Great Date Idea: Andy’s Orchard

My friends the W sisters invited me to go apricot picking Sunday. We left really early and headed to Morgan Hill and Andy Marinai’s Orchard. It was $15 for all you can eat stone fruit sampling (like a farmer’s market but with a much wider variety of fruit, jams, chocolate covered fruit…), a farm tour (Did you know it’s the pits that flavor cherry cola?) and picking (also all you can eat stone fruit sampling). According to KQED Food, “Mariani’s 250-plus varieties of stone fruit — cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums and hybrids — represent the most extensive collection of heirloom fruit on the West Coast.” Andy is a wizard of horticultural.

At the tasting, I filled my belly. My favorite was the Raspberry Red Nectarine. I was very patient and didn’t elbow any fathers or step on any kids (it was Father’s Day). It’s a tasty zoo. I don’t make for the best agrotourist because the fun fruit facts from our docent bored me and it was really hot. I soon wandered into the trees. There were cherries to pick. I got a few plums. I was disappointed that the apricots were either not ripe or cracked. I bought some in the store.

My friends made a delicious not too sweet fruit tart with a biscuity crust. My coworkers raved about the delicious cherries. I went cherry picking outside of Los Angeles once and the trees were rather stumpy. It was like fishing with a net. I recommend picking at Andy’s Orchard as a fun family activity. If you’re like me and don’t have a family, take your foodie friends or a date. You can feed each other sweet things and show off your adorable straw hat.

Andy’s Tips

  1. Don’t buy Styrofoam fruit at the grocery store and find a trusted farmer at the market because sometimes you’re being sold that same Styrofoam fruit illegally.
  2. Know what’s in peak season.
  3. Speckled nectarines are the sweetest.
  4. Don’t be afraid to smell the fruit to check for ripeness except plums and cherries.
  5. Don’t cook peaches.
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Great Date Idea: Andy’s Orchard

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