2pm
Cesar Chavez Park, Sacramento – Wednesday from 10am-2pm
4th and K street, Sacramento – Thursday from 10am-2pm
Watt and El Camino, Sacramento – Saturday from 8am-12pm
Sunrise Mall, Sacramento – Saturday from 8am-12pm
San Francisco/Alameda Farmers Markets – Saturday from 8am-12pm
For recipes, storage tips and more information on Patrick’s Berry Farm, please visit: http://patricksmtngrown.com/index.htm
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