Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville, California is where we encountered our first olallieberries. Olallieberries (or olallies as they’re frequently called) are a type of hybrid berry that is a cross between the black logan berry and a youngberry.
Tangy and sweet, olallieberries make the perfect pie baking berry. The high season for picking olallieberries in Watsonville is June. Making the trek out to Santa Clara or Santa Cruz county to taste the berries makes for a fun afternoon and it helps support local farmers.
Gizdich Ranch was founded by Vincent John Gizdich and has been around since the 1930s. On the 70 acre ranch you can opt to pick your own apples, berries and even pumpkins depending on what season it is.
If you’re less of the hard working type and more of the serious eating type, Gizdich Ranch offers more than nine different kinds of tasty pies you can snag by the slice or as whole pies. As it turns out, every day is Pi Day at Gizdich Ranch.
Apple, apple olallie, apple raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, cherry, double berry, dutch apple, raspberry, very berry and, of course, olallieberry pies are offered throughout the year.
Seasonal flavors like apricot, pumpkin, strawberry and strawberry rhubarb can be spotted on the menu during certain times of the year.
Sugarless apple, sugarless olallie and lemon meringue pies can be ordered ahead of time with advance notice.
Other specialties like apple dumplings and puff pastries are made daily in Gizdich Ranch’s little pastry shop.
If you opt for a single slice, Gizdich Ranch does offer an à la mode option. The ice cream served at Gizdich Ranch comes from Polar Bear Ice Cream out of Santa Cruz, California. In addition to traditional vanilla ice cream, Gizdich Ranch’s crew also serve up scoops of Polar Bear’s olallie and strawberry ice creams.
When apple season is in full swing, Gizdich Ranch is a happening place to be. Thankfully you can score their refreshing apple juice all year long.
Olallies aren’t the only unique thing you’ll spy on Gizdich Ranch’s menu. Gizdich Ranch also makes an incredible apple slush that’s made with their fresh pressed apple juice and crushed ice.
Gizdich Ranch also has apple and olallie popsicles that are only $1.70 a pop making them the perfect sweet treat for kids on a hot summer weekend.
The ranch also has a small little gift shop if you’re in need of recipe books or pie baking gear, but obviously the berries and the pies are the real main attraction.
Olallie picking season will officially end June 25th, but blackberries and raspberries are usually in full swing mid June through July. If you’re aching to pick your own olallieberries, you best head out to Gizdich Ranch this weekend. Apple season will begin really ramping up come September. Thankfully you can always snag a (slice of) pie, or an apple slush, anytime of the year at the ranch.
55 Peckham Road
Watsonville, California 95076
Hours: Every Day 9:00am to 5:00pm
Phone: (831) 722-1056
Pricing (All in USD): Pie Slices $3.85 to $4.35, À La Mode Add $2.85 to $3.95, Whole Pies $12.05 to $14.55, Puff Pastry $2.80, Apple Dumpling $4.05, Coffee, Milk and Tea $1.40, Apple Slush $2.20, Slush Float $3.45, Juice Pop $1.70