Melanie Wong | May 25, 201805:22 PM     11

Orchards and farms in Brentwood on the urban boundary are popular summer time u-pick and farmstand destinations. The cherry season is here and producers have started opening on weekends this month. Last Friday I headed to a couple of farms, both new to me, to see what's in season.

The cherry crop is light this year and some orchards that normally offer a u-pick option are only selling picked fruit this year. Seko Ranch is one of them. Its farmstand had Coral and Early Brooks cherries for sale at $5 per pound. They're large in size, graded into one-pound bags, and really good for early season cherries. I'd say they're 10X better than the Brooks cherries from Tulare I bought the previous weekend at a farmers market. The Corals are darker in hue with deeper flavor and sweeter. The Early Brooks have a lighter color, crisper texture and a bit more acidity that seems to bring out complex nuances in flavor. Refrigerated at home, they held up well over the five days it took me to consume them. The folks were nice here and the bags had about 10% more than the weight I was charged.

Then I stopped at Chan's farmstand. It offers strawberry u-pick. But I had to buy and run, picking up fresh shallots with the tops (50¢ per bunch) and sugar snap peas ($2 per pound). Some of the peas still had the top stem and leaf attached, but for that price, I wasn't picky. The peas were fresher holding their candied sweetness longer than what I can get on Grant Avenue.

What are your favorite Brentwood farmstands?

A guide to cherry picking in Brentwood

When to go, where to go, and what to bring on a cherry picking day trip from the Bay Area.

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