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Apr 4, 2008 04:32 PM

U-Pick Avocados

Would anyone know where the nearest u-pick avocado orchard to the Bay Area would be located?

The thought of tree-ripe avocados is making me crazy.

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  1. Avocados don't start ripening until they are picked, so there may be precious little point to picking them yourself. This datum is one reason why ripe avocados are available in stores for most of the year. Farmers can choose to leave the fruit on the tree for literally months at a time, confident that ripening won't begin until after they have been picked and cold-shipped to their final destination.

    1 Reply
    1. re: grishnackh

      Tree-ripened avocados are superior to those picked green, but that's not well known outside of those lucky enough to have a tree or friends or relatives with a tree.

    2. Avocados are grown commercially in Southern CA. There is allegedly a tree in somebody's yard in Berkeley, but that is a freak occurrence.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sharuf

        I live in San Rafael and have a tree (Haas variety) in the backyard. It has about 21 avocados that I'm hoping will be mature enough to pick in the next few months.

        1. re: Sharuf

          Yes. My friend has a huge avocado tree in her yard (in Berkeley).

        2. chilihead, the closest locally-picked 'cados I've found (farmers markets) were in San Luis Obispo county.If you ask the vendors in the local markets here where their fruit comes from , it's often even further south like Ventura Co. There are a few back yard trees in the inner Bay Area, but the variety that can deal with our climate produces fibrous fruit. You could post your request on the California board, and who knows, the farms stands much closer to here might have locally-picked fruit. When I buy produce around Davis/Sact'o their 'cados seem much the same as those sold here, in contrast to the beauties I found in SLO, Santa Barbara, or LA counties. But the Delta and valley are full of bounty and possible surprises.

          The Fruitvale district of Oaktown was once known for its orchards (not 'cados but farmers like to play around for their own table) and who knows there could be some scattered survivors. Certainly the figs and citrus from yard trees in Oaktown can be delish (two varieties of lemons within 50 feet of my front door). Some real 'cado fanatic could probably do better in the warmer microclimates of Contra Costa, Pleasanton or such(considering the wine grapes and produce grown around Brentwood, for example) ; from what I learned from discussing the necessities with a farmer down in Santa Monica, you'd have to invest in grafted trees. If you're a homeowner with a yard and don't plan on relocating for a good while, talk to nurseries that do significant business in fruit trees. When I was in LA I was about two weeks too early to get a tree there from a nursery that stocks them.

          1 Reply
          1. re: moto

            I used to live in a house in Alameda (a few blockjust off Park Street) that had a grafted avocado tree and one of the neighbors kept a beehive. The harvest was always abundant and the smokey flavor fantastic! We had so many I even used avocados to condition my hair!

          2. There are a bunch of avocado trees on the Stanford University campus. They are incredibly tall, however, so picking the fruit might require a painter's ladder and a few signed liability waivers.

            I don't know about the quality of the fruit, but have seen many mexican or south american people picking it in season.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Euonymous

              Where on campus are these trees?

              1. re: anzu

                Google tells me they're between buildings 1 and 120, in the main quad. Check out this little slice of history:

                If I'm reading the blurry date correctly, this is from 1980 and its reference to the graduate school of business must predate the new location for the GSB.

                This more recent article is a bit more helpful: