“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
:: Kiyokawa Family Orchards
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.
:: Mt. View Orchards
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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