True to its tradition, Pulford Appletree Orchard opened its gate Sept. 1 and started selling apples.

“The ripening process seems to be about two weeks later than usual,” said grower John Pulford. "We were able to pick 35 boxes of Galas yesterday, enough to get us opened today and on schedule for September 1.”

Pulford Appletree Orchard is recognized as one of the larger apple growers in Tehachapi.

There are other growers, too, most of whom are due to open within the next few weeks. They too are experiencing a little later than usual ripening of their apple varieties. Among those set to open soon are Kolesar’s Apples, RB Family Orchard, Knaus Ranch, and J Ranch Tree Growers. All are within a few miles of the Pulfords' and will be selling during the September to early November picking season.

All sell pre-picked apples. Most will allow you to select and bag your own. Knaus Ranch is one of the few that will let you pick your own if you wish. Kids love this and it adds to the fun of visiting an orchard.

The popular annual Tehachapi Apple Festival will take place this year the weekend of Oct. 13 on Green Street in downtown Tehachapi.

One would think that plenty of fresh-grown local apples will be available at the festival, but beware, many of the local growers are nearly sold out by festival time. Visit the orchards well before the festival to ensure the best selection.