When you think of U-Pick Farms, you probably don’t think of Las Vegas. I know…I didn’t think Las Vegas either. Before we moved here, I was checking out farmer’s markets and CSA’s in Vegas and I stumbled upon the Gilcrease Orchard — a non-profit, pick-your-own farm.
I’ve been wanting to visit the orchard ever since we moved to Vegas, but their hours never seemed to match up well with our own schedules. But, in October, they have extended hours due to how many families visit their pumpkin patch.
This banner shows their usual hours (be sure to check their website for the most updated information):
The extended hours in October was the perfect chance for us to visit. We had already picked up pumpkins at the grocery store, but we decided to visit and see what vegetables they had available and pick up another pumpkin. I also get their email updates, so I already knew that their prices were very afforable AND they said that they were currently making Apple Cider donuts. WHAT?? Ok, produce is cool and all, but donuts? I’m definitely going now.
When you arrive, you see this welcoming mural:
There was also huge pumpkins on display, which made the perfect photo opportunity — lots of moms & dads were snapping photos of their kids here:
To the right of the mural is where you start making your way into the orchard. There was an information area set up where you could pick up a flyer of the currently available vegetables and fruits, plus there was this sign below that tells you what is available this week.
From here, you can walk in for free (which is what we did) or you can drive in. As you walk, you pass all of the fruit trees first. All of their apples had been picked for the season, so I hope next year to get here earlier to pick our own apples. They also grow other fruits — each ready for picking in their appropriate months.
While we walked, there was a lot of people driving in ($3 to drive in). It is a bit of a walk to the pumpkin patch, so having the option to drive your car in is a nice option.
As we continued, we reached the area where everything else grows:
The were SO many different plants, each row or section having a sign that named and/or described the items. This is just a sampling of the signs we saw:
We tried to find summer squash, but I think it was pretty well picked over.
There was many things growing that weren’t ready to be picked, such as this eggplant below. It was a great experience for the kids seeing food growing in the various stages.
This Road Runner was speeding along all of the plants…it’s always kinda fun when you see one.
We worked our way to the pumpkin patch, which is where everyone else was at. There was lots of pumpkin still available and most were on the vine.
There was plenty of great looking ones…
But, I wanted one that was, well, less attractive. A pumpkin that most people wouldn’t pick. We had perfectly round ones at home, and I wanted one with more character. And, so, I chose this one.
After I picked our pumpkin, we walked back to buy Apple Cider Donuts and freshly made apple cider. The donuts were made right on the spot as you order them.
They sell these small bottles of apple cider for $1 and that was perfect since we wanted something cold to drink right away. They also sell 1/2 gallons and I believe either pints or quarts. Their apple cider is DELICIOUS! When you visit, you will have to buy some. The donuts were awesome too.
If you want freshly picked produce, but you don’t want to go out in to the orchard….no problem. At their check out stand they sell their apple cider and an assortment of other items from their farm. There was this bin full of different pumpkins. Aren’t some of those crazy looking?
They also had this wagon full of mini pumpkins for .50 cents each. I bought two of these for my fall decor.
And, of course, our cute pumpkin…
We had such a great time. If you live in Las Vegas, or if you are visiting, you should definitely come out to the Gilcrease Orchard — it’s fun and educational at the same time, plus, you’ll get farm fresh produce and support agriculture in our community. I know we’ll be coming back again — I’m hoping to get one more visit in before Winter hits and then for sure next Spring.
Not in Vegas or visiting anytime soon, but interested in what you-pick-your-own farms are available in your area? I’ve found this site helpful: PickYourOwn.org
Have you ever been to a u-pick farm or orchard? Do you have one in your area?