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Cherry Picking and other you pick Fruit..

Dayote Apr 27, 2008 03:00 PM

Howdy to all,

I really, really enjoy one farm I go to up by Palmdale. They sell sweet and I think sour cherries plus lavender and OUTSTANDING cherry honey.I have gone to this one place the past 8 years. They use no pesticides, herbicides, while most orchards do up there of course that is why I go to this farm.

Anyways here's a link, they send out e mails when the fruit and flowers are ripe.

Now I have shared one of my secert places. I say this because last year the farms got all froze out and I was one of the lucky few to get cherries at the farm.

But what I really would like to know is if anyone knows of any other great place to pick fruit. I would rather go to a farm and not a farmers market that way I know they have no pesticides etc.

Thanks a ton,


  1. s
    SoCal Foodie Apr 27, 2008 03:58 PM

    Even though I've never been there, Beaumont has an organic cherry orchard. Check out their website:

    1. t
      TheSpaceman Apr 27, 2008 03:59 PM

      thanks for sharing, Dayote! i'm sorry i don't have any to add, but i would like to second your call for others' recommendations: i have 4-year-old twins and would love to take them out to see fruit, you know, GROWING. (having grown up in mostly urban socal, i myself still think that food in its natural setting looks almost miraculous and even, well, unnatural; i'm so much more accustomed to seeing it in grocery-store pyramids. isn't that sad?)

      1. o
        onebite Apr 27, 2008 09:57 PM

        In the fall, you can go apple-picking at Oak Glen, a small town out past Temecula on the way to Palm Springs. There are a bunch of apple farms there with the most incredible apples. Lots of fun for kids and grown-ups. http://www.oakglen.net/

        Underwood Family Farms in Ventura also has a U-pick operation, with blueberry picking starting late May. http://www.underwoodfamilyfarms.com/CropCalendar.htm

        Closer to home, it looks like you can pick strawberries at Cal Poly Pomona, although I've never been. http://www.csupomona.edu/~farmstore/i...

        Happy picking!

        4 Replies
        1. re: onebite
          Das Ubergeek Apr 28, 2008 06:55 PM

          Oak Glen is a lot of fun but it gets VERY crowded at the weekend, particularly in the two cutesy country plazas (one is at Parrish Pioneer Ranch, where they have the best apple butter in the history of history, and the other I don't remember the name of but trust me you cannot miss it).

          Your geography's a little odd, though -- Oak Glen is 30 miles east of San Bernardino, past Yucaipa, about 50 miles north and slightly east of Temecula, and 25 miles due north of Hemet. It's 12 miles south of Big Bear Lake, though there are those pesky mountains in the way, and it's 45 miles west and north of Palm Springs. It's still in "the 909", though. :)

          1. re: Das Ubergeek
            onebite May 4, 2008 08:16 PM

            Sorry, geography was never my best subject! Thanks for the clarification.
            And I agree, it does get awfully crowded on the weekends, but I still find it fun.

          2. re: onebite
            msmd310 May 23, 2008 09:49 PM

            Underwood is great for kids- they have activities (bouncer, pony rides, petting farm)
            PLUS pick your own-
            May- we picked strawberries, then all the lettuce, snap peas, salad veggies- my 3 1/2 year old LOVES it

            1. re: onebite
              allyspinu Jun 3, 2012 08:54 PM

              this website is designed for farmers to list cherry pickup, apples pickup, harvest pickup, fruits pickup and vegetables pickup, also Farm Director has free classifieds for farmers, free farmers market listings, free farm events listings.

            2. monku Apr 28, 2008 07:31 PM

              Orcutt Ranch in Canoga Park.
              Run by the LA City Parks Department.

              Only one weekend in July (you have to call which weekend). Valencia Oranges and white grapefruit.
              $2/shopping bag and $5/medium size box


              1. j
                JimmyBe May 4, 2008 09:54 AM

                Hey great links,

                I have been to oak glen it is just ok for me.

                I have never been to Orcutt Ranch. I will look that one up.

                But I also really like Big John's cherries. But I think what you met dayote was the fact that they use no pesticides, herbicides etc. and most of the other orchards do. The reason this is so big for me is the fact that I try to only buy organic stuff and most orchards up there use round up and a lot of chemicals. Well enough of that I love their cherries. I drive a lot way to eat their fruit.

                Anyways thanks a ton all I can't wait for cherry season,


                1. Das Ubergeek May 4, 2008 09:19 PM

                  Just a note that the season's first cherries were at the Irvine CFM yesterday and at the Culver/Deerfield 99 Ranch today. The ones at the CFM were from Bakersfield; the ones at 99 Ranch, who knows.

                  1. d
                    Dayote May 7, 2008 09:43 AM


                    Thanks a lot for all the great post.

                    I have never been to Oak Glen. It's very far from me. I will look to see if I can bring some friends.

