“You cannot sell a blemished apple in the supermarket, but you can sell a tasteless one provided it is shiny, smooth, even, uniform and bright.” – Elspeth Huxley
This is a re-post from a previous year.
Leave those shiny, tasteless apples in the supermarket and head straight to the source instead : your local orchard, produce stand, or farmers market. The fruit is local and in-season so the prices should be competitively priced, if not significantly lower, than what you will currently find in the grocery stores. Plus, you get the added bonus of directly supporting a local grower.
My family lives just east of Portland, but every fall we make at least four different trips over the mountain to Parkdale to get good apples, pears, pumpkins, cider, and memories. The beautiful views, picnic lunches, and hay rides are just icing on the cake.
If you crunch the numbers, it probably seems silly to drive over 120 miles roundtrip for apples. To me, it makes perfect sense. Even my husband, who is a number cruncher extraordinaire, agrees that the time, money, and gas are more than worth it for our family. Plus, he’s counting on at least one apple pie out of the deal.
Looking for orchards near you?
:: If you want to head to the Hood River area, check out a map of the Fruit Loop (three farms are featured below) and the Events Calendar first.
:: Oregon Orchards, listed by region
:: Washington Orchards, listed by region
For the past seven years, my husband and I have been loyal Kiyokawa customers. It is an incredibly well-run family business; they sell any apple and pear your heart desires and many you have probably never even heard of. You can pick your own or load your wagon at their large stand. Their staff is friendly and knowledgeable, eager to offer you samples or recommend their favorite fruit.
Kiyokawa has a kids play area and a hay ride through the orchard. This weekend, they are kicking off their Honeycrisp harvest, with many great events to follow.
This orchard is also family-owned, but is less polished than the Kiyokawa operation. I believe the trendy label would be “rustic.” What they lack in bells and whistles, though, they make up for by being incredibly laidback and friendly.
If you have young children, they will love a stop at Mt. View. There are mini tractors, play structures, and animals. They also offer a hay ride through the orchard. Right now they have several different varieties of pears and a handful of apple varieties. Mt. View also offers U-Pick, saving you around .25/lb. For the month of October, they are offering a coupon for Golden Delicious.
What are some other Oregon orchards you would recommend?
I know Washington grows a crazy number of apples, 108.8 million boxes this year to be exact. I just have no clue where to get them. Where are your favorite apple orchards in Washington?
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Beilke farm in Brooks Oregon is awesome. They have dwarf and semi-dwarf apple trees in a bunch of different varieties and they charge $8/5 gallon bucket which winds up being about 36 cents a pound, for all varieties. Really nice people and apples!
If you have readers in or near Puyallup, the place to go is Terry’s Berries, which is certified organic.
The catch is I talked to Katelyn there today, and she said the apples are running late, so probably not for two weeks.
There is a cider press in Steilacoom this week and one at the Meeker Mansion on the 9th, but you won’t be using apples you’ve picked.
There Is a Harvest Tour this weekend-self guided tours of dozens of farms, many of them organic. I’ve started a little blog for the South Sound. If anyone is interested in more about these, you can check soundsfunmom.com (hope that’s o.k. to mention). I love posts like this one, btw. So great to remind everyone that eating locally can be eating frugally!
Down here in the Eugene area, the absolute best is Deterings between Coburg and Harrisburg. It is entirely family run, super friendly, and they have excellent prices. U pick apples (of over a dozen varieties) are usually 39 cents per pound. They also have hay rides and a haystack maze for the kids. Deterings has u pick peaches, berries, and cherries in the summer. My other favorite is u pick peppers. I chopped and froze about 15 lbs of mixed bell peppers I picked for about $8. Perfect for soups, stews, and stir frys.
We live in Pacific county, WA. Anyone know of a place to get a box of no-spray apples (u-pick is fine) in Pacific or Clatsop county, Oregon? 🙂
Shantel S says
I live in Bellingham, WA. So we go to Stoney Ridge Farm in Everson, WA. They have caramel apple pie, fresh apple cider, pumpkins, and apples to buy. They also have a hay ride to go down to the pumpkin patch and a corn maze. Also, they included a “kid friendly” area that has a little train to ride, a kid maze, and some animals to see. It’s a great place to go and we go every year! 🙂
Lieapold Farms- Octoberfest! Fun for kiddos and family with a corn maze, goodies, and more! We’re actually going to a 1st birthday there, should be fun =)
Love the pictures!
Oh man, I used to live out right in the midst of the Orchards just outside Yakima, WA. It was so awesome to just go with the kids and go pick, definately a fun time that I will always remember. I need to now pick a day and go find a new orchard here in the Tri-Cities area.
Love this post! Thanks for the reminder.
Greenbluff, WA which is just north of Spokane is a wonderful farm community. My family loves Walters Farm. They have tractor rides, games for kids, pies and food, live music on the weekends. Apples, pumpkins and other local veggies in there shop. Fresh apple cider too. We go every year.