Pick your part San Diego
Before the young ones start the barrage of requests for pumpkins and Halloween costumes, why not start the fall season by heading to Julian for apple picking. Julian is a small mining town famous for their apple orchards, apple pies, and old-fashioned fun. During the months of September and October, many orchards open up for u-pick apple visits. Because San Diego does not experience the glorious fall season changes that other parts of the nation enjoy, a Julian apple trip is a nice way to experience the fall season—Southern California style.
Editor’s Note: Be sure to call the orchards ahead to confirm that apples are still available for picking. Because Southern California was hit with such a bad drought the past few years, many of the orchards are not able to stay open as long as in year’s past.
Photo credit: Leah Singer
Volcan Valley Farm
Julian’s largest orchard, Volcan Valley Farm, comes alive with 7, 000 trellis-grown apple trees of red and green apples ready to pick. Choose between seven varieties of apples, including the famed Gravenstein, Red Delicious and Granny Smith. Grab a bag for $12 and then head into the fields to fill it up. You’re allowed to sample the apples as you pick to make sure you are getting the perfect one. The orchard is now open daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. until the apples run out!
Apple Starr Orchards
This Certified Organic Orchard (CCOF) has been growing apples and pears since 2000. Apple varieties currently available for u-pick include Jonagold and Gala apples, and Bartlett pears. Picking season at Apple Starr began Labor Day weekend and lasts until the fruit runs out (typically through early October). The orchard has picking poles available to reach apples way on top of the trees. They also provide red wagons for small kiddos (photo opps!). And families are welcome to bring strollers and wagons. They also have space for picnics, but you supply the chairs and blankets. The cost is $25 for one picking bag (approximately one peck/12 lbs.), with a $15 charge for an additional bag. Make sure you bring cash because Apple Starr only accepts dollars and checks (with ID).