Taste North Coast apple harvest
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 1:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 1:37 p.m.
It may not be a remedy for all that ails you. But crunching into a crisp apple is one of those quintessential pleasures of autumn.
Vestiges of the old apple orchards remain on the North Coast, with nice opportunities to mark the season by picking your own or stocking up on fresh baked pies, sauces, cider and other goodies.
For a perfect fall drive, head to Sebastopol to stock up on everyone's favorite fruit.
Twin Hill Ranch offers old-fashioned U-Pick apples. Grab your own bags. The harvest here is as easy as apple pie. The dwarf trees have plenty of low-hanging fruit, so even kids can have the experience of picking. Apples are only $1 a bushel.
Right now the late varieties are ready, like Rome Beauties and Fujis, along with some Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. The longtime family farm, purchased two years ago by Jeff and Kelley Palk, also still makes its famous apple bread, as well as pies, cookies, juice and cider, along with other crafts and goodies, available in their Country Store. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. 1689 Pleasant Hill Road (twinhillranch.com.)
A less well-known gem is the Apple-A-Day Ratzlaff Ranch, where you can pick your own or buy farm-grown apples kept in cold storage. Yelpers rave about their apple juice. Cost is $1 a pound. 13128 Occidental Road. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 823-0538.
Kozlowski Farms has been baking pies ever since matriarch Carmen started the tradition 60 years ago. The farm store is jammed with jams, chutneys, apple butters and more. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. 5566 Gravenstein Highway N.
Pie lovers — and who doesn't love pie — can't pass through Sonoma County's apple country without a stop at Mom's, where Betty Carr, the pie pusher, has perfected the art of the flaky, double-crust, hand-rolled pie, using fresh, local Gravensteins and Granny Smiths. 4550 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol. 823-8330.
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