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To provide Cal Poly students, faculty, staff and the public with a unique interdisciplinary environment in which to foster the Learn by Doing philosophy by providing educational experiences on a working ranch, supporting diversified agriculture and forest resources while maintaining the integrity of ranch operations.

  —Our Mission

Cal Poly Swanton Pacific Ranch's Organic U-Pick Apple Orchard

Crops - upick

--2018 U-Pick Apple Orchard Season Closed--


The 2018 Swanton Pacific Ranch U-Pick apple season has come to an end. It was a short picking season this year and we thank all of you who made it out to support Cal Poly's Swanton Pacific Ranch.  Those of you who did not have the opportunity this year, we look forward to seeing you next year!


We typically open in early September and are open as long as we have a supply of apples.  It is always a good idea to check our website prior to coming out to pick.

Thank you for your support!


Posted October 17, 2018


Driving Directions:

The Apple Orchard is located on the west side of Swanton Road across from 480 Swanton Road (a couple miles north of the 125 Swanton Road address).


Following Swanton Road from the South, it is 4.5 miles from the Highway 1 intersection and 3 miles from 125 Swanton Road. The orchard will be on your left; watch for the parking sign.

Following Swanton Road from the North, it is 2.3 miles from the Highway 1. The orchard will be on your right; watch for the parking sign.

We look forward to seeing you!


Phone: (831) 458-5410


The Organic Apple Orchard is open seasonally to the public, Cal Poly alumni, and grade-school groups.

Certified annually by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and yielding five tons of apples per year, the ranch's 2-acre orchard produces a diverse array of apples for many uses. The 16 distinct varieties ripen progressively throughout the fall allowing for an extended picking season. Grade-school groups are encouraged to arrange visits to the U-Pick where children receive an overview of ecological processes in organic farming before they set out to collect apples.

Early Season

Gingergold Apples


Crisp texture with a sweet yet mildly tart taste. Great for salads.

Harvest: August

Holstein Apples


Tart, yet vibrant flavors making it great for desserts and juicing.

Harvest: September

Lodi Apples


Crisp and juicy with a balance of acid and sugar. Good for baking and storing.

Harvest: August

Red Delicious Apples


Sweet and juicy; great for salads and use in decorations.

Harvest: September

Red Gravenstein Apples


Very crisp and juicy; a favorite cooking apple.

Harvest: August

Royal Gala Apples


Wonderful dessert apple with a nice blend of sweetness and tartness. Crisp texture and rich in flavor.

Harvest: September

Sali Red Delicious Apples


Sweet and juicy with a beautiful deep red color.

Harvest: September

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Mid Season

Cox Orange Pippin Apples


Rich and crisp. Great for desserts.

Harvest: September - October

Fugi Apples


Sweet and flavorful with a very crisp texture; excellent for storing.

Harvest: September - October

Jonagold Apples


Superb flavor, crisp, juicy, sub acid, an all-purpose apple that's great for pies and freezing.

Harvest: September - October

Newton Pippin Apples


A crisp texture, juicy and slightly tart, making it great for cooking and baking.

Harvest: October

Snow (Femeuse) Apples


Tender in texture with a spicy, refreshing flavor, making it good for desserts and cooking.

Harvest: September - October


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Late Season

Golden Russet Apples


Very sweet and crisp. Great for salads, sauces and pies.

Harvest: October

Granny Smith Apples


Tart and crisp with excellent flavor.

Harvest: October

Suntan Apples


Dessert apple with a rich, sweet flavor and pineapple-like acidity. Very aromatic.

Harvest: October - November

Yellow Newton Pippin Apples


Firm, crisp, and slightly tart.Good for salads and baking.

Harvest: October

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News & Events

Apple Pruning Student Volunteer Weekend January 25 - 27th

Students will be provided transportation, lodging, and meals during this fantastic opportunity to learn how to prune apple trees in Swanton Pacific Ranch's Organic Apple Orchard. Led by expert Grant Williams, the group will work together to shape the trees...and then go for an enjoyable and informative hike to see more of the Ranch.


Apple Pruning Community Volunteer Weekend January 25 - 27th

Learn how to prune apple trees in Swanton Pacific Ranch's Organic Apple Orchard. Led by expert Grant Williams with other pruning trainers, the group will work together to shape the trees.

Organic U-Pick Apple Orchard...
Closed for 2018 Season!
Posted Oct 17, 2018

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