Pomegranate picking in the East Bay - 510 Families

Pomegranate picking in the East Bay

Did you know that pomegranates are around for picking just a few magical months in the fall, right around the same time as the pumpkin picking craziness? So if your kiddos love the farm U-Pick experience but have already gone apple picking and pumpkin picking, give pomegranates a try!

Family Pomegranate Picking
Blue Ridge Pomegranate Farm on a lovely fall day | Photo Credit: Julie Herson

Pomegranate picking farms and orchards

Blue Ridge Pomegranates, Winters

About an hour from Berkeley/Oakland
8700 Tubbs Rd, Winters, CA 95694
A small local family owned pesticide and herbicide free farm located in Winters, Ca. Open for U-Pick to friends and pomegranate lovers the weekend of October 19-20 from 8:00am-1:00pm weather permitting. Or, make an appointment to pick by calling 707-416-7421. Winters is right by Vacaville, with lunch options and shopping a plenty.
Website>
Cost: $25 per closed produce box, $30 open (25-30 poms per box). Cash Only.

Smith Family Farm, Brentwood

About an hour from Berkeley/Oakland
4350 Sellers Avenue, Brentwood, CA 94513
Open 9am-5pm weekends, 12pm-5pm weekdays
A popular Pumpkin Patch and Christmas Tree farm. Loads of fun family activities from hay rides to a corn maze. Call to double check if pomegranates are available for picking 925-625-5966
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Cost: Pomegranates are $1.50/lb Cash or Check

Arya Farm, Tracy, CA

About an hour from Berkeley/Oakland
21459 S Reeve Rd, Tracy, CA 95304
Open 10am-3pm for U-Pick, 10am-5pm Farm Stand
An organic farm that grows a plethora of varieties of produce. They offer U-Pick for pomegranates starting in October.
Call to double check there are Poms on the trees! 209-835-9850
Website>
Cost: $1/lb Cash Only

Box of Pomegranates
Store your pomegranate seeds in the freezer for months. Add to smoothies, salads, and cookies | Photo Credit: Julie Herson

Pomegranate picking at Blue Ridge Pomegranates

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My kids love the sweet little pomegranate gems (called arils) as a fun-to-eat snack, and I love how healthy and tasty they are. But don’t be put-off by the drama (stains! hassle!) of opening up one of these beauties. Just try the water trick!  And keep a stain stick handy.

We had never gone pomegranate picking, but I heard that Blue Ridge Pomegranates in Winters near Vacaville was the place to go. So I packed up the kids and headed out early on Saturday. I hadn’t expected it to be exceptionally crowded. But upon arrival, I was surprised by the rows upon rows of cars. There weren’t any parking attendants, so it was a bit ramshackle as far as parking. But we found a spot relatively easily and unloaded.

We then walked to where there was a crowd of people and a big pile of five gallon orange buckets. We weren’t sure how it all worked, so we just grabbed two buckets and started following everyone else. A few people with overflowing buckets on their way back from the orchard kindly pointed us in the direction of plentiful trees. And from there we were able to harvest as many pomegranates as our buckets could hold. We’d brought garden gloves and our own pruning shears, which I’d recommend you do too. It’s better for the trees and will make your life much easier.

Boy Pomegranate Picking
Bigger kids love the responsibility of using pruning shears | Photo Credit: Julie Herson

How to know when pomegranates are ripe

Pomegranates are ripe when they go from round to more chunky looking. When you pick them up they will feel heavier than they look. And the shiny skin will take on a matte finish. I asked one of the kindly older gentlemen who worked at the farm how to pick the perfect pomegranate. He said they were all good; this was as ripe as they’d get. But then he whispered that I could break into them and take a look if I wanted, but I don’t think that was an encouraged practice.

Since pomegranates aren’t easy to open without a knife, we didn’t see many people walking around munching on the fruit. But then we found one that was partly split open. So I cracked it and let my 3 year old enjoy the fruits of his labor. A great cure for whining, though I wish he hadn’t worn his white jacket (!)

Child eating pomegranate
Pro Tip: Avoid wearing white when pomegranate picking | Photo Credit: Julie Herson

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It only took about 20 minutes to fill our buckets. And while it was busy, the orchard is large enough that we weren’t fighting anyone for the best fruit. So after we finished we walked back to the front area. We handed our buckets to a nice gentleman at a table with large produce boxes. Then he then poured our pickings into two large boxes. Each box is $25 closed, or $30 open. They accept cash only.

Bottom line on pomegranate picking with kids

If you love pomegranates, Blue Ridge is a great option for an authentic U-Pick experience on a working farm. Every pomegranate we've tried since coming home has been sweet and delicious. Not a dud among the lot! But they have limited hours beyond their opening weekend (October 19-20). So make sure to call and make an appointment. If you’re looking for a place where you can spend the day and pick, play and picnic, I’d say try Smith Family Farm instead. They have a lot more family activities and places to play.

Boxes of Pomegranates
$50 worth of pomegranates, much cheaper (and tastier!) than at the local grocery store | Photo Credit: Julie Herson

What to pack for pomegranate picking:

  • Several pruning shears
  • Gloves for everyone
  • Hats, sunscreen
  • Closed toed sturdy shoes
  • Long pants; there are a lot of spiky plants around
  • Snack (there aren’t any tables or places to sit and eat lunch)
  • Hand wipes (there's a single port-o-potty, no hand-washing station)
Family at pomegranate farm
The perfect fall day pomegranate picking | Photo Credit: Julie Herson

Check out our other U-Pick guides, from Apples and Pumpkins to Cherries and Christmas Trees.

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1 thought on “Pomegranate picking in the East Bay”

  1. My wife is a pomegranate lover and I’d love to surprise her with a trip to your farm to pick them. What is the best dates to go and can special arrangements be made?

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