LA Apple Picking

“Your efforts will be worthwhile.”

I wanted to do something involving fall fun recently. Apple picking seemed like the best option. Sure, Los Angeles isn’t known for its apples (I have lived in New York, so I’ve seen the beautiful orchards out there). However, it’s got a nice share of U-pick farms in the San Bernardino area.

Oak Glen boasts a number of ranches. It has a scenic loop with a bunch of apple-based businesses. We decided to check out the following destinations on our recent trip:

Los Rios Rancho. A 103-year-old ranch, it’s Southern California’s largest historical apple ranch. When we got there, we had a choice of picking Rome apples or Fuji apples. We followed the marked pathways and found the apple trees roasting in the hot sun. (And admittedly, some of them were already picked over by birds and humans.) However, we still came away with a bag bursting with fruit. The apples we picked seemed more dense than their store-bought cousins. Their taste had a wholesome sweetness to them with a slight edge of tartness.

apple picking

Across the way from the U-pick area (and still a part of Los Rios Rancho) lies their store and restaurant. Over there, we were able to make our own cider. This involved filling up a huge bucket with apples (some of which were overly ripe). The best combination of apples appeared to a be a mix of red and green (to make a more complex cider). Pears were also available to add an even more interesting zest.

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After washing the apples, we placed them in the press and ground the fruit to pieces. Then a wooden beam was added to the machine, and we walked around pushing the bar to press the apples into juice. Since we made raw cider, the drink must be consumed within a week’s time. A gallon was the smallest size that was offered, so in a week’s span, we drank a lot of cold cider, spiced hot cider, and even had cider pancakes.

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In the same area with the cider pressing is the Oak Glen Preserve. This was a fun area to stroll around and explore. It featured a lot of educational placards for kids (and adults!). The preserve displayed different flowers, trees (even tall conifers), and water features.

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After Los Rios Rancho, we also visited…

Snowline Orchard. This place is known for their yummy mini cider donuts! (They also provided free samples of interesting apple ciders, including raspberry and cherry-flavored ones. I liked cherry the best.)

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Fun Fact: Oak Glen is known for their nice “mile-high” climate because of the area’s elevation. (See the pic below of their mile-high apple mile!)

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Foodie Friday: Green Tea Float
Foodie Friday: Pumpkin Donut

Comments

  1. YUM!

  2. Love, love apple picking but also any other fruit picking when in season. It’s true that few people would associate apples and L.A. but there are more to do in and around the city that people suspect too. Enjoy the season, Jennifer!

  3. Nicki Chen says:

    Sounds like fun. And tasty.

    Washington state is known for its apples, and this past weekend I drove past lots of orchards. My daughter lives in Eastern WA where most of the apples are grown, and it was her birthday. The drive between her house and mine takes more than four hours each way, so I didn’t stop. I just soaked up the beauty of the trees heavy with red apples, the sparkling rivers lined with yellow-leaved trees, and the white mts. looking over it all.

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