                    Hey Jimmy Be,

                    So I found another Big John's follower. Have you tried there famous Big John's Giants? It is one of the greatest cherries I have every tasted. Let me know if you have. I usually buy some of their black tartarians, white rainers and of course some bings. He has like 12-14 different type of cherries. It is a very special place for me and our family. I usually get a couple of bunches of lavender for the wife too. If I buy a lot of cherries he'll give me some dried lavender satchels too. You can tell I'm hooked on the place.

                    Once again thanks for all the posts,


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Dayote
                      HBGigi May 10, 2008 07:51 AM

                      So where is Big John?

                      1. re: HBGigi
                        JimmyBe May 10, 2008 08:37 AM

                        Hi HB,

                        Big John's is up by Palmdale. It's in a neat little town called Leona Valley. Kind of like and old slice of California. It is totally worth the trip. If you go to the web site www.gatherafruitfulharvest.com it has direction, I just checked it out again.

                        Hey D,

                        You have totally got me pumped up about the about the black tartarians. I have never every heard about them. I just e mailed the orchard and asked about when they will be ready and they said around early to Mid June. I also ask them about other crops and he said they grow lilacs and lavender and this year they were putting in heirloom garlic. I really like garlic so I'm pumped about that too.

                        Hey maybe we can met up there or something.You can show me all those great cherries. I'm really excited aboout those BT.

                        Jimmy Be

                        1. re: JimmyBe
                          FED May 23, 2008 03:28 PM

                          just fyi: there are black tartarians at the Barbagelata stand at the wednesday sm farmers market. also brooks, rainiers and burlats. the tartarians are something folks ought to try. they're one of the last of the old "melting" styles of cherries, rather than the crisp bings.

                    2. j
                      JimmyBe May 8, 2008 08:22 PM

                      Hey Dayote,

                      I have never tried their Giants. Like I said I mainly go because they never use any sprays on their fruit while other orchards up there do. I usually just get there red cherries and fresh lavender. I didn't know about all the other stuff.

                      I better e mail them on their web site to make sure I'm on there list.

                      Also tell me more about their black tartarians.


                      1. d
                        Dayote May 9, 2008 06:28 PM

                        Hey JimmyBe,

                        Here's the thing that I like about the place the best.

                        It's a farm. You get to talk to the people that GROW the food. You get to walk around and try the fruit. You get to ask them what they like. You get to smell the lavender and buy it. You get to taste really honey. This is all before the cherries.

                        Now the black tartarians are a trip. I would never buy them if I hadn't tried them. Their a little smaller then a grape and very black. OMG they are packed with FLAVOR. The owner will walk you around and show you cherries and maybe just maybe if he likes you he will show you the giants. But see you have to talk to them. Not just rush in and pick.

                        Now he has an HEIRLOOM orchard and he gets pick out every year so you have to get on the e mail list not phone in. Yes there are other orchards up there but this places has old old trees and of course use none of that junky chemical stuff. I think it says that on the web site, but all you have to do is ask them.

                        Ok Jimmy is that enough info???

                        Hey Das Uber,

                        How were the cherries in Irvine???

                        I use to live in Orange. So it would be neat to know how they are.

                        See ya all,


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Dayote
                          Jerome May 10, 2008 12:27 AM

                          for cherries in leona valley (661 area- antelope valley-ish)

                        2. d
                          Dayote May 13, 2008 09:30 PM

                          Hey JB,

                          I'm looking at going around fathers day. I usually e mail them to get an idea of when the cherries are ready. I look forward to this all year long.

                          I'll also post an update before I go so that maybe I'll see ya there. It would be fun,


                          1. j
                            JimmyBe May 23, 2008 12:48 PM

                            Hey Dayote,

                            They sent out e mail today and said that they are a week or two away. So maybe I'll see you there on father's day. That would be a neat trip for father's day.

                            see you cherry picking,


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JimmyBe
                              gadflier May 25, 2008 02:03 AM

                              How about pick-your-own blackberries anyone? Thx!

                            2. f
                              fredder Apr 4, 2009 11:47 AM

                              Thank you for posting this.

                              I wanted to go to a farm and Palmdale is not that far.

                              I saw the web site and it does look very fun plus losts of lavender and honey.


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: fredder
                                SIMIHOUND Apr 4, 2009 07:27 PM

                                This seems to be the king of all the websites related to fruit picking. I just found this while Googling for the place in Moorpark (near Simi) that I saw on the news recently.


                                1. re: SIMIHOUND
                                  fredder May 17, 2009 07:48 PM


                                  Sorry for taking so long to respond. Thank for the link.

                                  I'm looking forward to going Big John's this year with my kids and wife.

                                  Thank you

                              2. s
                                sky21 May 22, 2009 10:15 AM

                                Northside Cherries in Leona Valley has lots of trees (and you don't need to climb any ladders). They offer bings, tartarians and rainiers. http://www.northsidecherries.com/

                                1. f
                                  fredder Sep 24, 2009 02:15 PM


                                  Just a quick note, I know that this is very late and I will post more later but it was an excellent time an the orchard and everyone had fun.

                                  I will post there web site and I would sign up for next year.

