Name: Randy Pudwill
Farm: Pudwill Berry Farms
Location: Nipomo, CA
What They Grow: A variety of colorful raspberries including purple raspberries, black raspberries, orange raspberries, and gold raspberries. They also sell juicy blueberries, boysenberries, mulberries, and Mara des Bois strawberries.
Where to Buy: Farmers markets including Saturday in downtown Santa Barbara and Sunday in Ojai.
In Season Now: Besides their year-round selection of berries, Pudwill’s also carries figs and currants.
Their Story: Originally established as a turkey farm, Pudwill Farms is a 59-acre family farm, started by Randy Pudwill’s father. Since 2000, Randy Pudwill has acted as farm manager and swears by the power of berries.
“Why wouldn’t you eat berries?!” asked Pudwill. “With countless health benefits, they are nature’s best cancer preventor, full of beneficial antioxidants. Change your lifestyle because it’s what you can do.”
One of the original growers of raspberries on the Central Coast, Pudwill Farms is a veteran of the farmers market, growing berries since 1986. While not certified organic, they use Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)-approved materials, from fish protein for fertilizer to integrated pest management.
“We are lucky that our soil is very rich to begin with,” said Pudwill. “The turkeys left us with sandy, clay soil that is rich in nutrients, making it easier to grow flavorful berries. Kids love to squeeze them!”
Popular with kids and adults alike, Pudwill has enlisted his stepson Jimmy Powell to help with the markets. Catering to all the major restaurants in Los Angeles, Pudwill Farms has earned a reputation for quality service and family values.
“Working the markets is really fulfilling, especially working alongside my stepson,” said Pudwill. “It’s a really neat process to get something passed down to me, and I hope to do the same.”
6 cups of fresh Pudwill Farms blueberries
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (for thickening)
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter (unsalted)
1 Tbsp. milk
1) Prepare the crust. Roll out half of the dough to 1/8-inch-thick circle on a lightly floured work surface, about 13 inches in diameter. Fit the dough over a 9-inch pie pan, and trim the edges to a 1/2 inch over the edge all around the pan. Put into the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
2) Gently mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Transfer them to the chilled bottom crust of the pie pan. Dot with butter pieces. Roll out remaining dough to the same size and thickness as the first. Place on top of the berry filling. Tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough, and crimp the edges with your fingers. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425F.
3) Whisk egg and milk together to make an egg wash.
4) Remove the unbaked pie from refrigerator. Brush the top with egg wash. Score the pie on the top with 4 cuts (so steam can escape while cooking). Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a parchment paper-lined baking pan positioned on the lower rack to catch any filling that may bubble over.
5) Bake for 20 minutes at 425. Reduce heat to 350F, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and have thickened. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before serving. Makes 8 servings.