Tag Archives: cherries

Walter’s Fruit Ranch: What a Find

Outside of Spokane, in an area called Green Bluff near Mead, you can find produce, cheese, farm animals and more, at more than 40 farms. You can easily spend a day here and not see it all.

An Angeles peach - so juicy you have to tilt your head back to eat it to keep the sweet juice from dripping on your clothes.

If my experience at Walter’s Fruit Ranch in Green Bluff is typical of the other farms, you’re in for a real treat. My day started off with a yummy Greek quiche made with eggs, feta cheese, ham and green olives plus the flakiest, most buttery pastry crust I’ve ever tasted. I couldn’t get enough of the crust, so I ate a slice of apple pie for dessert. Kudos to the pie baker and co-owner Arlene Morrell. At one time or another, the café offers 32 different varieties of Arlene’s pies. Arlene or a baker she has shown the way makes them and freezes them; she says they taste better after freezing.

One of the very vocal sheep at Walter's Fruit Ranch

Fueled for the day, I hopped on the Fruit Loop Express, a tractor-train contraption, and headed for the fruit orchards where I discovered 22 varieties of apples, five varieties of peaches, three of apricots and cherries. When the fruit is in season, you can ride the Express into the orchards where the driver will deposit you in a prime spot and you pick all the fruit you want. The train continuously meanders along the same route through the orchard all day so that when you’re ready to leave, you get on and it takes you back to the farmhouse.

I visited in the fall so owner Mark Morrell who drove the Express that day let me shoot an apple out of an air gun aimed at a pumpkin. If I hit the pumpkin, I got to take another pumpkin home. No worries there – I don’t have very good aim.


While you’re there don’t forget to visit the gift shop, which sells some already picked produce, plus lovely home décor items.

Getting Cherry-ed

Everyone knows we grow apples here and then there’s the espresso stands – with one on every corner, you’d think they were mating. But did you know we’re one of the nation’s largest producers of cherries?

Actually we are the number one producer of cherries with California running second.

This past weekend I was privileged to go on a tour of a packing plant, an orchard and to savor some very delicious foods made with cherries. My favorite, of course – biting into a dark, red sweet cherry and savoring that first squirt of juice on my tongue. The cherry pies tasted mighty good, too.

Kate McDermott teaching cherry pie making.

Kate McDermott gave us a most informative and clever pie making lesson to launch our tour.

“Chill all your ingredients prior to creating the dough and putting the pie together, and you chill out, too,” says McDermott.

She also places a personal intention into every crust she makes and then lets the dough know she’s in charge. That may be why my pie dough never turned out before.

“Making a pie is like a meditation for me,” says McDermott, whose pie making tools all have a story behind them.

After a delectable and delightful dessert of cherry pie and ripe cherries, our group dined at Blueacre Seafood in Seattle.

I have never seen a Dungeness Crab as large as the one they served. Someone else ordered it and made our entire table jealous.

Dugeness Crab to die for