I-Pick, U-Pick! It’s Apple Season!

Who doesn’t love the fall?  The weather turns cooler (or, for us in So. Cal. it dips into the cool mid-70s), thoughts turn to the approaching holiday season, people start baking and apples are in season! 

Yes, there is a season for apples.

You may not realize it as apples are available year-round in all grocery stores, but apples are best when the season shifts from summer to fall.  And they are definitely best when bought from local sources, such as your farmers’ market, or picking them straight from the orchard!  Bypass the apples flown in from Chile sitting in your grocery store.  Not only are they picked before they are ripe–producing less flavorful fruit–but, it puts an enormous strain on the planet by shipping them from the southern hemisphere to us here in the US.  Hello carbon footprint!  There is simply no reason to purchase apples (or any other fruit or veg) shipped from another country when we grow the exact same produce here.  Seriously, give this a try.  Just eat seasonally.  Your food will not only taste better, but you will be getting more nutrients, ie, more bang for your buck, and putting less strain on the planet.

At Riley's Farms from left to right: The Colonial Farm, Stream Footbridge, Farm Stand, A Lone Crabapple Tree, Whetstone and Stream Bridge
Los Rios Rancho, from left to right: U-Press Cider, Cumulus Clouds Over the Mountains, Los Rios Rancho Cider

To celebrate the beginning of fall, BH and I took a day-trip to Oak Glen, California where apple orchards outnumber LA day-trippers.  This has been a long-standing tradition in my family, and, for me, it always signals the beginning of autumn.  We visited a few different farms: Riley’s Farm, Los Rio Rancho and Snow-Line Orchards.  Not only were apples available, but pears, raspberries, blackberries and pumpkins.  We ended up buying some Pippin and Gala apples, cider from Los Rios Rancho and of course, the apple cider doughnuts from Snow-Line Orchards.  Such a fantastic way to spend the day–actually interacting and engaging with my food.  Here are some pics from the day.  Truly glorious weather and even better company.

Snow-Line Orchards, from Left to Right: Apples Signage Inside the Shed, "Snowline", Mutsu and Macintosh Apples and Lura Red and Red Delicious Apples
Apple Cider Doughnuts from Snow-Line Orchards, Left to Right: Doughnut Batter Being Dropped into Hot Oil, Freshly Made Doughnuts Get a Shower of Cinnamon and Sugar, Doughnut Line Signage and Fresh (HOT) Apple Cider Doughnuts--YUM!

Have you ever been apple-picking?  Did you enjoy it?  What’s your favorite autumn recipe?

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5 thoughts on “I-Pick, U-Pick! It’s Apple Season!

  1. I have found too that eating in season does mean you save money. Eating in season where I live though would mean I could not eat a variety of fruit and veggies during the cold and snowy winter months.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Colline. In addition to saving money, eating seasonally also helps the environment–which, to me, is crucial.

    But, you bring up a good point about those living in colder climates. I remember when I lived in Italy the farmers’ markets were driven by whatever produce was being grown at time. So, in winter when delicate salad greens and tomatoes were gone, the focus was on hearty greens, root veg and radicchio, for example. Although the markets didn’t have the same wide variety found during the hot summer months, it was a time to celebrate what was coming from the ground at that time.

    Do you think there is a good solution/option for those living in colder climates who want to eat as seasonally as possible?

  3. I found you through twitter and this Is my first time reading your blog. I’m delighted to find someone that I have a common interest and concern about food. So far, I am really enjoying your blog.

    Pertaining to this article- I did go apple picking this fall as well. I loved that the apples were fresh, and the orchard that I went to have a much larger variety of apples then they do at the grocery store. The only thing that was a turn off was that the prices were higher than store prices, even though they were pick your own. This was at least the case for this orchard we went to this year. The orchard that we have gone to in the past was much more reasonable and cheaper, but they closed down when the owner passed away.

    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog. Please continue to check back as I write new posts. Apple picking is one fall tradition that I cannot give up, no matter how busy I am, or how expensive it can be (and yes, picking your own apples is actually more expensive than buying in the grocery store!). Now that the weather has begun to cool down here in So. Cal I think a homemade apple pie is in order. I’m thinking Caramel Apple Pie or maybe Tarte Tatin?

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