Farm & Table

Farmer In The Field

Fall Farms: Apples, Berries and Fun

BONNIE SWANK
SwankFarms.com

Many people go their whole lives without ever visiting a farm. Don’t be one of these people.

Many people go their whole lives without ever visiting a farm. Don’t be one of these people.

Apples and pumpkins are two fruits that truly represent the feeling of fall: think hot apple cider on a chilly day or the aroma of apple baking in the oven. Gathering the family to visit an apple ranch parallels the experience of visiting a pumpkin patch or Christmas tree farm.

In today’s world there are so many children and adults who have never been on a farm, and as a result they don’t think much about where their food comes from. Once a child visiting our 20-plus acre corn maze asked, “Is the corn real?” Let me tell you about two local farms that grow apples, berries and fun.

Prevedelli Farms in Watsonville is owned by a fourth-generation farming family. They grow more than 40 varieties of apples and five varieties of berries, all organic. Like us, they’re part of the farmers market world. You can’t go to their farm and pick your own, but you can visit their store, located on the farm, or stop by one of the several farmers markets they attend to get to know them. Their fruit is excellent and their name is well respected among local chefs. If you would like to experience the farm in September, they host a farm dinner set in the orchard. It’s too late for this year but you may want to check it out and mark your calendar for 2017.

Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville, also family-owned, is well known in our neck of the woods. I took my kids here when they were little, but I think that was before they started making “out of this world” pies. Yes, they have a bake shop where you can sit down and enjoy a slice of pie or purchase a whole fresh baked pie to take home. They also process their own apple and olallie fruit juices on property, and customers are invited to watch the process September through April. The ranch also grows five different varieties of berries and 16 varieties of apples. Visitors are invited throughout the year to take a self-guided tour through the orchards. Gizdich Ranch does offer Pik-Yor-Self, but it’s currently closed for the season.

To learn more about these farms, visit their websites (prevedelli.com and gizdich-ranch.com) and don’t forget to visit Swank Farms in Hollister this month.

Grilled Cheese with Bacon, Apple, and Sprouts

Recipe courtesy of Marthastewart.com

Ingredients

  • 2 slices extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices rye or sourdough bread
  • 2 strips bacon, cooked
  • 3 thin slices Granny Smith apple
  • 1/2 cup assorted sprouts, such as radish or adzuki

Directioons

  1. Place 1 slice of cheese on 1 slice of bread. Layer bacon, apple, sprouts, and remaining slices of cheese and bread on top.
  2. Spread half the butter on top of sandwich. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, and place sandwich, butter side down, in skillet.
  3. Spread remaining butter on top of sandwich. Cook until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown, flipping once, about 12 minutes.