Going Apple Picking | KCET
Going Apple Picking
You might remember that I postponed an apple picking trip several weeks ago when we had that heat wave. Well... now the weather is crisp and cool and the picking trip was rescheduled for last Sunday. On Saturday, I realized the You Pick orchard in Oak Glen that I had planned to visit was closed on Sundays. So, I googled around and found Sky Meadow Farms in Leona Valley: open on Sundays!
My pickers converged, the car was packed, coffee was procured, GPS was set and off we went. Leona Valley is a bit closer to Hollywood than Oak Glen. It was a fascinating drive. I'm still not exactly sure where we went... we drove past Burbank to Palmdale and then drove a little more. As the flatlands gave way to hills, an odd mix of trees--some with these big, wide, prehistoric looking leaves--lined the roads. Up and up we wound, past imposing rock formations and a body of water, probably a reservoir, sprinkled with a few verdant islands. After just about an hour of driving, we saw the sign for Sky Meadow Farms.
A grove of bare cherry trees (I'll be back for those next season) and green apples stood across from the barn. A dozen green apples joined the Arkansas Blacks and Fujis in my bucket. It was cold enough to need a jacket and the wind through the trees was a perfect autumn soundtrack. I love being able to really feel a season and with every thump thump of an apple meeting the bottom of a bucket, I felt more embraced by fall.
Most of their apples are $1 a pound, the Arkansas Blacks were $2 a pound and the guys weighing the fruit were both friendly and a little loose with their poundage estimates. When the scale said five, the guy said, "ehhh, three." Fruit is bagged and weighed in the barn. Across from the giant hanging scale is a little wood-burning stove that, while we were there, lightly scented the barn with sweet smoke. Was there not already a dog curled up in front of the fire, I would have laid down there myself.
Sky Meadow Farm's website promises that "you will experience a very Relaxed and Calm feeling, as if you were set back to a date in time when time was of no importance." They delivered. It was so relaxing, walking around, swinging my bucket, filling my lungs with fresh, cool air.
These guys were not nearly as zenned out. They didn't seem very impressed with our apple picking skills: they mooed at us the whole time we were in the orchard across the fence from them.
Sky Meadow Farms is open only on weekends. It's not terribly far from Los Angeles, but it feels like it is. And right now, the apples are lovely and the peaches are sweet.