“bringing you the best tasting berries on the planet!”
Swanton Berry Farm was founded in 1983 by two dreamers who had previously worked on farmworker-owned cooperatives here in Central California. Jim Cochran and Mark Matze both got the farming bug and couldn’t resist trying it on their own. They rented 4 acres of land, bought an old tractor, and planted four acres of strawberries. At that time no one had grown strawberries organically on a commercially successful basis, and everyone in the industry said it couldn’t be done. Two earlier dreamers, Cesar Chavez and Rachel Carson had spawned a dream.The first couple of years, they experimented with both chemical and organic methods, and had enough success to pay the bills, but not much more. Mark decided to move on, married a wonderful woman, Claire, and eventually wound up farming in Argentina, where he is today.Jim stayed on, said his vows to the farm, borrowed some money, and continues today, joined now by this thirteen year old son Jimmy, and many others who make it all happen.The farm has grown, always on a shoestring and with help from the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union. The dream now includes ten co-dreamers, Jim Cochran, Sandy Brown, Adelfo Antonio, Juan Barranco, Bill Kennedy, Rachel Chatham, Jackie Olivares, Luis Ruiz, Tim Campion, and Tim Hudson.Someday we hope to purchase some land of our own, but for now, we are and renting four beautiful ranches strung along Highway One, north of Santa Cruz, California. Every waking hour of the day, we are focused on bringing you the best tasting berries and vegetables on the planet. We strive to do it in the most conscientious way possible, using organic farming method and 100 % union labor. We invited you to visit us at our Farm Stand, to see for yourself exactly where your food comes from and who grows it for you. Check out our photo exhibit, take a self-guided tour, and try our home-baked pie or cobbler. We hope to see you again this season!
The most important stop of our trip up the Slowcoast! They have fresh strawberry cider... I mean, come on. And right outside, two ladies sell homemade cheese and bread out of their airstream.
A true treasure! You Must Stop and enjoy all the Fresh Strawberry treats and they have Jam tastings. The thing that really melted my heart was the Honor Till.
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Swanton Berry Farm
- Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
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