Tuesday, May 26, 2009

LOCAL HARVESTS - Local Pick-Your-Own Fruit Orchard in the Antelope Valley of Southern CA

Ruth Sandra Sperling
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I am a strong supporter of getting at least produce that is relatively locally grown.

Of course, I live in California, a major agricultural state. When I shop locally, I make a point of watching where the produce comes from and I usually make a point of buying locally, which for me means California or maybe Mexico.



I make another point of not buying anything from a different continent - including Central America and South America and Europe, etc. I really think it is funny when the local stores here in the Antelope Valley of Southern California have fruit and vegetables from Chile -- just saw some green grapes last Friday, but they were from Chile, so I put them back.



One of the reasons I think it is so funny is that the Antelope Valley of Southern CA is agricultural and there are various orchards and even a few vineyards and other agricultural business right in our own valley.



I personally know of a small Pick-Your-Own fruit orchard a few miles from where I live in the east Antelope Valley.



I've been getting fruit from there during the season when they have fruit for years now -- and my personal experience is that you can't compare the fruit you can pick fresh off the trees there to anything you can buy at any grocery store - or even any of the farmer's markets or fruit stands that I have been to.



Of course, I prefer to pick my own, though I sometimes get the pre-picked fruit they have available also (for those who can't or don't want to pick their own). When you pick your own, you get it ripened on the tree to the level of ripeness that you like.

About the first 4 weeks of the picking season each year, they have 2 varieties of apricots. Now apricots are one of my favorite fruits of all time -- and I could never find ones in the stores or markets that taste as good as theirs -- but I am picking right off the tree!! I pick as much as I can during the weeks they have them -- then some I halve and pit and put in the freezer before they go bad -- after all I can only eat so much!! I remember that last year I still had some in the freezer in September.



They have different varieties of Peaches starting about early July through about mid-October.



They also have Plums and Pears and lots of varieties of Apples!!



This March, I still had a few of their apples in my refrigerator from last fall (they had lasted a long time) -- I was not supposed to be eating fresh, raw fruit at the time -- so I cut them up to make apple sauce in my crockpot and it was so yummy!!

IF YOU LIVE ANYWHERE NEAR THE ANTELOPE VALLEY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA -- OR WILL BE PASSING THROUGH, YOU MIGHT WANT TO STOP BY AND PICK A PAIL OF FRUIT (OR MORE!).


There are various Pick-your-own Orchards in the Antelope Valley.


I have found out that this year they expect to open sometime mid to late June with Apricots - and they expect a plentiful crop. That is an estimate - they open when they have fruit that can be picked. You can call - at this time of year they either have a message on their answering machine or whoever answers the phone will know what is happening.

IF YOU LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY, CHECK http://www.localharvest.org TO SEE WHAT LOCAL FOODS YOU CAN FIND WHERE YOU LIVE. 


 I JUST CHECKED AND FOUND Morgan Botanicals from Tehachapi, CA who I am now following on Twitter.



I'll bet if you check it out and try it, and maybe even do some comparisons, you'll find that local fruits and veggies taste better than others that travel long distance.



It is also better environmentally - as no travel means no carbon emissions from transporting the food (this is called eating low carbon).



My fresh herbs in my own container garden in my yard taste better than any dried herbs could taste and, since I snip off the plant when I want to use them, they are better than any fresh ones you can buy in the stores!!



For the best fruits, vegetables -- and meats, if you can find them -- GO LOCAL!!






Ruth

2 comments :

Kimberly said...

Ruth, I love your blog! I've awarded you the "One Lovely Blog" award, stop by my blog and grab the button.
Blssings,
Kim

Beholden-To-Nature (Kenna) said...

I sell my work sometimes at certain art-friendly farmers' markets, and I just love it b/c I come home with the most delicious FRESH, aromatic fruits & vegetables! Big fan.