There is honestly nothing better than picking an apple from a tree, rubbing it on your shirt sleeve and biting right into it. And this experience only gets better if you have, say, your 8- and 11-year-old with you, some ducks are flying overhead and the farm dog has decided to join you.
Where can you have this experience? There are plenty of orchards and you-pick farms in the Sierra Nevada, but nothing really beats Apple Hill, just east of Placerville on Highway 50. There you’ll find dozens of kid-friendly places to pick—and no one minds if you sample a bit as you go. Most farms also have on-site bake shops, chilled ciders, picnic areas and nature trails.
Fill as many 20 pound boxes as you wish from mature apple trees (some are 70+ years old). Open weekends, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Call for ripening dates. 4220 North Canyon Road, Camino, CA, 530-640-3862.
24 Carrot Farm
Pick from established apple orchards at this certified organic farm. Open seven days a week in September and October, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 2731 Jacquier Road, Placerville, CA, 530- 391-8582.
Denver Dan’s Apple Patch
Find many varieties of apples, as well as “Cookin’ Kids” pie-making classes. Open daily starting Aug. 31, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 4354 Bumble Bee Lane, Camino, CA, 530-644-6881.
Discover heirloom apples at this certified organic farm. Open daily 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Advanced reservations required. 4341 Pony Express Trail, Camino, CA, 530-644-6448.
Goyette’s North Canyon Ranch
Pick apples in the orchard, as well as sunflowers and Indian corn in the garden. Open holidays and weekends starting Sept. 8, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., or by appointment. 3825 North Canyon Road, Camino, CA, 530-622-9299.
Harris Tree Farm
This seven-generation historic farm allows apple picking, farm stays and camping. Open Thursdays–Sundays throughout August and September, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 2640 Blair Road, Pollock Pines, CA, 530-644-2194.
Produce in AUGUST/SEPTEMBER
Almonds, Apples, Blackberries, Chestnuts, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Kiwis, Melons, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Plums, Pluots, Pomegranates, Quinces, Raspberries, Strawberries
Artichokes, Green Beans, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Ginger Root, Okra, Olives, Onions, Peppers, Potatoes, Summer Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatillos, Tomatoes
By Thea Marie Rood
Photography by Nash Rood