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Harvest Your Own Fresh, Organic Veggies at Potrero Nuevo Farm

Want to harvest your own fresh, organic produce, berries, flowers and herbs? Join the U-Pick Club at Potrero Nuevo Farm 15 minutes south of Half Moon Bay.

Are you fond of super fresh, organic produce? Do you like freshly cut flowers? Raspberries straight off the vine? Fresh herbs for tonight's recipe? Knowing exactly where your food comes from? If so, our U-Pick Club might be perfect for you.

During the 2013 season, Potrero Nuevo Farm will have two acres under production. The majority of the food — about 15,000 pounds annually — will be donated to the Catholic Worker House in Half Moon Bay and Puente de la Costa Sur in Pescadero for distribution to Coastside low-income families. The remaining food will be for a U-Pick Club to offer people an opportunity to experience more intimately the source of their food.

Throughout the growing season — mid-May to mid-November — club members can come to the farm every Monday from 3 to 7:30 p.m. to harvest their own vegetables, berries, herbs and flowers. Members will have access to harvest crates and knives; farm managers Suzie and Jay Trexler will instruct members periodically on how to properly harvest to protect and promote the health of the plants. We’ll also have a field tea every Monday from 3:45 to 4 p.m. with herbal tea from the garden and snacks so members can visit with each other and the farmers.

The point of the U-Pick Club is to highlight the experience of being on a farm and learn about food and food production, not to necessarily provide the entirety of members’ diets in amount or diversity.

During the 2012 season, the average weight of any given weekly harvest was 12 pounds of veggies and berries (comparable to a typical CSA weekly box), even more at the end of the season with the heavy winter squash and potatoes. Each week, we'll put out a white-board which explains what crops may be picked that week and in what quantity. Additionally, members can freely pick flowers and herbs. U-Pick Club members will be able to experience their food very differently — to understand the seasons, to understand the work that goes into growing and harvesting food and to appreciate and enjoy being much more connected to the source of their food.

If members were to harvest the maximum amount of food on a harvest day, they would pay $20. If they took less than the maximum available amount, they’d pay us less according to what they think is fair. Also, while we anticipate members will come regularly, the fact that payment is not in advance, but at the time of harvest means that people can choose not to come every week. Membership, though, is for the entire season. We don't provide for one-time visitors.

A rich range of food will be grown: Arugula, Basil, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Cilantro, Corn, Cucumbers, Garlic, Herbs, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Green beans, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radish, Raspberries, Spinach, Summer Squash, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Winter Squash, Zucchini. We also have a small flower garden, a field of lavender and an herb garden where U-Pick Club members can harvest.

We will farm fields which are conveniently near the center of the farm, but will be able to plant them only as the rains allow so it’s impossible to know precisely the length of the season. We anticipate our season will run from late May until late November, but that is subject to the weather.

The U-Pick Club just finished its first year of operation (though we farmed for three years prior and sold through a farmer’s market and CSA) and our members thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Families often turned it into an outing and children loved going into the fields and picking vegetables, berries and flowers. We also have a picnic area if members want to bring a snack to enjoy in the bautiful countryside.

If you’d like to join, please send us a $25 registration fee with all your contact info. This fee helps us provide tools for U-Pick Club members to use on the farm.

Mail your check, payable to Potrero Nuevo Farm, 1045 Tunitas Creek Road, Half Moon Bay, 94019. If you have any questions, please e-mail u-pick@potreronuevofarm.org or call 650-726-5700 and learn more about our farm by clicking here.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Christina Conklin January 29, 2013 at 05:32 PM
We've been members for several years, and it's such a privilege and a treat to go out every week and harvest these fabulous, organic veggies (berries too!). It's why we live here on the Coast -- to be closer to nature and the land -- and it's a fantastic lesson for the kids (even if they don't get it yet....) Can't say enough good things about PNF!
Alison Grant January 29, 2013 at 06:19 PM
We have been so delighted to be members since 2010 and find this model of harvesting our own veggies to be the best yet! An afternoon at Potrero Nuevo Farm is a real treat and literally washes away any previous stresses of the day. The fact that we take home a bounty of produce is a bonus that's impossible to beat.
Dee January 29, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Wow. Who knew? This is fabulous! Thanks for sharing. We just may have to look into doing this. Yet another reason why life on the coast is so amazing -- with people doing cool stuff like this, why move anywhere else?

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