If your kids don’t know that fruits and vegetables grow on trees (like money), now is the time to drive them to Apple Annie’s Orchard in Willcox for some vegetable picking and apple eating.
I recently went to Apple Annie’s where the fields were a bloom with vegetables bursting with color and the air was cleaner and cooler than Tucson by about 7 to 10 degrees.
Take the short 75-minute drive from Tucson to enjoy the Oh My Apple Pie Contest. Nobody doesn’t like apple pie. A portion of the proceeds from all Apple Annie’s special events will benefit Andrea’s Closet, the Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona, March of Dimes, and Youth Haven Ranch. For the last nine years more than $60,000 has been donated to these organizations.
Yours truly will be an apple pie judge along with Edie Jarolim, Tucson Guide contributing dining editor; Rita Connelly, Chow writer for Tucson Weekly; and hunky Adam Lehrman, Tucson Foodie blogger. It’s a sweet assignment but someone’s got to do it.
Come earlier and comb the fields for the freshest of produce or work off the pie eating and comb the fields afterwards. Here’s the calendar of what is ripe for the u-picking. Apple Annie’s also makes delicious apple-smoked burgers and if you come really early — apple pancakes.
U-Pick vegetables in Willcox
Before or after, you might also stop at Brown Orchards which makes some of the best apple cider on the planet. Fifteen pounds of apples go into every half gallon of pure unpasteurized, unfiltered, and no sugar-added lusciously liquid apple cider. Brown’s apple cider can also be found at St. Philip’s Farmers Market (recently voted best boutique farmers market in Arizona) and the Phoenix Downtown Market.
Brown's Orchard in Willcox
Brown’s Orchard sells apples, pears, and grass fed lamb. You can buy lamb cuts to go or taste the lamb when dining in Phoenix at Pizzeria Bianco or in Tucson at Primo at the Starr Pass Marriott.
Rest awhile. Talk to Marvin. Pick some pears and sip at the cider bar. This is “the country” or so this city girl thinks so.
Remember Stout’s Cider Mill right off the freeway? The place with the mile high pie closed its doors and we’re wondering if any other Willcox venture is going to run with the concept?
Another fresh fruit organic orchard I will have to try on another trip is Briggs-Eggers
If you have time, go to Willcox’s downtown which has two very hip wine tasting venues — Carlson Creek Vineyards (115 Railview Avenue) and Keeling Schaefer Vineyards (154 Railroad Avenue). Then drop into the Rustic Rooster (next to Carlson) for eclectic shopping for house and body and soul; cool stuff; great prices.
See you in Willcox.