4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Pick an apple, any apple

Galas are sweet, Jonagolds are a little tart, and Grannies are really tart

Les Turner (left) of Peacefield Orchard
Les Turner (left) of Peacefield Orchard

“It’s stupidly hot,” I complained to Patrick. “It’s not even a little bit like fall. But we can still pick apples and pretend. Pack up the kids.”

I called Arnold Starr at Apple Starr Orchards in Julian (760-305-2169); he was happy to take the call. “Right now, I have someone else running the u-pick,” he explained. “I’m sitting, relaxing with a glass of Jameson’s, and listening to good music.” I could hear him smiling through the phone and wasn’t a bit surprised when he said that what he mostly sold (besides apples) was charm.

Professor Arnold Starr of Apple Starr Orchard

Apple Starr has about eight acres planted to fruit trees. “We have both apples and pears. Somehow, everybody has got a fixation on the apples because they all come from the Midwest. I have Galas that ripen first, then I have Jonagolds that ripen next, and then after that I think it’s going to be the Fujis, then the Granny Smiths, then the Red Delicious. As for the pears, we have both Red and Green Bartletts, Anjous — both pink and green, Comice, and Bosc. They’re wonderful. It’s boring being a farmer unless you have variety. It’s like being a human being.”

Place

Apple Starr Orchards

1020 Julian Orchard Drive, Julian, CA

In the late ’90s, Starr smelled the organic trend coming in on the breeze. “I somehow sensed the need for that. I was put on probation in 1997 and got certified in 2000. Because I’m organic, I can’t use poisons to control anything. The biggest problem we have is worms. The coddling moth lays her eggs on the tree, and the eggs hatch in the spring. I have to spray the tree with a certified-organic oil, so that when the babies are born, they drown. The other thing I do is disrupt the mating by releasing pheremones. They confuse the male so that he doesn’t know where the female is.”

Starr was hesitant to choose favorites from among his produce. “All the food tastes good. Among the apples, Galas are sweet, Jonagolds are a little tart, and Grannies are really tart. My favorite? I like ’em all. As for the pears, the Bartletts are sweet, and the red ones, you put them in a bowl on the dining room table, it’s a work of art. I like Bosc when I have cheese.”

Besides the trees, he said, “We have a picnic area. Sometimes, some families come early and grab them. I’m not a policeman, I can’t control that. There’s also a hundred-year-old bathroom with a modern toilet. I tried porta-potties, but they’re disgusting, so.... We keep it clean. People complain because they have to wait, but...”

When I asked about prices, Starr said, “You sell apples or pears by the bushel. A bushel is about 44 pounds. There are four pecks in a bushel. So when Adelaide sings, ‘I love you a bushel and a peck’ in Guys and Dolls, that’s a very positive thing. Pickers can buy a peck bag for $25, and if they buy a second one at the same time, it’s $15. We’re open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends. As far as kids go, they have to pick the low branches. If there’s one child and a parent, I can let the child have a picker for the high ones. But if you have two children, each with a picker, they’ll do Ivanhoe.”

Place

Peacefield Orchard

3803 Wynola Road, Julian, CA

Over at Peacefield Orchard in Julian (760-443-3930), Les Turner has 500 trees on two and a half acres, many of them from the original dry-farmed planting. He keeps it open from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends or until he runs out of apples. “We charge an admission fee of $10 [cash only] per person over three years old, and that gets you a half-peck bag that holds six to eight pounds. If you want more, you can buy more. We have Granny Smith and Jonathan and Jonagold and a few Golden and Red Delicious. I think the Jonagold is the best apple ever invented; it’s a cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious. It’s sweet and juicy and stays sharp in pie. And we have a bathroom and some picnic benches and things of that sort.”

Place

Volcan Valley Apple Farm

1284 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian, CA

Finally, Volcan Valley Apple Farm in Julian (760-315-1071) offers Empire, Jonathan, and Gala apples (plus maybe a few others) for $12 a bag. Hours: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. every day.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Dirty Birds proprietor cuts $500 deal with ethics commission

Hitting up Faulconer’s staff for campaign cash draws hand slap
Next Article

Inspired by the Elizabeth and James brand

“I’ve been following the Olsen Twins for practically my entire lifetime”
Les Turner (left) of Peacefield Orchard
Les Turner (left) of Peacefield Orchard

“It’s stupidly hot,” I complained to Patrick. “It’s not even a little bit like fall. But we can still pick apples and pretend. Pack up the kids.”

