CHILENO VALLEY RANCH
Located just outside Petaluma on Marin’s northernmost coast, this ranch is open to visitors for apple and pear picking every Sunday from mid-August to the end of October. Chileno Valley Ranch grows nearly 20 varieties of these fruits, which ripen at different times during the season. On any given U-pick day, three or four varieties will usually be ripe. It’s a popular activity, so reservations are required and they’re bookable online. The farm’s grass-fed beef and local bounty like Nicasio Valley Cheese, Bloom Bee Honey and Chileno Valley Olive Oil are also for sale.
This 14-acre family farm in Sebastopol offers apple picking via a U-pick CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) program. Picking is members only, though you are automatically a member for a year when you buy a case of the farm’s juice for $40. Apples each season include McIntosh, Gala, Gilbert Golden, Jona Gold, Fuji and Rome, the latter two in October. Membership sign- up happens weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment during the week.
Depending on availability of ripe apples, picking season is typically September through early December at this family-run Sebastopol ranch. Along with Gravenstein, Golden Delicious and Rome apples and pears, it produces Apple-A-Day apple juice, winner of numerous Sonoma County Harvest Fair awards. Fresh cider is also for sale during U-pick season. Dress appropriately for farmyard walking. On-site picnic tables are available for lunch.
Photos courtesy of iStock.