Copeland's Cherry Ranch
Call it a mid-summer miracle or call it miraculously delicious, we are thrilled to have a limited quantity of cherries from Copeland’s Cherry Ranch on the shelf now! This year’s wet spring caused many cherries to split, but happily Copeland’s crisp, golden Rainier cherries (find them only in Santa Monica!) and dark, sweet Bing cherries (at Co+opportunity in Santa Monica and Culver City!) survived beautifully in Leona Valley, CA, just west of Palmdale.
David and Chari Copeland, the proud owners of this organic gem, purchased the 2 acre property in 1998 and planted their first 200 trees (Bing and Rainier) in 2000. In 2001, they added more than 260 more trees (Tieton and Utah Giant) to the orchard. In April 2008, the Copeland’s trees were given organic certification through CCOF, CDFA and the USDA. While taking care of hundreds of trees is hard work for their family of five (plus the ducks who help with the weeds), they say it’s worth it: “... Worth every bit when we see the smiles and hear the laughter of customers enjoying themselves in the orchard.”
That’s right! Just a hop, skip, and a jump north of the city you can go pick your own organic cherries at Copeland’s Cherry Ranch! The 46th Annual Cherry Parade and Festival in Leona Valley was the first Saturday in June, but some orchards are still open for pick-your-own goodness. At Copeland’s, their four varieties of cherries are complemented by honey from their own hives, a shady picnic area, and beverages for sale. Usually the cherry season at Copeland’s starts in May and lasts just a few weeks, so remember to check their website before you make the trek.
Even if you don’t make it up to pick in Leona Valley this year, we hope that you’ll enjoy picking up some of Copeland’s cherries at your local co-op!
Photos © Copeland’s Cherry Ranch & Pink Foodie