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Apricot U-Pick Orchards in California North Mountain Region (Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties) in 2024, by county

Below are the U-Pick orchards and farms for apricots that we know of in this area. Not all areas of any state, nor even every state, have apricots orchards that are open to the public. If you know of any others, please tell us using the add a farm form!

Remember to always check with the farm's own website or Facebook page before you go - or call or email them if they don't have a website or Facebook page. Conditions at the farms and crops can change literally overnight, so if you want to avoid a wasted trip out there - check with the farm directly before you go! If I cannot reach them, I DON'T GO!

PLEASE report closed farms, broken links and incorrect info using the "Report Corrections" form below.

Butte County

  • Johnson Farm - apricots, beans, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, corn (sweet), cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, herbs or spices, melons, nectarines, olallieberries, other berries, pears, peaches, peppers, plums, pumpkins, raspberries (red), raspberries (yellow), summer squash, strawberries, tomatoes, other vegetables,
    113 Higgins Avenue, Gridley, CA 95948. Phone: 530-846-5871. Email: johnsonupickfarm@yahoo.com. Open: Their website is up but not working properly; so you for current information, may need to Click here for a link to our Facebook page. Directions: From Yuba City go 3 miles north of Live Oak, right on Turner Ave, and immediate left on Meyers. From Chico go 2 miles south of Gridley, left on Evans-Reimer, then right on Meyers. From Oroville go right on East Gridley Road, left on Larkin, just past Mazanita school go right on Higgins Avenue. . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Check.
    Johnson Farm Facebook page. . . Saturday and Wednesday, from 8 am to 3 pm, mid - May thru October. We are a small family farm. Mark Johnson has his masters in organic weed control and is always striving to grow produce using sustainable farming methods. E-mail us to be on our e-mailing list for opening dates and produce availability. Johnson U-pick Farm Facebook page.

 

Apricot

Apricot Picking Tips, Recipes and Information

In the U.S., Apricots typically peak from June through July in the South, and July and August in the North. In order to produce good local apricots, producers depend on ideal spring and early summer weather conditions, and no late frosts. If you want to know which are the best varieties of apricots for home canning, see this page!

Before you leave to go to the farm:

  1. Always call before you go to the farm - Apricots are affected by weather (both rain and cooler temperature) more than most crops. And when they are in season, a large turnout can pick a field clean before noon, so CALL first!
  2. Leave early.  On weekends, then fields may be picked clean by NOON!
  3. Most growers furnish picking containers designed for apricots, but they may charge you for them; be sure to call before you go to see if you need to bring containers.
    If you use your own containers, remember that heaping Apricots on top of each other will bruise the fruit on the bottom. Plastic dishpans, metal oven pans with 3 inch tall sides and large pots make good containers, so you can spread them out.
  4. Bring something to drink and a few snacks; you'd be surprised how you can work up a thirst and appetite! And don't forget hats and sunscreen for the sun. Bugs usually aren't a problem, but some deet might be good to bring along if it has been rainy.
  5. You might want to ask whether the apricots are! There are two major types of apricots: "Freestone" and. "Clingstone". Freestone apricots and nectarines have flesh that slips easily away from the pit. Clingstones are a REAL pain, because the fruit tenaciously clings to the stone or pit! Most apricot varieties grown today are freestone and are usually available (depending upon your location) from June through September. Some nectarines are freestone and some are clingstone. Freestone nectarines are available in June and July. Most plum varieties are clingstone. 

How to tell if the apricots are ripe!

  • Attached to the tree: Apricots are best picked when the fruit separates easily from the twigs. If it is hard to pull off the tree, it isn't ripe! Apricots will not ripen further once removed from the tree (they only "soften")
  • Color: Green is definitely unripe, but you can't use red color as an indicator of how ripe a apricot is. Different apricot varieties have differing amounts of red blush in their natural coloring. Pick them when the ground color changes from green to yellow, orange, red (or a combination). The skin of yellow-fleshed varieties ripens to an orange tint, while the skin of white-fleshed varieties changes from greenish- to yellow-white.
  • Softness: unless you like your apricots very firm, pick your apricots with just a little "give" when gently pressed. Apricots at this stage are great for eating, freezing, and baking. Apricots won't ripen very much after picking!
  • Odor: It should smell sweet and ripe!

Tips on How to Pick Apricots

A apricot is softer than most fruit, so it is important to pick a apricot gently, with little pressure. Using the sides of your fingers rather your fingertips helps to avoid bruising.  Grab the apricot firmly and pull it straight off the branch. DON'T drop the apricot into the basket, but set it in gently!

Marks on the Apricots: Bugs (particularly squash bugs and stink bugs) bite fruit during development and this results in some imperfections in the apricot. This is especially the case with organically raised fruit.  These look like dents in the apricots if the apricots were bitten by a bug when they were young. This causes a spot that does not grow properly and makes a wrinkle in the apricot. There's nothing wrong with these apricots. They may look funny, but they will taste just as good as blemish-free apricots, and it's better not to have the pesticides!

When you get home

  1. Spread the fruit out on towels or newspapers and separate any mushy or damaged fruit to use immediately.
  2. Put a couple of days supply into the fridge, wash and cut the others and freeze them up!
  3. Even under ideal conditions apricots will only keep for a week in a refrigerator, so for best flavor and texture, use them as soon as possible after purchase
  4. Now, get ready to make Apricot jam or canned apricots - It is VERY easy - especially with our free  directions and recipes:

Apricot Canning, Freezing and Recipes

How much do you need?

Raw measures:

  • About 6 medium apricots = 1 cup sliced apricots.
  • About 4 medium apricots = 1 cup pureed apricot.
  • 1 pound fresh apricots = 8 to 12 whole fruits

Process yields (Raw amounts to processed amounts)

  • 2 to 21/2 pounds of fresh apricots yields 1 quart canned
  • 2-1/2 pounds fresh apricots = 2 to 3 pints frozen
  • 1 lb of fresh apricots typically yields 3 cups of peeled, sliced apricots or 2 cups or puree.
  • It takes about 5 good sizes apricots or nectarines (or about 10 plums) to fill one quart jar of canned apricots.
  • An average of 17 -1/2 pounds of fresh apricots are needed per canner load of 7 quarts;
  • An average of 11 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints.
  • 1 bushel = 48 to 50 pounds, yields approximately 18 to 25 quart jars.

Apricots-Average retail price per pound and per cup equivalent

Canned Apricots

  • 16-ounce can apricots = 2 cups drained

Dried Apricots

  • 6 pounds fresh apricots = 1 pound dried apricots
  • 1 pound dried apricots = 2-3/4 cups
  • 1 pound dried apricots = 5 cups cooked
  • 6 ounces dried apricots = 1 cup
  • 6 ounces dried apricots = 2 cups cooked

Other Local Farm Products (Honey, Horses, Milk, Meat, Eggs, Etc.)
(NOT pick-your-own, unless they are also listed above)