Swanton Berry Farm signed a long-term lease with Coastways Ranch in 2004. We converted to CCOF organic status, and are planting fields of artichokes, olallieberries, blackberries, and peas, with strawberries, broccoli and cauliflower being planted soon. We are happy that two of the Hudson family members who live at the ranch, Tim Hudson and Martin Bradley, have joined us.
Swanton Berry Farm has teamed up with Coastways Ranch to bring you U-Pick Olallieberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, and Kiwis. Please call 831-469-8804 for more information on the U-pick season and locations.
Coastways Ranch is located on Highway 1, just 30 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 20 miles north of Santa Cruz, next to Año Nuevo State Park. Please see the map for location and driving directions.
THE OLALLIE BERRY
The Olallie Berry was created by George F. Waldo, who developed the Berry in Oregon. It is a cross between a Blackberry, Loganberry and Youngberry. Although originated in Oregon, it is widely cultivated in California. The Olallie is slightly longer, more slender and has a tangier flavor than the Boysenberry. At maturity, it is glossy black. It has the advantage of a shorter winter chilling requirement than the Boysen, making it more adaptable to much of the California coastal area. It is also completely resistant to verticillium wilt, a soil-borne fungus disease that infects the canes. Therefore no fumigation of the soil is necessary.
The Loganberry apparently resulted from a cross between the California wild Blackberry and the red Antwerp rasberry. Prior to 1920, it was the most popular blackberry in California. The acreage declined rapidly between 1920 and 1930. A virus disease was believed responsible for this decline. Only small plantings of this variety now exist. Coastways has a few of this variety planted among the Olallies in the pasture field. Some customers come just for this special berry.
The Youngberry is quite similar in flavor and appearance as the Boysenberry. The Boysenberry was introduced to the public by Walter Knott of Buena Park, California (Knott's Berry Farm!). It is believed to have originated as a chance seedling in the garden of Rudolf Boysen, for whom it is named. It has been suggested that it was originated by Luther Burbank, as it's similarity to the Youngberry suggests similar parentage, which could have been Burbank's "Phenomenal" variety. Coastways has a few Boysens planted among the Olallies in the old field, near the Kiwis.
Culture of Olalliberries is a year round process. It takes two years to produce a berry! New canes grow the first year,
and berries are produced on these canes the second year. Right after harvest the old fruited canes are cut down to the ground and the new growing canes are woven by hand onto the trellis. In the fall, before the rains, manure is applied to the soil as a part of the fertilization. In the spring, as new leaves are sprouting, lime sulfur is sprayed on to prevent a fungus infestation which would severly diminish the quantity of berries produced. Later, near blooming, nitrogen sulfate is sprayed on the leaves as a foliar fertilizing (leaf feeding!). This helps produce sweet berries. There are no pesticides sprayed on the fruit.
Here at Coastways, we grow Olalliberries in two locations; at the pasture field, which is 4 1/2 acres, and at New Year's field (old field), which is 6 1/2 acres.
Olallieberry plants can often be purchased in local nurseries, usually from October through December, the best times for planting.
For recipes, about a pound of berries will make almost 2 cups of crushed fruit.
The berry harvest time is generally May through July of every year. The start time varies due to spring rains
and the start of warm days.
Kiwifruit (Actinidia Chinesis) is a native of the Yangtse Valley in south central China where it is known as Yang Tao.
It has been called Ichang Gooseberry, Monkey Peach, Chinese Gooseberry and Kiwi Berry. Europeans discovered the
fruit in China about 1850. By the early 1900's several species of the Actinidia had been propagated in New Zealand,
England, and the United States, primarily as a novelty or landscaping plant!
The plant was introduced into New Zealand in 1904. During the next 25 years nurserymen developed, cultivated
and selected several varieties of large-fruiting plants which became the first commercial varieties. The large, oval,
fine flavored Hayward variety was the most successful. In 1935, plants of the large-fruited variets were sent to the
United States Plant Introduction Station at Chico, California. In the 1960's researchers there began developing cultural methods applicable to California and encouraged farmers to try the new crop. Thus, the new industry was launched in the early 70's.
Kiwifruit grows on a large, woody deciduous vine, similar to a grapevine and yet looks like a tree. The vines are planted in rows about 15 feet apart and spaced from 15-20 feet apart in the rows. They are trained and supported on strong trellises about 6 feet high. Both male and female plants are needed for fruit set, with pollination primarily by bees. The vigorous vines need well-drained soil, frequent watering, and wind protection. The plants fluorish best in mild temperate climates, though they require winter chilling to develop good flowering and shoot growth. In California the plants bloom in May and the fruit is harvested in October and November. At Coastways, we grow the Hayward variety of Kiwi, grafted onto root stock. Grafted plants start producing fruit in the forth year. Average production is about 6 to 8 tons per acre (from the eighth year on).
Here at Coastways, we have six acres of Kiwifruit which were planted in 1973. The most important cultural practice, besides regular manure fertilizing and weed control, is pruning. Begun usually in January, this two-month job determines the fruit size of the next crop.
Kiwi vines are becoming more available at local nurseries during the winter months, which is the best time to plant.
For recipes, about 15 medium sized Kiwis make about 4 cups of crushed or pureed fruit.