Tehachapi has long been known for some of the best tree-ripened apples in the country. Depending on the variety and the challenges of the year, harvesting typically begins in late August and continues as late as November.
Over the years, thousands of visitors have traveled to Tehachapi to take advantage of U-pick harvesting, but sadly there are fewer of these opportunities. One longtime apple ranch, Kolesar’s, pulled its apple trees early in 2022.
Pulford’s Appletree Orchard is currently the largest apple grower in the Tehachapi Valley — and Knaus Apple Ranch has been at it the longest. Hope for the best and check with growers for more information as the apple season approaches.
Delicious home-baked items are also available at some orchards, featuring everything from mouth-watering apple crisp to apple butter, apple rings and dried apples. Apple cider is perhaps the most sought-after apple product and tends to sell out quickly.
Tehachapi apple orchards include:
• Pulford’s Apple Tree Orchard, 19440 Highline Road: 15 varieties available, including Red Delicious, Winesap, Rome Beauty, Melrose, Empire, Jonagold, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Spur Gold Blush, Braeburn and Lady Apple. Fresh ciders and jams from Chadmark Farms in Paso Robles are also available. Depending on availability of fruit, hours of operation are September through mid-November, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Orchard tours are available by appointment only during weekdays. Call 661-822-5021 for more information or for directions or visit pulfordappletreeorchard.com.
• Ha’s Apple Farm, 20916 Steuber Road: David and Kyung Ha started apple farming more than 30 years ago. They have since expanded their fruit and fruit product line to include seasonally available grapes, melons, pears, peaches, persimmons and pomegranates. They offer dried fruits, fruit rolls and brittles, jams, jellies, butters, syrups, and vinegars. Visit their online store at hasapplefarm.com for more information.
• Knaus Apple Ranch, 19042 Cherry Lane: U-pick available. Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples are grown. Gift shop on premises with various products available, including gifts and crafts, jams and jellies, butters, apple chips and more. Reservations are required for field trips. Call 661-822-4142 for more information or for directions or visit knausappleranch.com.