Frequently Asked Questions
Q – “What time of year do you open for u-pick?”
A – We usually open in mid- or late August and are open as long as there are apples, generally sometime in September or October. The actual opening and closing dates each year may vary, as we’re dependent on climate, size of the apple crop, and other factors beyond our control. Always check the u-pick page or our Facebook page for the most current information.
Q – “If the reservation spaces are all taken, can we come anyway?”
A – If the reservation spaces are filled, please make a reservation for the next Sunday. If this is not possible, come anyway and pay the $12 fee, planning your arrival on the half hour in the afternoon. We ask people to make online reservations for a specific day and time in order to spread guests out throughout the day, which makes for a better experience for everyone.
Q – “We wish to reserve a spot for a future date, but you do not have it open. Can you reserve it for me?”
Q – “I want to reserve spots for two families. Can I do this on one reservation?”
A – Please make separate reservations for each family. On the online reservation form, a reservation is for a family, not for a person.
Q – “I have a group of families coming. Is this one reservation?”
A – If you have a group coming, each family must have their own reservation. You can do it for them, but we ask for one reservation per family. Remember, on the online reservation form, a reservation is for a family, not a person.
Q – “Is parking available?”
A – Yes, we have a large field for parking and our volunteers will direct you. Please don’t park on the side of Chileno Valley Road, as this is a safety hazard. The road is heavily used on Sundays by both vehicles and bicycles.
Q – “What varieties of apples are available?”
A – We grow nearly 20 varieties, which ripen at different times during the season. On any given u-pick day, three or four varieties will usually be ripe. We list each week’s ripe varieties on our u-pick page, our Facebook page, and in our email newsletter, which you can subscribe to at the bottom of this page. For information on all the varieties in our orchard, visit the “Apple Varieties” page.
Q – “Is there a place to picnic?”
A – For now, there is not a dedicated picnic area. But you may bring a blanket and a pop-up tent if you like and try to find some shade.
Q – “What time is the last farm tour?”
A – The last farm tour of the day is at 1:45 pm. Otherwise, tours begin once or twice an hour.
Q – “Do you use volunteers on u-pick days, or at other times throughout the year?”
A – Yes, we do! On u-pick days, volunteers greet our guests, direct them in the orchards, give farm tours, run the juice press, and check guests out. In return, they get product from the farm and enjoy a wonderful party at the end of the season. We also use volunteers throughout the year to do creek restoration, pruning, etc. If you’re interested, please contact Sally at sallylgale(at)gmail(dot)com.
Q – “Can I buy your grass-fed beef on u-pick days?”
A – Yes, we usually have frozen 1-pound packages of our beef (subject to availability). You can also buy a whole, half, or quarter cow to feed your family all year long. Get more info here or contact Mike at 707-765-6664 or by emailing chilenobeef(at)gmail(dot)com.
We also often have other delicious products from our farm or our neighbors, such as free-range eggs, olive oil, honey, jam, and cheese. Everything is subject to availability. Please bring a cooler to transport your purchases.
Q – “Can I press my apples into juice at the ranch?”
A -While we sometimes have our apple press out, and invite guests to help us operate it, we sell that juice by the cup. However, Slow Food Russian River operates a free community apple press in Sebastopol on weekends, by reservation. Make a reservation online, pick apples at Chileno Valley Ranch, and press them into fresh, delicious juice!
Q – “How can I pay for our entry and purchases?”
A -You pay for everything after you pick your apples. We accept cash, local checks, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
Q – “Can I bring my dog?”
A – Because of the large number of children and grazing animals, we don’t allow dogs. Please leave pets at home. (The parking lot is too hot to leave them in the car.)
Q – “Are there restroom facilities?”
A – We have a port-a-potty available for guest use. You may want to bring hand sanitizer.
Q – “What should we bring?”
A – Please bring cloth or paper bags for your apples, a cooler if you plan to buy our ground beef, hats, sunscreen, water, and hand sanitizer. Please wear sturdy shoes; sandals and flip flops are not advised as they don’t provide protection from yellow jackets.
Q – “Do you have any apple recipes?”
A – Yes, click here for some easy and delicious recipes to make using your Chileno Valley Ranch apples.