Monday, June 29, 2009

Cherry Picking in the Leona Valley

June is Cherry Picking Time!

Two weekends ago I was looking for a family friendly activity. My parents and sister were visiting and we could not decide what to do with the day until we discovered that it was Cherry season.

The Leona Valley is only an hour from Edwards (Take CA-14 to exit 35 for CA-138 and keep right at the fork toward Lake Hughes.) There are at least 12 cherry orchards to pick from (no pun intended.) A complete list can be found through the Leona Valley Cherry Grower's Association.

We decided to visit Amber's Cherries. Amber's Cherries had a vairety of cherry trees including my sisters favorite, rainier cherries. Each tree was marked on the trunk to tell you what type of cherry was growing - unfortuantly we never fully figured out the system. Regardless, we spent an hour filling our baskets with cherries and hatching a plan to make cherry pie when we got home.

Not to stray to far from family tradition, we stumbled upon the Leona Valley Winery. They were technally closed, having just had their Rock the Fault Line Vineyard Celebration the night before, but they served us anyway. The tasting room was a little barn set up on the far side of the property where we enjoyed the company of the vineyards golden retriever while we sampled the wines.

The hour drive home was punctuated with a search for a cherry pitter and pie-crust. Unfortuantly Target was completly sold-out, Albertsons' does not carry cherry-pitters and no one on base could track theirs down. So.. Jeff and My mom hand pitted the cherries for the pie. At the end of the day there is nothing quite as tasty as a pie you picked the cherries for yourself.

My mother sent us a cherry pitter as soon as she got home.. so when you go cherry picking next season you are welcome to borrow ours!
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