Maybe I am the last person to know this, but there is an apple orchard in El Sobrante!! The Old Apple Orchard is right by the library at 4165 Garden Lane, within shouting distance of where I lived for six years. The orchard is nestled in against the creek on a 1/2 acre lot. They do school tours there, and on weekends you can come by and pick your own organic apples for $1/pound. They accept cash only.
Most of the trees date back from the '60s. The owner described the varieties as "vintage". I don't know if that is a synonym for "heirloom" or something else entirely, but all the apples are crisp and sweet. The trees all came from Stark Bro's Nurseries, a company that has sold plants since 1816. Apparently this is a good time to plant fruit trees. I love picking fruit, and now thanks to my enthusiastic children I have 29 pounds of apples. You can bet I'll be writing about apples a lot for the next month. Apple pie, apple jam, caramelized apples, brandied apple rings, baked apples, apple crisps, and applesauce. I'll be trying it all!
With so many apples, I was thinking about either buying an apple peeler for $20 or trying a method I saw on youtube using a vegetable peeler and a battery operated drill. I'll let you know what works.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!