Friday, November 21, 2008

All Good Things...

...must come to an end. Apple season is a good thing and this weekend is our last for the season! Come on out and stock up on Fuji, Braeburn, and Granny Smith, not to mention our fantastic cider. We have a few jars of tasty local honey left, too! If this is your first visit to the Ranch this fall, you will not be disappointed. Take a drive, enjoy the beauty of See Canyon, and see how many peacock you notice on your way to the Ranch!

If you are wondering what to do for a Thanksgiving dinner centerpiece, we still have pumpkins. The photo to the right is what was on our tables last year (yes tables is plural because we have a big family!). We used pictures from several generations of our extended family to fill each pumpkin. Not only did they look festive, they were great conversation starters and we could hear "remember when we did this?!" and "they've grown so much!" from several tables. Aunts and uncles were taking photos home at the end of the day and it was a wonderful way to share family memories and remind us how much we have to be grateful for in life.

We have loved every moment of the 2008 season and enjoyed old friends and new faces. Help us make this weekend our best yet or just stop by to say "so long, farewell" or just aloha!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Final Four

We like to think we've saved some of the best apples for our last few weeks of the season. The gorgeous, if not unseasonably warm weather, is perfect for a trip to the Ranch! We have four great varieties left so come get 'em while the getting's good!

  • Splendor (just a few left)
  • Fuji
  • Braeburn
  • Granny Smith (just a few left)

Our last day of the season is November 24th, just in time for Thanksgiving! Don't forget cider for your family and friends as you celebrate all we have to be thankful for this year.

We also still have pumpkins for decorating, local honey for baking and eating, and plenty of culls (aka seconds) for sauce, pies, and baking.

Several local artists have shared their work with us this season and we are blessed to bring you their painting and photography. These beautiful pieces make wonderful gifts and are year-round reminders of the beauty surrounding us at See Canyon Fruit Ranch.

Finally, stay tuned for off-season happenings at the Ranch!

Friday, October 31, 2008

As Seen on TV

We're famous! Or at least we will be after Monday morning! KCOY has done a special on our field trip program and Carl from the station interviewed us and enjoyed the field trip as much as the kids from Bellvue-Santa Fe Charter School. Set your TiVo or catch the special live on Monday morning between 7 and 9 am on KCOY. And then call us to schedule your own group field trip. You don't have to be in grade school to enjoy the Ranch, sample apples and cider, and learn all about bees and their important role in making our wonderful apples.

Where Did October Go?

Is it just us or has October flown by!? We are heading into November and our last few weeks of apple season here at See Canyon Fruit Ranch. Come on out for cider, apples, pumpkins, and honey, or just to say hi!

We currently have the following apples well stocked for your eating and baking needs:

  • Granny Smith
  • Missouri Pippin
  • Braeburn
  • Golden Delicious (just a few left)
  • Fuji
  • Splendor

We have field trips and other visitors scheduled to enjoy the Ranch in the coming weeks, not to mention gleaning opportunities still available. The colors are really starting to change, too, so come on out to See Canyon where you can enjoy a little pocket of Fall colors in San Luis Obispo County.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Apple Bread and Cake Recipes

As requested by one of our loyal customers, here are two recipes we are loving this week! These both freeze well so if you have left-overs or want to bake for something in advance, these recipes will work.

Apple Streusel Tea Loaf

2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar (plus 2 tbsp for the topping)
1/2 cup butter
2 cups chopped, peeled apples (Missouri Pippin or Braeburn would taste great)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup sugar. Cut in the butter until course crumbs form. Reserve 1/2 cup of this mixture. Stir the apples and lemon zest into the remaining flour-butter mixture.

In a small bowl, mix the milk and egg until well-blended. Add to the apple mixture and stir just until moistened. Pour batter into a greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, stire the reserved flour-butter mixture, cinnamon, and the remaining 2 tbsp sugar together. Sprinkle over batter. PRess down lightly. Bake 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Makes 1 loaf.

Autumn Apple Coffee Cake

1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup melted shortening (we like to use butter!)
2 peeled, sliced apples (Braeburn would be awesome for this!)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp butter

Beat egg and 1/3 cup sugar together until creamy. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add alternately with milk to egg mixture. Stir in oatmeal and melted shortening (or butter). Spread half the batter in a greased 9" round baking pan. Arrange apple slices over batter. Spread remaining batter over apple slices.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Bake in 375 oven 30 minutes or until done. Makes 8 servings.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recipe Requests

There are quite a few of us here at See Canyon Fruit Ranch that love to cook, especially when we get to use our own fruits and vegetables in our menus. We've posted a few here in the past but if you're interested in a specific recipe or way to use a particular fruit or vegi, leave a comment or e-mail us and we'll do our best to post some of our favorites.

Thanks for reading our blog and especially for supporting the Ranch!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Variety is the Spice of Life

And do we have variety! Our cold storage is chock full of apples just picked this week in one final last harvesting hurrah before the frosts come.
  • Red Gold (last of the season)
  • Splendor
  • Fuji
  • Braeburn
  • Winesap
  • Missouri Pippin
  • Arkansas Black
  • Bellflower
  • Pippin
Don't forget to take home some of our incomparable Warren pears, tomatoes, pumpkins, zucchini, and much more. Now that October is half gone, holiday baking is right around the corner. Stock up on your baking apples for those sauces, pies, cobblers, and mulled ciders.

