24Carrot Farm. (Apple Hill, CA)

24Carrot Farm Apple Hill

Since my Husband is overly obsessed with fall mornings spent in Apple Hill (Camino, CA) I decided to indulge him on his apple buying mission if he took a side adventure to see if we could find 24Carrot Farm on the way home.

I found this farm during a recent afternoon wasted on Facebook when I somehow came to their page. I couldn’t believe a new organic farm was open in our area and I hadn’t been there yet! I had to visit to see what this place was all about. (more…)

Best of Apple Hill 2015. Apples for Lunchboxes and Canning. Larsen Apple Barn (Camino, CA)

Apple Hill located in El Dorado County, just outside Sacramento, is our fall obsession. To be honest, we live so close, about 20 minutes away, we visit year-round only during fall we are even more frequent in our trips up Highway 50. Apple Hill is everything fall should be. Apple picking, hot apple cider, farm animals, pony rides, craft booths for early holiday shopping and people watching. You can find me throwing on a cozy plaid shirt and Uggs and heading up the mountain even during the hotest days of September. Why? Because it’s fall! Let’s get on with it already!

We head up almost weekly to do our fruit and vegetable shopping, so we decided to share our favorite farms with you. Follow along this series of posts, starting today, featuring our “Best Of Apple Hill” suggestions for this Apple Hill season.

A friend shared her family secret for finding the best apples for canning about five years ago and we have been going back year after year ever since. Larsen Apple Barn is the longest running family-owned farm in Apple Hill and has been running since 1860. It’s apple farm store is a picturesque corrogated metal barn filled with one of the widest arrays of apple varieties complete with apple tasting table.

For purposes of our “Best Of” review I’m keeping this one short and sweet. Larsen Apple Barn has the cheapest and best apples for canning that we have found. We not only use these apples for applesauce we buy our weekly lunchbox apples here because we can score a 40 lb box for only $16. These boxes are called their “seconds” and that just means they are smaller or have minor defects that make them less desirable than the full price apples sold here. We think they are perfect because they are the best size for our tots and we don’t waste any apples with half-eaten rejects and we don’t mind the defects at all.

Today the seconds boxes included Braeburn, Gala, Golden Delicious, Mutsu and Red Delicious as available varieties. As the season goes on sometimes these seconds boxes won’t be out in the sales area so be sure to ask a sales rep to grab you one from the back.

A tasting table is staffed by employees so visitors can try any of the varieties they are interested in purchasing. Also available for tasting are pears, grapes and peaches as available throughout the season.

Have we convinced you yet? If you are going to visit make sure you come Sunday-Friday, the farm is closed every Saturday and open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with a musuem and bake shop also available to visitors. If you pack a lunch Larsen owns the park right across the street that has picnic tables and shady areas for kids to run around.

Larsen Apple Barn is open from now through the Sunday after Thanksgiving, closed Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at 2461 Larsen Dr, Camino, CA 95709 and restrooms and parking are available.

September Tot Friendly Food Festivals and Events

Sacramento Area

The Fair Oaks Chicken Festival
September 19
Fair Oaks, CA
The Fair Oaks Chicken Festival is a celebration of rural history and present village atmosphere. The Village of Fair Oaks, colonized around 1895, was home to orange and citrus groves as well as olive orchards and assorted farm animals and, without a doubt, chickens were among them. Today the Fair Oaks chickens enjoy the freedom and hospitality of the village they call home.
www.fairoakspark.org

The Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair
September 24-27
Grass Valley, CA
Join the beautiful Draft Horses at the 2015 Draft Horse Classic. Majestic Draft Horse performances, breath-taking competitions, and seeing a Draft Horse “up-close” – it’s all part of the Annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. The Classic has grown to become the premier Draft Horse show in the western United States, and features six majestic performances, along with non-stop entertainment in between classes.
www.nevadacountyfair.com

The Farm to Fork Festival
September 26
Sacramento, CA
Designed to showcase and celebrate where our food and drinks come from, the Farm-to-Fork Festival brings us face-to-face with the people who are feeding our region and the world. The free festival hosted on the city’s iconic Capitol Mall boasts a delicious selection of Farm-to-Fork offerings that are produced and available in the Sacramento region. Attendees will find food, wine and beer from regional eateries and purveyors, as well as live music, five live cooking demonstration stages, a kids’ zone, interactive booths from local grocers, farms and ranches and more!
www.farmtofork.com

Bay Area and Beyond

The Walnut Festival
September 24-27
Walnut Creek, CA
An energetic and exciting celebration of arts, crafts, community, music, and food. The four-day Walnut Festival event offers family-friendly entertainment, two stages of live music, a large carnival with more than 30 rides a showcase of amazing local and regional talent, including Artists, Craftsmen, Designers, Jewelers, Builders, food specialties, a Beer Garden and more.
www.thewalnutfestival.org