U-Pick Persimmon Farms in California

Persimmons are one of the great things about being a Californian -- they seem so exotic to most of the rest of the country, but they're just a regular fruit for us. Although, we tend not to eat the varieties that are native to North America: California's most commonly found types are from China and Japan. Plus, we eat them fresh, whereas for centuries on this landmass they were only considered a food source when dried.

Persimmon trees can be found in the most random places around the state these days, but if you're after a whole bunch of them, head to one of our small farms where you can pick your own -- there aren't a lot, but they're fun! Bring some shears, and, as always, call first! The seasons can be unpredictable.

Otow Orchard
Located in Granite Bay, outside Sacramento, Otow has been owned by the same family for generations. They grow a total of six varieties of persimmons, including a spicy one. You can tromp around in the six-acre orchard, but ask before cutting anything, as they make most of their sales via the on-site farm stand. Be sure to pick up some hoshigaki: dried persimmons prepared via a centuries-old Japanese technique.

Bar 2 Ranch
This San Diego County farm sells their u-pick persimmons for less than a dollar a pound, which is a great deal. They have an arts and crafts store on-site, too, and they're particularly welcoming to big groups of kids. Just -- you know the drill -- call first!

Murray Family Farms
This Bakersfield operation is more of a fully-executed tourist destination than the other persimmon farms listed here. The downside: more crowded, and kitschier. The upside: they have a wider variety of fruit available, and more persimmons than you can shake a stick at, as well as a store and kid-friendly activities like jam bands.

If you'd like to go pomegranate picking in California, click here.

If you'd like to go apple picking, click here.

About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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