Berry Brambles

by Jadan Horyn

Nestled along the northern reach of California’s central coast shoreline, near a cliff-edge plain that drops into the turbulent Pacific, sits an idyllic collection of berry brambles in manicured rows behind a washed-out sign warmly declaring “Fresh Made Pies.”

When you leave California’s Pacific Coast Highway and pull into the crushed stone driveway, reminiscent of the Napa & Sonoma recreations of Tuscan or Provincial farmsteads, you see a whitewashed farmhouse aged in that wealthy kind of way that one would see in coastal New England. Berry fields on either side caressed by white mist from the Pacific pops with bursting colour when the rare ray of sunlight penetrates through.

It is in this setting, one that paints a picture for the eyes and a bountiful harvest for the stomach, that Swanton Berry Farm makes itself at home. Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport California is a certified organic, socially-just, union labor co-op venture.


Besides their unconventional socially conscious values they also cultivate uncommon varieties of berries. Tayberry – a cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry, and named after the river Tay in Scotland – and an olallieberry – cross between the ‘Black Logan’ and the youngberry – provide floral bouquets of flavor featured in their homemade pies and jams.

These uncommon berries lend themselves to equally uncommon pies. While the Olallieberry pie was delicious and had the most beautiful striking purple color, the Tayberry pie was the showstopper. A mouthwatering pastry of juicy berries densely packed into a slightly sweet pie that conjures the mature taste of Mulberry and the refreshing tartness of overripe raspberries. The pie’s aroma adds an extra dimension of experience to those fortunate enough to have stumbled above this little slice of heaven.

As you may suspect, neither pie made it out of the parking lot. We ate them in the convertible, top-down, staring into the deep blue Pacific – immersed in a multi-sensory experience – sun, mist, ocean, berry brambles, and pie, with slack-jawed smiles on satisfied faces, and a deep appreciation for the little slice of heaven.

They are located off of California’s PCH at 25 Swanton Road Davenport CA.

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