Gabriel Farm is a cute little organic farm in Sebastopol just past the quaint town of Graton. My family and I recently spent a lovely morning there picking apples, berries and yes, some delectable raspberry popsicles.
Gabriel Farm U-Pick CSA Membership
Gabriel Farm is an organic family farm located a bit over an hour from Oakland. They specialize in apples, pears, persimmons, raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes, flowers, and pineapple guavas. Each year they offer a U-Pick CSA membership program where members can pick their own fruits from June to November.
You’re probably familiar with the weekly subscription box model of CSA; but Gabriel Farm is a U-Pick CSA. The $40 Season Pass fee buys you a case of Asian pears (though we received pluots), as well as the ability to visit the farm and pick, and pay for, as much fruit as you want to throughout the growing season (June-November).
For 2020, appointments are limited to allow for social distancing. We found it pretty easy to get an appointment within the same week of registering for the CSA membership. Other 2020 Covid-19 precautions include several hand washing stations throughout the farm, touchless payment, and frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces. There are several portable toilets available as well. And masks are required for all visitors.
Add “Join Gabriel Farm CSA” to your to-do list or visit one of the many other Bay Area Apple Picking Farms.
Our Day Picking Apples, Berries, Tomatoes, Flowers, and Popsicles
Parking was easy since they’re limiting appointments this year. We only saw two or three other families at the farm on the Saturday morning that we went, so social distancing was simple.
We checked-in with a kindly young farmer, who then led us to the apple orchard down a short toddler-friendly path. There are four rows open for picking and plenty of beautifully ripe apples (all Gravenstein on the day we picked). And happily, the fruit is low enough to the ground for my two- and four-year olds to join in on the fun. There are also blackberry bushes to the left of the orchard where you’re allowed to graze, which my kids enjoyed immensely.
On the day we went, the weather was crazy and it began to rain and thunderstorm towards the end of our picking. So we had to leave before picking raspberries, cherry tomatoes, or flowers. Since we’re CSA members now, we can easily come back another time.
No the popsicles didn’t grow on trees, but I had to laugh because we went to to the farm pick fresh fruit and ended up enjoying a sweet processed treat instead. Though I wouldn’t normally let my kids have popsicles at 11 am before lunchtime, these were no ordinary popsicles: super fresh, real fruit that taste like summertime on a stick. Worth it!
We spent $40 to buy the CSA Membership (and case of pluots), then another $48 for about 13 pounds of apples and four popsicles.
Plan your visit to Gabriel Farm
Go online to buy your pass for $40 and then email or call the farm to set-up the day and time you’d like to visit.
Hours: By appointment only
Location: Gabriel Farm @ 3175 Sullivan Rd. Sebastopol
What to Bring Apple Picking at Gabriel Farm
- Hats and sunscreen since it can get hot and sunny out in the orchard
- Close toed shoes or boots since it’s a working farm with plenty of toe-stubbing hazards
- Small bags so your little ones can carry their own pickings if they’d like (and a wagon in case you end up with twelve pounds of fruit!)
- For 2020: masks, sanitizer and credit cards for touchless payment
- Snacks and water, though for lunch plan on driving somewhere else as luncheon tables aren’t plentiful (the coast is just 20+min away)
- Camera and matching flannel shirts for the perfect fall pics for your holiday card
[Photos by Julie Herson, all rights reserved]