We visited 3 farms: Riley's Farm, Riley's Apple Farm, and Willowbrook Farm. We were supposed to pick apples at Riley's Apple Farm, but we accidentally parked at Riley's Farm and paid for our bags before we'd realized our mistake. The farms are next to each other, and were originally the same business, so one can see how that might confuse a tourist, right?
|Sheep at Riley's Farm|
According to a bonnet-donning employee, the farmland was all purchased by Mr. Riley in the late 1800s from Joe Wilshire, for whom Wilshire Peak is named, for the tidy sum of two chickens, $50, and a jug of whiskey.
After Riley's Apple Farm closed at a surprising 2:46 p.m. (surprising because the website says it's open until 4 p.m.), we walked back to Riley's Farm to fill our already-paid-for bags.
The trees were really picked over. I finally found a tree with some apples on it in the "colonial arbor," and had to climb the parking lot fence to get high enough to reach the apples. I then climbed into the tree, facing off against a swarm of bees, and hoping not to get caught by farm employees. I hadn't even considered that I might have competition. A tourist with a fruit picker was reaching his pole up into the tree from the parking lot, aiming for the same fruit I was trying to get, and - with the fruit picker - was knocking loose apples, which were conking me on the head. I wanted to yell down, "This tree is mine! I saw it first!" but I thought that I should use my energy to make sure I didn't fall out of the tree or that bees didn't fly into my t-shirt.
The best part is that my picky eater actually liked the apples enough to eat three of them before we'd made it back to Santa Monica.