I called Arnold Starr at Apple Starr Orchards in Julian (760-305-2169); he was happy to take the call. “Right now, I have someone else running the u-pick,” he explained. “I’m sitting, relaxing with a glass of Jameson’s, and listening to good music.” I could hear him smiling through the phone and wasn’t a bit surprised when he said that what he mostly sold (besides apples) was charm.

Professor Arnold Starr of Apple Starr Orchard

Apple Starr has about eight acres planted to fruit trees. “We have both apples and pears. Somehow, everybody has got a fixation on the apples because they all come from the Midwest. I have Galas that ripen first, then I have Jonagolds that ripen next, and then after that I think it’s going to be the Fujis, then the Granny Smiths, then the Red Delicious. As for the pears, we have both Red and Green Bartletts, Anjous — both pink and green, Comice, and Bosc. They’re wonderful. It’s boring being a farmer unless you have variety. It’s like being a human being.”

Place

Apple Starr Orchards

1020 Julian Orchard Drive, Julian, CA

In the late ’90s, Starr smelled the organic trend coming in on the breeze. “I somehow sensed the need for that. I was put on probation in 1997 and got certified in 2000. Because I’m organic, I can’t use poisons to control anything. The biggest problem we have is worms. The coddling moth lays her eggs on the tree, and the eggs hatch in the spring. I have to spray the tree with a certified-organic oil, so that when the babies are born, they drown. The other thing I do is disrupt the mating by releasing pheremones. They confuse the male so that he doesn’t know where the female is.”

Starr was hesitant to choose favorites from among his produce. “All the food tastes good. Among the apples, Galas are sweet, Jonagolds are a little tart, and Grannies are really tart. My favorite? I like ’em all. As for the pears, the Bartletts are sweet, and the red ones, you put them in a bowl on the dining room table, it’s a work of art. I like Bosc when I have cheese.”

Besides the trees, he said, “We have a picnic area. Sometimes, some families come early and grab them. I’m not a policeman, I can’t control that. There’s also a hundred-year-old bathroom with a modern toilet. I tried porta-potties, but they’re disgusting, so.... We keep it clean. People complain because they have to wait, but...”

When I asked about prices, Starr said, “You sell apples or pears by the bushel. A bushel is about 44 pounds. There are four pecks in a bushel. So when Adelaide sings, ‘I love you a bushel and a peck’ in Guys and Dolls, that’s a very positive thing. Pickers can buy a peck bag for $25, and if they buy a second one at the same time, it’s $15. We’re open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends. As far as kids go, they have to pick the low branches. If there’s one child and a parent, I can let the child have a picker for the high ones. But if you have two children, each with a picker, they’ll do Ivanhoe.”

Place

Peacefield Orchard

3803 Wynola Road, Julian, CA

Over at Peacefield Orchard in Julian (760-443-3930), Les Turner has 500 trees on two and a half acres, many of them from the original dry-farmed planting. He keeps it open from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends or until he runs out of apples. “We charge an admission fee of $10 [cash only] per person over three years old, and that gets you a half-peck bag that holds six to eight pounds. If you want more, you can buy more. We have Granny Smith and Jonathan and Jonagold and a few Golden and Red Delicious. I think the Jonagold is the best apple ever invented; it’s a cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious. It’s sweet and juicy and stays sharp in pie. And we have a bathroom and some picnic benches and things of that sort.”

Place

Volcan Valley Apple Farm

1284 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian, CA

Finally, Volcan Valley Apple Farm in Julian (760-315-1071) offers Empire, Jonathan, and Gala apples (plus maybe a few others) for $12 a bag. Hours: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. every day.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Going beyond banh mi at Banh Mi Hoi An

Terrific take-out options include a warming beef stew
Next Article

Inspired by the Elizabeth and James brand

“I’ve been following the Olsen Twins for practically my entire lifetime”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close