This weekend is our last wedding of the season but if you're planning a wedding for next year (or 2010), be sure to e-mail us for availability and for our brochure.

Monday, October 13, 2008

And Then There Were Four...

...varieties of apples, that is! After the weekend crowds, we are left with Pippin, Braeburn, Jonalicious, and Golden Delicious. Never fear, Fuji are due in sometime Tuesday so all you Fuji fans come on out! We'll be back up to five apples varieties from which you can choose. Baking, eating, drying, decorating: they're great for all your apple needs.

We had a great weekend here at the Ranch and if you were one of the faces we saw during our super busy two days, thanks for coming! We are ready for a nap but apple season is in full swing so we'll let the kittens nap for least for now. Thanks to Sandy B. for getting such a cute picture of Felix, Jemima, and Rusty taking their afternoon snooze.

Stay tuned for more news about our featured artists later this week. We are excited to show their art at the stand and you can buy some of their beautiful work. In the meantime, come buy a pumpkin, some cider, butternut squash, and anything else you need to celebrate all things Fall. We'll be happy to serve you!

P.S. We still have some fabulous Warren Pears and a fresh batch of Beefsteak tomatos!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pumpkins + Apples + Cider = FALL

After an exciting week, we are looking forward to a full weekend here at the See Canyon Fruit Ranch! If you saw the news coverage this week about our gleaning opportunities, thank you for your support! Come and stroll through the orchard and gather apples from the ground for $6. If you need a box, add a $1 to your total and take home your own box with apples. With the wonderful fall weather this weekend, you can make memories with your family to last a lifetime.

We have 8 varieties of apples waiting for you to sample and take home. For you Fuji fans, we should have those in a few weeks (yay!!).
  • Jonadel
  • Red Delicious
  • Golden Delicious (mmm, applesauce!)
  • Jonalicious
  • Jonagold
  • Spitzenburg (these were Thomas Jefferson's favorite!)
  • Braeburn
  • Pippin (apple pie anyone?)
Our pumpkins have arrived and are priced for you to take home right away.

  • $15 for large pumpkins
  • $9 for medium pumpkins
  • $7 for small pumpkins

We are very excited about our new, exclusive partnership with California Bee Company to bring you local honey! Great for baking, sweetening tea, or enjoying on toast. Did you know local honey is helpful in fighting allergies and boosting the immune system? Get a head start on warding off those winter colds by taking some of our honey home to your loved ones. We are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the California Bee Company so stay tuned for the latest buzz!

And last but never least, be sure to sample our cider when you bring your family to buy apples. We're sure you'll want to take home our convenient pint, quart, half gallon, or gallon containers of apple cider.

So, TGIF and see you this weekend at the Ranch!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

All Good Things...

...Must come to an end and our sale on the Cheiftans is over. We've got more varieties in our barns ready and waiting for you to take home so come on out to the Ranch for your apples!

Pumpkins coming soon for your Fall decorating activities so check back here often so you can get the first pick of our big orange beauties.

Doing lunch with your friends? Consider bringing a picnic lunch and enjoying our gardens between the hours of 11 and 1 pm. Feel free to park, stroll the grounds, eat your lunch (don't forget to pick up your trash!), and relax with family and friends. Save room for an apple or a chilled pint of cider for dessert fresh from our barn.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy October!

We are a full month into our apple season at the Ranch and loving seeing old and new faces every day at the stand. Just the other day a group that calls themselves the 'Monday Mom's' met at the Ranch to get apples, chat, and walk around the grounds. They've been bringing their kiddos to the See Canyon Fruit Ranch since birth and you could tell the kids were loving sharing this annual memory with their friends (and the moms, too!).

And that is what we're all about! Memories, learning, meeting people, and of course, apples!

Speaking of apples...we've got some great deals going on this week like a 20 lb box of Chieftan apples for $13.00 and if you're a fan of Red Delicious, come on out and pick up a box of these crowd favorites! We still have Warren Pears in stock and Beefsteak Tomatoes to make your mouth water just looking at them! Only 55 cents per HUGE tomato (smaller ones are 2 for $.55).

More apple varieties and of course pumpkins (yay for fall!) coming very soon! Be sure to pick up some of our amazing cider while you're here, too. So tasty!

We look forward to seeing you sometime soon at the See Canyon Fruit Ranch...and bring your friends!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Susie's Baked Apple

This recipe is one we make with field trips and you can do at home as well. Experiment with different cheeses to really delight your mouth. Enjoy!

Susie’s Microwave-Baked Apple

Ingredients you will need:
One medium-sized apple per serving of your favorite variety
1 ½ tsp brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 pecan halves, chopped (optional)

Equipment you will need:
An apple corer (or carrot peeler)
Measuring spoons and a measuring cup
Microwavable bowl or plate
Waxed paper
Hot pad

Ready to begin? Let’s go!

