Tucked out of sight of Route 128, just a stone’s throw across the river from Hendy Woods State Park and its majestic trees, Philo Apple Farm awaits travelers craving a change of pace. Time slows to a crawl on this idyllic orchard, which has been run by the same family since its beginnings in 1984. Three generations now work the farm, producing a gorgeous bounty of apples, not to mention a stunning harvest from the vegetable gardens growing throughout the property. And they’re doing it all with the environment in mind by employing biodynamic farming practices. Stop by for a quick visit, share in a farm-to-table meal or stay the weekend to get away from it all.
Perhaps you only have time for a quick whiff of the farm life before you begin a day of tasting at nearby wineries, like Phillips Hill and Navarro Vineyards. The quaint stand just inside Philo Apple Farm’s gates is reason enough to swing by. Shop for homemade chutney, juice, jam, syrup and vinegar, all made from the orchard’s organic all-natural apples. And if there’s nobody around to help you, which is often the case on this working farm, abide by the honor system and deposit your payment in the box – it’s the original self checkout! Beyond the farmstand, visitors are welcome to wander the upper garden and gaze upon rows and rows of apple trees in the field below. Philo Apple Farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A Fuller Farm Experience
If a quick stroll leaves you pining for more, the good folks at Philo Apple Farm are more than happy to oblige. A guest room and three quaint cottages are scattered across the property and available for overnight stays. Their quirky and humble exteriors belie a modern, elegant, farm-chic interior – complete with queen bed – that would look right at home gracing the cover of Sunset Magazine. Wake up to the sound of roosters crowing and enjoy a cup of tea as you watch the fog burn off in the morning sun.
No stay at Philo Apple Farm would be complete without a home-cooked meal made from ingredients grown and raised on the farm and other local producers. For this, you have two options. If you’re staying as a guest, you can add cooking to your reservation and help the chefs prepare scrumptious meals using local ingredients. It’s a fun way to relax and learn some new tricks in the kitchen. Cook and subsequently devour dishes like Thai curried mussels, roasted duck and ginger apple upside down cake – all paired with local Anderson Valley wines, of course. If you’re not planning a stay at Philo Apple Farm, you can still enjoy the kitchen’s creations by attending a Farm Feast. These occasional group dinners are held at the farm and cooked entirely by staff, leaving you free to sip libations and listen to live music drifting lazily across the orchard.
Philo Apple Farm is located on Greenwood Road off Route 128, about 3 miles north of Philo, on the banks of the Navarro River.