Cherry Picking | The Best of Fresno
Many that know me, know that I am an avid cyclist. It’s pretty much a sure thing you’ll see me out on Saturday morning getting my typical 40 to 50 miles in. One of my normal routes is up Auberry Road which leads to a variety of different locations we might head towards for the day. This day was a bit different though as there were a lot of cars backed up on the road. At first, I wondered if there had been an accident but then I noticed the cars were waiting to make a left-hand turn into Mountain Brooks Ranch. It was May 15th and opening day to head out with your family for some good ole fashion Cherry picking fun. I made a mental note to circle back on this as with this many people taking it in, it must be a good family activity.
Later that day I recalled the incident and mentioned it to Linda. The adventurous spirit she has wanted to immediately head out and experience this for ourselves. So, we packed up and headed out towards Auberry Road for a quick drive up to Mountain Brook Ranch.
Once arriving, we were directed into the dirt parking lot of this quaint little farming operation. In some respects, it reminded me of a much smaller version of Avila Valley Farm for those of you that have ever stopped by there. Unlike Avila Valley Farm, Mountain Brooks Ranch only has Cherry Picking now that I’m aware of, but I see a lot of opportunities for them to expand and become a year-round attraction, which we would love.
As we walked out of our car, we were directed by a friendly man to a check-in point where a couple of other friendly employees handed us some plastic bags and pointed us towards the direction of the section of Cherry Trees that were being picked for that day.
It was a quick walk out amongst some rolling hills that felt more like the rolling hills of Paso Robles than that of Fresno. It was scenic and quite beautiful. As we walked into the grove a friendly man who had filled his bag to the brim gave us a tip to pull the higher branches downward to you and get the really good ones up top that are being left behind. We smiled and thanked him and with that, adopted his approach.
Linda was diligent and also quite determined. I held the bag open and pulled the branches down to her while she went to work picking the little red gems. We laughed, talked, and reminisced about various other adventures along the way that we’ve had on the journey of our 16-year marriage, and the time melted by. Soon enough, our 2 bags were very full, I told Linda she needed to slow down. I had seemingly been oblivious to the big sign that said $3 per pound and that would come back to haunt me a short while later when we checked out.
We decided to call it quits and headed back towards the front where you pay. It’s an adorable little shed-like structure where they also had some really good Apricots, homemade jams, and misc. other items. We picked up some Pomegranate Jam which is my favorite.
As we were walking up, Linda noticed some trees with yellow Cherries which she loves. The friendly man we first encountered upon arriving told us those were not yet ripe, and they would be opening that grove up in mid-June he believed. I think he could see the look in her eyes though so he gave a thumbs up and approval to go ahead and pick a few anyway, which she did.
When it came time to settle up, we placed our very full bags on their scale, and low and behold, my little wife had picked 9 pounds of Cherries for a total of $27. Needless to say, we had a lot of Cherries and were able to bless several friends with some of the extra we had.
All too often, we find ourselves caught in a rut of just staying around the house when there are so many little adventures to be had all around where we live. I’m glad we took off for this quick little trip. We had a lot of fun and will be back. And, the cherries were fantastic!