June 14 is my mother's birthday. But I didn't get to celebrate with her because she's 3,000 miles away. Instead, I gave her a phonecall and I visited Santa Cruz's Swanton Berry Farm to get myself some of their strawberry shortcake.
Just a short drive of a few miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1, right on the Pacific coast, is Swanton Ranch. I initially wanted to bike up and eat my shortcake there but the thought of the ride back to Santa Cruz after pigging out on strawberry shortcake deterred me from doing just that. I chose the easier route of hopping in the car and going there.
Swanton Berry Farm is a 100% union shop (their farmstand shop is all about Cesar Chavez). All the farm workers are part of the United Farm Workers. All their produce is also organic and the berry varieties they offer are better tasting, lower yielding berries. They do great work, and their strawberries are beautiful.
Aside from the fresh berries, they do u-pick and they make great jams. But today's not about jam-- Swanton sells strawberry shortcake in ready-to-go plastic tubs in their chiller. I got a couple to take home.
The shortcake was perfect. The cake itself wasn't excruciatingly sweet. It was just right. The berries didn't taste like anything was added to them to boost their flavor. They were fresh yo.
Swanton Berry Farms: union labor + organic strawberries = delicious strawberry shortcake