Apple Picking Is A Great Adventure
The coolness is in the air, the sun is getting thin in the afternoons, it is Autumn and time to go picking the fruit of the land! For years we have gone to Oak Glen and visited Riley's Farms so now that we are retired, we are going again!
Riley's Farm in Oak Glen, California
(1) is Rileys Farm entrance
Nestled in the apple growing foothills of historic Oak Glen, Riley's Farm is a working apple orchard and living history farm featuring pick-your-own fruit, living history education, dinner theater, group banquet facilities and extended, historically-themed overnight stays. See
Getting There Is Easy (Thanks To GPS)
We go north on the 605 to the 91 and catch the 10 to Yucaipa to Oak Glen.
Though the surrounding area has grown exponentially, Oak Glen remains largely unchanged and quite rural. Several of the original ranches are still in operation and apple season is still the biggest draw in the area.
Oak Glen is home to many antique varieties of apples that are no longer commercially produced such as, Ben Davis, Gravenstein, Pink Pearl and more.
This area is also home to some of the last operational cider mills in Southern California, producing unpasteurized and unfiltered raw apple cider.
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family Rosaceae. It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. The tree is small and deciduous, reaching 5-12 m tall, with a broad, often densely twiggy crown.
The leaves are alternately arranged simple ovals 5-12 cm long and 3-6 cm broad on a 2-5 cm petiole with an acute tip, serrated margin and a slightly downy underside. Flowers are produced in spring simultaneous with the budding of the leaves.
The flowers are white with a pink tinge that gradually fades, five petaled, 2.5-3.5 cm in diameter. The fruit matures in autumn, and is typically 5-9 cm diameter. The centre of the fruit contains five carpels arranged in a five-point star, each carpel containing one to three seeds.
Oak Glen California
Oak Glen, California, is a small apple growing community situated between the San Bernardino Mountains and the Little San Bernardino Mountains. The area has been growing apples and other crops for over 150 years, however the native peoples have benefitted from the bounty of acorns and fresh mountain streams for a thousand years. The Cahuilla and Serrano peoples harvested acorns and leached them in the streams to draw out the tannins, many Manos and Metates can still be found in the areas streambeds.
Picking Versus Export
In the past Oak Glen grew apples mainly for export, however in the 1940s several ranches began selling at roadside stands directly to the consumer. In recent years the export trade has all but disappeared and the apple season has become a time for families to visit and get their fruit directly from the growers.