[heading] by WYNNE LOVE [/heading]

While the weather in North County may say summer, the apple trees in Julian are whistling fall, and the u-pick orchards are in full swing. Head east on Highway 78 for about an hour, and you’ll find yourself in the mountain town of Julian, an official California Historical Landmark. The clear, crisp mountain air supports the apple crop and this year, the yield is high.

“The apple trees are completely full,” said Arnie of Apple Starr Orchards. He began welcoming apple pickers the first week of September and expects to host more through the end of October. He grows five varieties including Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Jonagold, and Red Delicious.

Just a handful of Julian orchards still welcome apple pickers, for a fee. Most are open daily, but be sure to call ahead and make an appointment. Since the owners are busy tending the crop, they are not always available, in their office or by the phone, but we had good luck reaching a few.

Apples and Art Orchards provides apple picking with a tour of the orchard for groups of ten or more as well as the opportunity to make and taste fresh cider from their pesticide-free apples. Raven Hill Orchard also welcomes pickers to their 8,000 acre orchard where you’re likely to see some of owner Patrick Brady’s unique sculptures as well.

Can’t get enough apple fun? The Julian Apple Days Festival will be held at the Menghini Winery the weekend of October 6-7.

Appled out? The Julian Mining Company doesn’t offer apple-picking, but they do invite you to choose a pumpkin out of the patch and participate in a wide variety of kid-friendly activities like hayrides, panning for gold, and candle dipping, to name a few.

Bring home your ready-made treats with a stop at Mom’s Pie’s, the Julian Pie Company, or Dudley’s Bakery on your way home.

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Julian Apple Days Festival at the Menghini Winery:  www.julianappledays.com.

Apple Starr Orchards:  1287 Julian Orchards Drive, apple-starr.com.  Call
760-305-2169 for an appointment.

Apples & Art Orchards: 1052 Julian Orchards Drive, applesandartorchards.com.  Call 760-310-6368 to schedule groups of 10 or more for tours at 12, 2, and 4 p.m. daily.

Raven Hill Orchard:  1284 Julian Orchards Dr.  Visit their Facebook page or call 760-765-2431 to schedule a visit.

Julian Mining Company:  4444 California 78, julianminingcompany.com.  Open weekends; weekdays by appointment.  Call 951-313-0166.

Dudley’s Bakery: 30218 California 78, dudleysbakery.com.  760) 765-0488.

Mom’s Pies:  2119 Main Street and 4510 Highway 78, www.momspiesjulian.com.

Julian Pie Company:  2225 Main Street and 21976 Highway 79, www.julianpie.com.

Julian Events:  Find out more at the Julian Chamber of Commerce website at www.julianca.com.

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