Inland Empire Attraction | Willowbrook Apple Farm

09.24.14

Experience shared by Jamie Solis

 

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Something exists at Willowbrook Apple Farm that is otherwise nonexistent in our fast-paced, commercially driven world. Stepping through the charming little farm store and virtually back in time, Willowbrook offers a wholesome way to connect with your family and nature, much the way it was done back in the 1940s. 

 

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IEShineOn.com was part of a group of bloggers headed to the farm for an exclusive tour. Upon our arrival on Saturday morning, we could sense that there was something unique about this destination. Aside from the bright morning sun beating down upon us, there was an additional warmness to this place. It started with the friendly faces that greeted us as we walked up, but it certainly didn’t stop at the abundance of seasonal country flare and comfortable surroundings.

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Tucked between sunflowers, apple trees and fall decorations, there were two young ladies offering up tastings of Willowbrook’s signature products like their Pure Apple Butter, Blackberry Preserves, tasty Dipping Caramel, Pumpkin Syrup, Raspberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip, among many other flavorful concoctions like Meatball Skewers and Caramel Apples kissed with nuts or sprinkles. From there we checked out the various items for sale in the Apple Shed Gift Shop. Stocked with a huge variety of their personal line of goods, the shop also carries many local, handmade and farm-fresh products like honey, candles, candies, decor and more that you won’t find elsewhere. 

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After tasting some flavorful treats and shopping around, we were welcomed back into the farm for an official tour by the owner, Cheryl Swanson. We were intrigued to learn about the many characteristics of Willowbrook Apple Farm that sets it apart from profit motivated apple farms. High-density farming is a popular technique used to heed the highest yield of fruits or vegetables for the lowest cost in order to turn a hefty profit in the shortest period of time possible, however you won’t find any of high-density trees at Willowbrook. Instead, these orchards are dedicated to preserving biodiversity by maintaining each 104-year-old tree with the utmost care and precision.

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Beyond that, they continue with their eco-conscious intention by planting largely organic and heirloom (non-GMO) seeds, in order to grow apples that are popular for their tastes instead of for their profitability. Many of the varieties of apples grown at Willowbrook can’t be found in stores, making this a return destination for customers looking for pristine quality. They also grow their apples, among other produce, without using chemical fertilizers. Instead they utilize natural resources like clover and bees to ensure a plentiful, healthy harvest.

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Willowbrook is a great destination for families with children, because they have many opportunities to pick your own apples or berries, with the option to press your own apple cider using centuries old apple presses. Another way to get hands-on is by meeting the lovable animals who are also family pets. The potbelly pig named Blossom caught our attention with her lazy demeanor. The baby donkey named star along with her friend Comet, the miniature horse, also made quite the impression. There were also chickens and a Flemish Giant rabbit. 

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Few things are more fulfilling than spending the morning in the great outdoors with your family. Take the opportunity to enjoy an intimate farm experience, and welcome the season of fall with your arms wide open. 

Check out more best dining, attractions and more in Oak Glen with our new Oak Glen Guide!

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