U-Pick Cherries at Nunn Better Farms in Brentwood

We take a short trip out of town to go pick our own cherries at Nunn Better Farms in Brentwood. Here’s what we found:

Cherries Waiting to Be Picked

Cherries waiting to be picked

Mum’s visit with us is almost over, and we were thinking of taking her out of town for a short family trip. She didn’t want to go too far, so Disneyland was out of the question. Then, Esther suggested going cherry picking because her teacher was talking about it in school.

We love to eat fresh cherries, but cherry season in California is pretty short. It seems like as soon as you see them start showing up in the farmer’s market in early May, they’re gone. And whatever we bring home with us is inevitably gone within a day.

So the thought of going out as a family and bringing home a big load of cherries was a great idea!

The main place that people go for U-pick cherries here in the Bay Area seems to be Brentwood, located about an hour’s drive northeast from San Jose. After doing some research on Yelp, I decided on going with Nunn Better Farms. I called them up to find out whether there were going to be any cherries to pick (there were) and where and when to show up in the morning (9 AM at the corner of Vasco Road and Marsh Creek Road).

Let’s Go!

When we arrived at 9, there weren’t a lot of cars in the parking lot. The sun was out but the air was still cool.  We checked in at the table to get our brief instructions, then picked up some buckets and headed out into the orchard.

Heading to the Orchard to Pick Cherries

Heading out to the orchard to pick cherries

The orchard had been open to pickers for a couple of days already, so many of the trees were picked clean, especially at the lower branches. But it was a rather large orchard, so it wasn’t hard to find other trees still laden with ripe cherries. We split up and went to work.

Ripe Red and Rainier Cherries Ready for Picking

Ripe red and Rainier cherries, ready for the picking

For the shorter members of our party, those cherries on higher branches were a bit difficult to reach. But I was happy to give Esther and Daniel a boost. (Other pickers brought their own ladders.)

Short People Need a Little Help Picking Cherries

Some cherries are high up in the tree, so short people need a little help

Some of us got overly excited about picking anything we could get our hands on, and quickly filled our buckets with smaller or under-ripe cherries. Annie, on the other hand, was meticulous about which cherries she would choose. Only the largest, most perfect cherries (with the stems on) would find their way into her bucket.

Skip the Small Cherries; Go Big

Pro-tip: Be selective, skip the smaller cherries and pick the biggest ones.

After about an hour of picking, we were done. A combination of too much sampling, too much stretching and reaching, and too much sun (it was getting hot by 10!) led us to call it a day. We brought our haul back to the front table where the staff weighed the cherries and took our cash.

We had collected 14.6 pounds of cherries altogether, and paid $50 for it all, a little less than $3.50 per pound. But compare that to almost $7 a pound at the farmer’s markets and this was a good deal. On top of that, we all had a lot of fun.

U-pick cherries in Brentwood - we'll be back!

The drive out to Brentwood was easy, the cherry trees sufficiently loaded, the staff friendly and the cherries were amazeballs. About the only downside was the lack of water to wash our cherry juice-stained hands and dusty faces when it was over. For that I give this experience a 4 out of 5 stars.

Nunn Better Farms
Brentwood, CA

Tel: (925)634-2148

Aloha, Nate

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What would you do with all these cherries? Leave a suggestion in the comments!

8 Comments Post a Comment
  1. I watch every day, and this is a real treat! The best to your family and, post about anything you make with these cherries!

    Regards, Diner Dick

  2. Wendy says:

    So they have Bing and Reiner ? Fav photo is Esther and Nate. Followed by the perfect Bing in Annie’s elegant hand.

  3. Luanne says:

    Hey thanks for the fun cherry picking trip and all the yummy recipes.
    Luanne

  4. 15 pounds of cherries? Wow that sounds so awesome. There is no cherry picking where I live so I am very jealous.

  5. Carol says:

    The absolute best are the Utah Giants. Once we had those, we stopped bothering with the Bings. It’s one of the things I miss most about no longer living in the Bay Area.

  6. Michelle says:

    I used to live a few miles away from this farm. Brentwood is an awesome place for farm fresh produce in the late spring and summer! Cherry picking is a fun family activity, looks like you guys had fun too!!

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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