By Raiza Giorgi
With wide open spaces and lots of room to get fresh air and fresh produce, people have been flocking to Summerset Farm in Santa Ynez, said farmer Sally Maher.
“Kids can run through the rows of berry bushes and families have been coming to enjoy the afternoons outside and have picnics,” Maher said.
Since the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted somewhat for outdoor gatherings, Maher said her farm has seen a steady increase in visitors even before its busy season starts in July.
Summerset Farm is a little agricultural gem at Edison Street and Baseline Avenue, just off Highway 154, that offers great fresh produce and U-pick crops like raspberries, blackberries and more.
This rustic and picturesque farm stand has been in the same location for 16 years, and Maher has been the proprietor for 13 years. Cultivating is her passion and she also runs the quaintly decorated farm stand, with freshly picked fruits and vegetables ready for purchase. But for those who want to experience a deeper connection with their food and nature, the farm allows customers to meander through the farm and pick their own seasonal berries, grapes and apples right from the garden.
During the late spring and summer months, the farm stand offers raspberries, strawberries, peaches, plums, apricots and tomatoes, along with a variety of vegetables such as onions, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, four different varieties of potatoes, peppers, corn and sunflowers, which help keep the birds out of the berries.
“There is also a sunflower maze this year that people can go through. People want more outdoor adventures, especially with COVID-19, and they can definitely do that on our 20 acres here,” Maher laughed.
From late summer through fall the farm offer pumpkins, gourds, squash and apples.
In addition to that variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, the farm stand offers local honey, jams made by Maher, pickles, juices, lavender pouches, holiday decorations such as fancy gourds, and plant fertilizer.
There are also several beehives around the property with an observation hive inside the farm stand where visitors can view the comings and goings of the bees and their pollen collection activities.
“This is a great place to work. I get up every morning and I am happy to go to work,” Maher said. “That’s important in life. It’s a pleasure to meet and greet the customers. Every year is different – I get to plant different things in the garden. I have the most beautiful office in the valley. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to spend my days in such a glorious environment doing what I love.”
Summerset Farm is at 3450 Baseline Ave. in Santa Ynez. For more information, call 805-245-0989 or find it on Facebook.