Sunday, September 28, 2008

Apple Picking at Riley's Farm in Oak Glen


As I write this, I am eating a bowl of delicious raspberry ice cream. Well, actually, it isn't raspberry ice cream, it is vanilla ice cream with a bunch of the raspberries that we picked yesterday mixed into it. And it is wonderful.

Here is Torrey (and Alethia) picking the berries

And here is the result of our labors. The fields were quite well picked over this late in the year, so it took about two hours to get this many, and although we could have fit more in our baskets, the fading of daylight (and stiff backs) drove us to end our day in the fields and head for home.

But there I go getting ahead of myself. I've started with the end of the day. The main reason we headed for the hills yesterday was for the apples. We stopped in at Riley's Ranch, a quaint little place with staff running around in colonial outfits. They told us that the apples we were picking were Glen Seedlings (we did pick a few Golden Delicious too). Apparently the Glen Seedling is a variety of apple developed right there in Oak Glen, and it is supposed to be great for cooking. The pies have yet to be made, but the apples are ready and waiting. I don't know what varieties of apples are in these pictures.


Alethia thought she was a pirate, me thinks.

I suppose even pirates need naps.

I love berry picking. I mean, I really love berry picking. I think it may have something to do with all the hours I spent as a child up the fruit trees that were all over Yarina, but whatever the case may be, I was thrilled to find that there were wild blackberry bushes along the paths through apple orchard. Yum!

Riley's farm grows a number of edibles, like this sunflower.

They also grow strawberries and pears and cherries and corn and pumpkins and... well, that reminds me of something we saw at the farm. I hope this woman was joking, but I saw no indication that she wasn't seriously... horticulturally challenged. She was walking along when she called out to a friend "hey, I just found a pumpkin. It fell off the tree." And she picked up - a watermelon. I really hope she was joking.

So our day in the hills was great fun. It was so nice to get outside for most of a day after several months of being mostly home bound with Alethia. Here is a shot of the setting sun on the hillside behind the farm reflecting in a window.

And a parting shot: Fall is coming.

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