Growing up in California, we have the pleasure of having access to the best produce in the country and maybe even the world as most of the food grown in this state gets shipped all over.
I have always wanted to go Apple picking for years and it just never happened until this year. Baking season is upon us, and what better way to get the freshest ingredients than going straight to the food source; the farm of course!
I did my research to find some farms for us to visit and what I found was a wonderful area in Yucaipa ( although the website says Oak Glen) that has several farms on Oak Glen Road that travels on a loop and you can visit a few farms to pick apples and many other activities for the whole family.
Our original plan was to visit a farm called Willowbrook Farms that has apples grown on 100 year old trees and many photo opps for the photo album. Unfortunately, when we got there, or at least in the area there was quite a bit of traffic and most parking going up there was on the side of the road and there was no parking to be had. Now, we did go on a Saturday which in hind sight was probably not a good idea, but we waited for 3 weeks to come. I had no idea how popular apple picking was, but we found out.
The first farm we came upon was Rileys at Los Rios Rancho. It was huge and very crowded. At first we thought maybe we should be going here, but it didn’t matter ‘cuz parking was crazy so we kept moving ahead to our destination Willowbrook. Soooooo we missed the entrance to Willowbrook, no where to turn around so we kept going and came upon another farm called Oak Glen Apples at Rios Rancho. We decide to hit the other farms on our way back.
This farm had everything! Apple picking, a corn maze which we didn’t have time, an animal farm, berry picking, a pumpkin patch, tracker ride tours, make your own cider, and a bakery/general store.
The way it works for apple picking is they point you in the direction of varieties of apples which were Rome, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious. They give you a bag of 5l bs, 11 lbs, or a crate. You pick as much as you want then they weigh it and that’s what you pay. We picked Rome, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith. That came to almost $30 for about 13 lbs. We could’t find any Golden Delicious.We also picked a small amount of red raspberries.
Many of the farms have other varieties like Gala, Pippin, Spartan, Staymen Winesap, and Virginia Winsap, Honey Crisp, Braeburn, and Arkansas Black. Not all are available for picking.
They also provide tours, private events, and weddings. I can see why. It was such a beautiful day to enjoy everything.
We stopped back by Willowbrook farms but they were closed!! I was pretty upset since that was supposed to be our original destination. There’s always next year. We were able to visit Rileys farm though.
The gift shop at Rileys was cute and set up like a mercantile shop with soaps, crafts and of course apple cider. I’ll take one please. I’ll be using it in some of my recipes. They had a restaurant and a big bakery and store. That’s where I got some Crab Apples. I’ve never had a crab apple in my life but I was really curious as to what to do with them. I‘ll figure that out later. That’s the fun of new things.
We had fun and will be coming back next year.
Apple Recipes you will love:
Rum Spiced Crab Apples
Dutch Apple Cranberry Pie
Mile High Apple Pie
Upside Down Apple Bread with Toffee Sauce