Since it's summer I am slowly becoming a couch potato. I sort of just stay inside the whole day and draw and surf the web.
Yesterday, I finally got off the couch and woke up at 6:00 to go cherry picking with my basketball team. Our former coach, Steph, is like a big kid herself. She always takes us on all these fun trips to build team camaraderie, with her boyfriend Akira providing the food and helping out. Steph and Akira are both professional chefs. Steph is a desserts chef and works at the Scarpetta Restaurant at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills for celebrity chef Scott Conant, judge on the show "Chopped" on Food Network. Akira works at a high end Japanese restaurant called Takao in Brentwood.
Villa Del Sol Sweet Cherry Farm (at upickcherries.com) is in Palmdale so we had to leave around 7:00. It was about a 1 1/2 hour drive. When we got there we were given instructions and baskets and then we could enter the orchard. They had 4000 trees!!!! and 2 different types of cherries: The Rainier and Bing cherries.
|The regular red kind (Bing), and Rainier cherries (yellow)|
At the orchard, we weren't allowed to climb the trees but the guides used long stick like hooks to pull different branches down for us to pick the cherries. The cherries were in bunches all over the trees. I never saw a cherry tree before so it was really cool! The orchard also sold Cherry blossom honey. They have many bee hives in the area to pollinate the flowers, but the bees are removed during cherry picking season so customers don't get stung. The only thing you have to worry about are snakes! Luckily we didn't run into any.
We tasted the cherries as we picked them. The cherries are $3.50 for a pound and have no pesticides at all. Plus, you can pick whatever kinds you like best.
We left the orchard by late morning because it got hot in Palmdale. The cherry season will be over in about a week and a half, so hurry up to go pick them. We were surprised to learn that most of the cherries are given to homeless people but the rest are all left there for the birds!!!!
|Me and my basketball team with coach Steph in front on the left.|