We headed up I-5 early, hoping to get to the farm before the sun was too high in the sky.
Just as we made our way 3000 feet up, through the Angeles National Forest , the cloudy, last-day-of-summer, weather broke and as we entered the Antelope Valley the sun was already beating down. Thank goodness for the breeze that was blowing as my daughter and I turned off highway 138 and onto the M&M Peach Ranch in Lake Hughes, CA. I can see why this area attracts Peach and Cherry farmers, with it’s high elevations, sun and apparently good soil.
Bill and his wife Angel have owned the certified organic M&M Peach Ranch since 1983. The Saturday we drove up here they were open for their peach picking. My daughter and I had so much fun walking through the orchards in search of the perfect Last Chance peaches to fill our bucket. (Yes, they really are called Last Chance, due to their late picking season.)
Peaches run about $2/lb and I believe it was cash only. I’ll definitely be back next summer for their cherry picking and for their Ryan Sun peaches in early September. Make sure to visit the M&M Peach Ranch FB page for their current hours of operation.
Although M&M Peach Ranch is in the Antelope Valley area, this is still part of Los Angeles County and would be considered a local farm for you locavores out there.
Wondering what my plans are for all my peaches? Canning, freezing and of course a cobbler/crisp/pie or two. Check back soon for some recipes.
If you are heading back to LA on I-5, and not I-14, make sure to stop at the Joelin Farm and Friends Roadside Produce Stand, about five miles down highway 138 from M&M’s. Depending on the time of year, a few of the smaller local farmers and neighbors are bound to be out chatting and selling some of their amazing farm fresh, mostly organic produce and homemade preserves.
My daughter and I picked up some fresh eggs, peppers, gigantic pears, and grapes that were amazingly delicious. You can find out more about the stand and their hours of business by visiting their FB page.
As you head back to I-5, take one last detour and stop at Quail Lake, which you probably noticed when you got off the Interstate. Bring some chairs or a blanket, pack a lunch (or bring out your newly picked fruit) and relax by the water before heading back to LA. There isn’t too much shade here but still pleasurable and the kids will love skipping rocks in this fully stocked, crystal clear lake.