                                  www.gatherafruitfulharvest.com I think thats the link or you can web search Big John's orchards or ranch.

                                  Lots of luck,


                                  1. f
                                    fredder Apr 25, 2010 10:16 AM


                                    I though I would give everyone an update since cherry season is coming up and this place has cherries that are to DIE for. There were make different types of cherries they had avalible to pick. Talking to some of the girls that work there who were really nice and helpful. They said most of the older tree's were heirloom types of cherries that you can find anywhere else.,but that they also had rainer and utah giants amoung others and my all time fav the Bings.

                                    I also got to see their lavender fresh and dried which came in a ton of colors. Saw their cherry blossom honey, they give a sample if you ask.

                                    I know that cherry season is coming up in June and there are other orchards in the valley. But this really is a great family place with great fruit. They send out an e mail about the season so I would sign up for this awesome fruit and time ASAP.


                                    enjoy it like I have.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: fredder
                                      fredder Jun 27, 2010 01:34 PM

                                      Greetings to all,

                                      I was there eating cherries this morning they are to die for. To die for.

                                      And they are very friendly. They only have one week left.

                                      Take care everyone.

                                    2. c
                                      cambyses Jun 29, 2010 01:49 PM

                                      Sour Cherries only at Cherrytyme in Leona Valley. One day open per season. then they're gone.

                                      1. f
                                        fredder Jul 3, 2010 06:15 PM


                                        I don't know if your talking to me but Big johns has them too. I like to eat them fresh and cooked. They mainly grow them becasue they like them some much. It is neat for me to get sweet and sour cherries at one time at one place.

                                        Here is the web site.


                                        I don't know if that is what you wanted. If you want to go there you better hurry this is the last weekend. I believe they are open the 5th of july too.

                                        Take care.

                                        1. a
                                          alsun12 Jul 9, 2010 12:50 PM

                                          Nothing really cool to add.

                                          But I have been to Oak Glen but sadly not during apple season. I'm going to try this year.

                                          But Big John's looks like a winner and they are still open this weekend. So I may go and eat a few cherries.

                                          I would also like to find a Asian pear farm? The one I went to has closed.

                                          Any help? I rather stay near LA but can go to SanDiego.

                                          1. f
                                            fanboy12 Jun 23, 2011 10:59 AM


                                            I wanted to post on a trip I had to Big John Ranch. I went for the sour cherries. I'm a big fan of them and they are hard to find. I found them and was very happy about the price and type I hate to say it but I rather eat and cook with sour cherries than anything else. The pies from sour cherries are Killer.

                                            But what I didn't know was all the different heirloom sweet cherries they had. They are not the pumped up with chemical kinds you find in the store, but smaller types with flavor and taste. I got some fresh and dried lavender for the wife and some killer honey too.

                                            Overall I was very happy with the farm. It had that old mom and pop feel. The staff was excellent. There are many farms in Leona Valley but I was very Happy and will be back to Big Johns.Orchard in Leona Valley.

                                            Fan Boy

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: fanboy12
                                              Kitchen Queen Jun 23, 2011 02:42 PM

                                              Cool info. I may need to go! Not too far from hom in SCV!
                                              Thx fanboy12!

                                              1. re: Kitchen Queen
                                                LisaN Jun 24, 2011 07:32 AM

                                                Call ahead before you go Kitchen Queen, because of the weather, alot of the farms lost alot of the cherries. I'd make sure they still have some before driving out and being disappointed.. I know the one we go to Northside, was done after the first weekend.

                                                1. re: LisaN
                                                  Kitchen Queen Jul 1, 2011 11:48 PM

                                                  Thank you Lisa - We went and had a great time. We stopped @ Big John's - no problem. Most bings were done but, still came out satisfied. Then we also went to Windy Ridge. The owners there are really nifty. We parked on the lower part of the property and then, we were picked up by cart and taken to the top of the lot. Mr. Windy Ridge, Norm then came by with his tractor and drove us to the trees. I spent most of my time talking to him but, what hubby picked was delish. And yes, Norm said they lost most of their Bings due to the frost in April...

                                                  We also drove to an organic farm on the way out on Bouquet Canyon. It is near the end but farms did still have cherries. Next year, I'll go earlier....:)
                                                  Norm says he'll open the farm mid Sept. for apple picking!

                                                  1. re: Kitchen Queen
                                                    LisaN Jul 2, 2011 09:50 PM

                                                    Oh good. I never made it this year, and the cherries I've had to buy just aren't as good. I'll have to put apple picking on my calendar!

                                            2. s
                                              samtron608 Jun 23, 2011 03:50 PM

                                              when is the best time to hit up Oak Glen for some apple picking?? mid september?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: samtron608
                                                Das Ubergeek Jun 23, 2011 04:02 PM

                                                From about Labour Day through the middle of October. If you want berries as well as apples, go early in the season; if you want late-season apples like Arkansas Blacks, Pippins and Honeycrisp, go later in the season. But whatever you do, try to go on a weekday—the weekends are unbelievably crowded.

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