Cal Poly Farms hosts seasonal U-Picks throughout the year. From now until June, the orange orchards are open to the San Luis Obispo community. The U-Pick events take place on Saturdays in the Cal Poly citrus groves. Students and families can go out and pick a variety of citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, and limes.
“Our biggest season is citrus. We typically start picking in January and go until about June, and depending on the weather, we’re out here every Saturday from about nine to four. Then we also do [the] U-pick blueberries starting in April, May and in the summers we pick peaches in July.”
Cal Poly students grow these crops as part of their education. Student crews run the U-Picks and the money earned from the event goes back to support their hard work.
“I think it’s advantageous for the students and the locals,” Plant Sciences Department Marketing Coordinator Jill Caggiano said. “It’s important for the community with Cal Poly and to come in and take advantage of the fruit that students grow to learn and then I think it’s also important for the students to be able to be a part of the U-Pick.”
Not only does the U-Pick give students and residents access to fresh fruit, but it can also be a fun outdoor activity. San Luis Obispo Tayli Brucenecke brought her two boys to the U-Pick in order to get oranges to make juice with their grandparents.
“We came out today to get the kids out of the house, even though it was a little rainy. They had energy and this is a great place for them to run around and get out the energy,” she said.
Cal Poly Farms charges $2.50 a pound for the fruit and offers a 25% discount to students.
“I don’t think a lot of people know that this is an option in the area, and so maybe posting it around more so people know it exists and that that’s easy to do and a fun thing for the kids to do,” San Luis Obispo resident Tayli Bruenecke said.