Of course, you’re fastidious about your farmers market fruit but sometimes it’s great to go straight to the source of the goodness.
Starting Wednesday, June 16, you can stand in an orchard, pull a fat, sweet, warm cherry right off the tree, bite into it, and let the juice stain your lips and zing your tongue (and really, it ain’t got a thing if it ain’t got that zing….)
Copeland’s Cherry Ranch in Leona Valley (Palmdale/Santa Clarita adjacent for geography-challenged Go Go’ers) will be opening their gates today for the always-too-short, June-into-July cherry season. (A crop of cherries can disappear quickly so it’s always a good idea to call before you go to make sure the trees still have fruit.) Owners David and Chari (really!) report that their Tietons (a “‘two-bite’ juicy dark red cherry”) are ripe and big. Utah Giants ripen approximately the same time as Tietons; Bing and golden Rainier varieties usually arrive a week later. Plan your photo-op food opportunities accordingly, Go Go’ers.
Orchards affiliated with the Leona Valley Cherry Growers Association guarantee that their fruit is pesticide free; Copeland’s pick-your-own cherries are certified organic and $3.50 a lb. Copeland’s also has wildflower honey for sale; it’s natural, raw, and strained but can’t be certified organic because the bees fly up to two miles away for the nectar. (Those bees! SO hard to control….)
A two-pound “Queenline” glass jar of honey sells for $16.00 and a one-pound, glass bear jar sells for $8. (Ms. Go Go thinks this is the most adorable bear jar she has ever seen and hopes all of her friends are looking forward to their beary special Christmas presents from Copeland’s.)
The Ranch has buckets for picking, water and soda for sale, and sends the cherries off in paper bags; you might want to bring a cooler to keep your cherry babies fresh on the ride home. The orchard is entry-fee-free, and open 7:00AM to 5:00PM. Group picking perk! If you make arrangements beforehand by phone or e-mail, the Copeland’s will open the orchard after 5:00PM if you have a group of 10.
It’s a good thing you have nine, cherry loving, sunset appreciating friends on speed-dial….
Ready? U Know U Want 2 Go Go….
U-Pic Cherries @ Copeland’s Cherry Ranch
Orchard opens Wednesday, June 16th from 7:00AM – 5:00PM
9611 Leona Avenue
Leona Valley 93551
Pick your own Cherries: $3.50 a lb.
Wildflower honey: $8.00 a lb.
Leona Valley Cherry Growers Association