  1. Have an adult, with the corer, carve a hole in the center of the top of the apple about halfway through the middle of the apple. Make the hole about as deep as your pinkie finger and as wide as your ring and pinkie fingers together.
  2. Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecan pieces.
  3. Put half of the mixture inside the hole in the apple.
  4. Place the apple in a small microwavable bowl and cover the bowl loosely with the waxed paper.
  5. Microwave the apple on high for 1 ½ minutes.
  6. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Remove the bowl. (Make sure you use a hot pad or have an adult help you. The bowl will be hot.)
  7. Take off the waxed paper and spoon the remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture into the center of the apple.
  8. Return the bowl to the microwave uncovered for 25 seconds.
  9. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Remove the bowl. (Remember to use the hot pad or have an adult help you.) Doesn’t it smell so yummy?
  10. Serve the apple with a slice of cheese, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or glass of milk!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Galas in the Canyon: You're Invited!

That's right, folks! We're having a gala for the Gala apples! Gotta make room for more apple varieties and the Gala apples are ready for you to take home.

$10.50 for a 20 lb box (and we pile it high), first come, first serve!

While you're here, take home some Warren Pears which are just perfect for eating in lunches. They're a firmer pear and will stand up to the jostle of backpacks or briefcases. My favorite way to eat them is sliced up after dinner or as part of the main course. Try this recipe and see if it doesn't delight the senses and make your family happy!

Chicken and Pear Salad
2 chicken breasts
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 pears, cored and sliced
2 cups napa cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup radishes, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp grated lemon peel
  1. Preheat grill to high. Place chicken on hot grill and gook for about 6 min; turn and grill for 6 more minutes until no longer pink in the center. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then slice into bite-sized pieces.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, in a medium skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring lightly. Remove seeds when they are golden brown (about 5 min).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled chicken, pear slices, cabbage, radishes, green onion and sesame seeds.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, thyme and lemon peel; mix well. Pour vinaigrette dressing over chicken and pear salad; toss well. Serves 2.

Check back for the latest news or sale or just come on out to the Ranch...we'd love to see you and our dog Lady always is up for company!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Field Trips at the Ranch

Come and enjoy a wonderful fall field trip at our 100 year old apple ranch.
  • Learn about what happens to our apple trees during all four seasons.
  • Discover what amazing creatures live and roam in our canyon.
  • Become an expert apple taster.
  • Sip our fresh pressed cider.
  • Listen to some amazing stories about the Love Tractor and the young girl who grew up on the ranch.
  • Explore in our beautiful garden.
  • Meet our famous dog Lady.
  • Delight your family and friends with a fantastic treat after learning to make a baked apple in the microwave.
  • Buy some apples to take home to your family and remember your amazing day at the ranch!
To reserve your field trip day call Susie at 805-595-2376. Field trip times are:
  • Mornings ~ 10:30-noon (morning field trips may bring a sack lunch and eat in our gardens until 12:30)
  • Afternoon ~ 1-2:30 p.m.

The History of the See Canyon Fruit Ranch

The See Canyon Fruit Ranch, whose lovely grounds today attract such a variety of visitors (apple lovers, Sunday drivers, wedding guests), has a long local history. The original owner, James Brown, fought for the Union during the Civil Ware against the Confederate army that included his own brother. Afterward, he moved to New Mexico where his wife gave birth to a daughter, Rose. Some years later he and his family headed for California, picking up two Colorado farm hands on the way. One of these hands, George Mann, was eventually to marry Rose.

First, however, James Brown purchased the See Canyon property on July 6, 1894 from W.C. Rutan and named it the See Canyon Fruit Ranch. The ranch remained in the family for one hundred years before it was finally sold in 1994 by his great grand-daughter, Margaret. Over time, the family tried growing many different crops, finally concluding that the canyon was too cold for strawberries. Walnuts and peaches did better, but the land proved best suited for apples grown from old original trees and other heirloom varieties which he and his descendants planted. They also raised bees and harvested honey, and in fact the original "honey hut," now a small house, still stands on the property.

In time Rose and her husband George inherited the land from James Brown. They had two daughters but lost one of them, Gertrude, when she was still quite a young woman. The other, Mabel, married Roy Sherlock. In 1921, the ranch was passed on to this new young couple, who owned it until 1936. Like her grandfather before her, Mabel had but a single daughter, Margaret.

During those years, Roy worked his fields of peaches and strawberries with horses and a plow. His team, however, finally got too old for such heavy labor and he decided to replace them with a tractor. He found one for sale in San Luis Obispo and took his daughter Margaret with him to see it. There, Margaret met her future husband, tractor-owner Tom DeVaul, for the first time. Tom personally delivered the tractor to the ranch and their courtship began shortly thereafter. The tractor that launched the romance is now displayed prominently at the entrance to the old apple barn.

See Canyon Fruit Ranch visitors can presently purchase many of the original apple varieties planted by James Brown's descendants. For example, the Ranch sells Golden Delicious, Winter Banana and the Pearmain. Perhaps best of all, visitors can simply sit on a bench with a cup of fresh cider and take time to enjoy the years of handiwork that went into the building of this peaceful family homestead.