Enjoy life with a bowlful of real family farm fresh u-pick cherries! Yep, it's Cherry picking season once again in Leona Valley, just 9 miles west of Palmdale and around 60 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles.
The season starts off with a old fashioned family friendly Cherry Parade and Festival. This year is the 40th anniversary of the event, and so the theme is "Cherry Jubilee - 40 Fruitful Years." It's always held on the first Saturday of June, and Saturday, June 1st will be the date for this hour long parade. Floats, community queens, horses, and antique cars will parade by on the Leona Avenue parade route. Ever had a deep fried cherry burrito? This is your chance to enjoy this sweet treat and local seasonal favorite of mine! (wide grin) Kids (and the kids at heart) will love participating in (or watching) the cherry pie eating contest. . . bring your napkins! (smile)
All of the orchards here are pesticide free, and some are certified organic. Sweet cherries will be available starting June 1 and sour varieties will be available in July. Honey made from the bees pollinating the cherry trees is often available at the orchards, and picnic tables, wagons for the kids to ride on, and more are also available at many of the 20 or so orchards in this slow paced rural valley, settled by German immigrants in the 1870's who came here via the Butterfield Stage Line.
No credit or debit cards for your purchases here, though. Bring old fashioned cash. These are family farmers, after all, and they keep it simple. My experience is you get a larger, sweeter cherry by picking them yourself at about half the price of the supermarket. . . not a bad deal. Come on over to Leona Valley starting June 1st until the cherries are all picked. Here's a link about the orchards in the area, which has a "directions" tab to the site: http://www.cherriesupic.com/welcome.html