Cherry Picking in Leona Valley, CA

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cherry-pickingA favorite pass time for my brother and I is cherry picking. My mom and cousins use to take us around town looking for fun things to do.
One summer, our trip was to go cherry picking at an orchard. Arriving at the cherry orchard, you would see rows and rows of cherry trees. We were given buckets, ladders and we came with empty tummies ready for some fresh cherries. You pay for any cherries you pick as you leave. You were allowed to taste the cherries from the trees so you know if the cherries are sweet before picking. It was so much fun finding the tree with the sweetest, most abundant crop of cherries. My brother and I got to climb and search. It was the good times.

Now that we have kids of our own, it’s time to introduce that to our kids. Two years ago, I took Eman to cherry pick at Big Johns Cherry Orchard in Leona Valley. After some research, I found that Leona Valley is full of cherry orchards with different types of cherries. Before our visit, I didn’t know that cherries for  cherry pie is different than the bing cherries we see at the supermarkets.There are also big orchards and little orchards.

Big Johns Cherries is a little orchard with both small cherries for baking and also red cherries for eating. The staff at the front would welcome you and give you an orientation on cherry picking. They would tell you to pick the cherry off the stem and leave the stem on the tree because that protects the tree, allowing it to produce more cherries next year. There are buckets on the ground that you can borrow. And as of late, they don’t allow for ladders because it is not necessary since their trees are not too tall. We did do some climbing on the tree itself to get to the higher branches. Two other things we enjoyed about Big Johns orchard is that they sell honey and fresh lavendar. Their lavendar flowers had a sweet, calming scent. It was perfect for the home.


Cherry picking is perfect for kids in the toddler age. We went when Eman was 2.5 and he was able to pick his own cherries and enjoyed the adventure. This is the ideal little outing for family who loves the outdoors and bringing home some fresh cherries is a bonus.

For more information on Big Johns Cherries



1. Always call the orchard before you go to check if the Cherries are ready for picking. For big orchards like Villa Del Sol, their updates are online, but for Big Johns, they are only open on select days and time. Make sure you speak with them beforehand.
2. Sunblock & Water– it’s HOT out in the valley, make sure you come prepared with sun block and water
3. For kids– there are butterflies and bugs out at the orchard, it would be fun to bring something to catch some bugs. So bring a little bugs carrier with you so your children can learn about the bug life out at the orchard.

eman-under-cherry-treeOTHER CHERRY ORCHARD OPTION

We’ve also visited a larger cherry orchard, Villa Del Sol. For more information on Villa Del Sol  go to

It’s really different going to a large orchard because you can easily get lost. The varieties of cherries are also different and we were able to get some apple cherries at this orchard. However, there is something about a small family cherry orchard versus a big production house. I preferred the little orchard, knowing that Eman would not be lost.

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