Frequently Asked Questions
Is everything grown at Sutter's Ridge? Yes, we grow all our apples, grapes, raspberries, pumpkins & squash
What form of payment do you accept? Cash is best. We accept cash or checks at all help stations. We have 1 credit card terminal at the lower information hut and a 2nd credit card terminal inside the apple cabin. (That's 2 total, and the .035% merchant fee is added onto each transaction). There is a temporary ATM (with a $2.50 fee per transaction) located inside the apple cabin.
What are your farm practices? We sell only what we and our children eat. We utilize Integrated Pest Managment (IPM) to sustainably grow tasty apples from healthy trees. For us, this includes pest monitoring traps, phermone traps, disease weather forecasting and removal of pruned limbs and windfall apples. These practices allow us to treat only when there is an issue, reducing our use of pesticides. We only use these if pest levels are high enough to cause substantial harm to our crop. If so, we use the newest pesticide choices that target a specific pest and are NOT a broad spectrum spray. We always use safe bee practices. This approach is more time intensive, but we feel its important to produce a delicious, quality crop that we ourselves enjoy eating in large amounts.
Why are you not organic? 'Organic' is a legal term that is regulated by the government. To be certified 'organic', a grower must only use non-synthetic chemicals on an approved list. When buying produce from the grocery store, often from unknown sources, organic certification offers a higher level of regulation than non-organic. It does not mean the crop is grown without chemicals, just that the chemicals applied are approved, non-synthetics. Pesticides used in organic programs are still pesticides and can have harmful effects on humans, animals and bees. We only use pesticide IF we need to treat an issue. If we need to use a pesticide, we chose from both non-synthetic (organic) and synthetic. Our choice is to use the safest method to us, our children and the bees. Buying local directly from the grower gives a greater choice in growing practices by learning 1st hand their individual growing practices.
May we bring our pet with us to the farm? I am sorry, but even though we are animal lovers ourselves, we have a firm no pets policy. This is because of liability, food safety and a need to support a variety of customers who do not enjoy pets. For the comfort and safety of all our guest, please leave your pets at home, and enjoy the mix of horses, goats and excited children at the farm without stressing your pets.
Is your cider un-pastuerized/Can I make hard cider from your cider? Yes, Sutter's Ridge Cider is pressed fresh every Thursday from mid-September thru October. All apples are hand picked, graded and washed. We never use windfalls. Because our cider is unpastuerized, we recommend drinking it in 7 to 10 days or freezing it. Yes, our apple cider can be used to make hard cider, and after 2 weeks, our unpastuerized cider will begin to ferment, eventually turning into apple cider vinegar. Frozen, cider will keep for 2 or more years.
Do you ever run out of Cider? Depending on demand, we do sometimes run out before closing for the weekend. If any cider is left over, it is used in the next weeks apple cider donuts. All Sutter's Ridge cider is fresh pressed that week.
What do you do with your windfalls? We remove windfalls from the orchard to remove any pathogens which may hurt the trees and next years apple crop. We do not sell our windfall apples. All windfalls are used in the apple sling shots. We collect a 20 bushel pallet bin every week, but on a beautiful fall weekend, it is not uncommon for us to temporarly close the sling shots to collect more windfalls.
May we host a weekend birthday party on the farm? We are a small family farm with a focus on spending a relaxed day in the country picking fruit, navigating a corn maze and chosing pumpkins from the patch. We do NOT have reserveable pavillions, fire pits and birthday 'packages'. That said, we know many have enjoyed a casual relaxed birthday celebration here and we are happy to be apart of those special family moments as long as folks use patience and consideration for all. We allow guests to bring cake or cupcakes to celebrate, but please let it end there. We appreciate your understanding in NOT bringing pizza's, subs, 'taco bars', etc. We do have apples, caramel apples, pumpkin bars, donuts and starting mid-sept hot dogs & brats available on weekends. If chosing to do the activity area, corn maze, etc, wrist bands will need to be purchased for all, just as for all our guests on the farm. If chosing to pick apples, raspberries or pumpkins, items will need to be bought the same as all our guests to the farm. While we do have picnic tables in the activity area, we are unable to reserve them. Please use consideration for all and do not come early to 'claim' them with table cloths, ballons and streamers to then sit empty for no one to use as you conduct your activities. We are proud to say many wanting a more casual experience have made us a part of they're special occasions over the years, and we are so lucky to have such patient, considerate customers support us.
Can I book a photography session on your farm? With such a beautiful location, many enjoy taking photos while spending a day on the farm during our NORMAL hours. We encourage you to take many photos during NORMAL hours to enjoy lifes moments. Professional photographers, please use consideration in taking photos. Please stay in areas open to the public, pay for any fruit picked or pumpkins damaged (broken handles, etc) and do not climg trees. We do not supply props, including ladders and bushel baskets. Any photo sessions during NON-NORMAL hours must be approved prior. No one can be on the farm without someone from Sutter's Ridge in attendance.