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Crop Report, October 9-16  (Open Monday – Saturday)

We are in the throws of apple harvest – and if you haven’t been up yet, what are you waiting for?  If you have already been up, then it is time for another trip – there will be more apple varieties for you to try.  Along with the apples, we still have pears, pumpkins and berries (Saturday morning only on the berries, as they are at the very end of their season).
Along with the joys of harvesting – you can also do what few Californian’s get to do this time of year (in California, that is):  EXPERIENCE FALL COLOR!   Yes, our trees are beginning to turn from green to the glorious hues of Autumn.  If you want to take that family picture for the holidays NOW is the time, and Riley’s Farm is the place, to do it.  I have included some pictures of the majesty of it all.   Looking for that engagement picture?  Baby’s first Fall outing?  There are SO many backdrops and areas to capture the perfect picture – and you don’t have to travel to another state (or to cold weather) to do it!
And, finally, before I get into the crop report, as if it couldn’t get any better with harvesting, atmosphere, our fantastic Tavern and their food – we close the deal with the cutest of all –
TWIN BABY LAMBS!!!  Mama and babies are doing fine and in the nursery – and they just couldn’t be any cuter.  Sorry for my lousy pictures – but they were always moving – but OH! the spots on them are to die for ❤🐑🐑❤
In our South Terrace, we will have the following:
  • Grimes Golden: Grimes Golden originated in 1790 near the town of Wellsburg in Brooke Co., West Virginia. It is such a popular apple that they have a granite monument commemorating it there in Wellsburg. It is one of the parents of the Golden Delicious. It will have a more complex flavor than the Golden Delicious – so don’t think if you’ve had a Golden Delicious that it will be the same – it is definitely worth the try!
  • Spitzenberg: This is one of the most popular of our Heritage apples – I am sure because it is storied that it was one of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apples and he had some of the trees planted at his Monticello home. It is also believed to be a parent of the Jonathan apple
  • Golden Russet: Golden Russet is a famous, old “Southern” apple which originated in Burlington County, New Jersey in the 1700’s. This apple is very versatile and is excellent for drying. Because of it’s complexity and very tough skin – it is for a more mature and refined palate for eating – but is most noted for making hard cider. Its high sugar content can produce a cider with up to 7% alcohol content.
  • Baldwins: The Baldwin apple was once one of the most popular commercial apples in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s , but a series of brutally cold winters killed off a good portion of the trees, so they were replaced with carieties such as the Macintosh. This apple truly is one of the older varieties as it was first documented as a seedling in Massachusets in 1740. This is a crisp juicy apple, but it does have a tougher skin.
In our Barn Terrace, we will have the following  apples (along with our Ozark Gold and Royal Gala’s, while they last):
  • Red Fuji: The old standard in many grocery stores for sure – the Fuji was introduced in 1900 and has remained a favorite ever since.  Please remember to pick the REDDEST apples for best flavor.
  • Golden Delicious: The Golden Delicious is a tried and true commercial favorite. It hails from West Virginia, 1912. It was such an immediate hit – that Stark Brothers purchased the patent on it in 1914 and put a huge fence up around it to keep people from stealing branches off of it.
The following have been popular these past few weeks, so, depending on the enthusiasm of our guests, these may not be available on the weekend.
  • Red Delicious: This is the first week of the Red Delicious and we do have some that have ripened enough to pick. Please only pick the reddest ones – as there are apples on the trees that are not ready just yet – please leave them be for following weeks.
  • Royal Gala is always a favorite, so make haste if you wish to grab your fresh-off-the-tree gala’s this season, as they are flying from the branches. This will most likely be the last week for them.  These sweet, apples are named “Royal” because they were the favorite of Queen Elizabeth. These are great paired with the following wines: Chardonnay, White Burgundy, White Bordeaux, Pinot Blanc, Viognier, Riesling (off-dry), Gewürztraminer.
We have been getting inquiries as to when our Arkansas Black will be ready.  These apples are highly coveted and they are grown in a part of the farm that is inaccessible to U Pick.  They ripen late in the season (end of October).  There is a very limited supply this year, so if you would like some, please place your order now.  We cannot guarantee how many lbs. each person will be able to reserve – it depends on number of requests and the amount that we have to harvest.  One hungry bear can make all the difference.
  • We are light on all of our berries as we draw to the close of our berry season. We will still have them available on the weekend until they just can’t give any more.
  • We have a good variety on the vine and pre-picked..

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This post was written by Jim Riley

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