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.

My friend, Dana Haynes, aiming for the elusive pumpkin

 

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

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12 Responses to Walter’s Fruit Ranch: What a Find

  1. Living Large says:

    Sounds like a fun region to visit. I’ve never read that about freezing pies and having them taste better. I was just wondering if I could freeze pies and have them taste alright.

  2. Irene says:

    I wondered whether the ranch was open all year?

  3. I grew up on an apple farm and apple pies were a staple in our house. My mom makes the BEST apple pie. I’ve got the crust recipe down, but finding good apples here in Hawaii is difficult. I long for a fresh Gravenstein…

    • Heather Larson says:

      Gravensteins are even rare in our stores here in the state known for apples. You pretty much have to go to an orchard that grows them, Kris.

  4. Guess I’ll have to take your word for it until I can do a head-to-head test with the pie we get at Julian, California. We detour on the way from Arizona to San Diego, just to eat that pie!

  5. Heather Larson says:

    Vera,
    I’m always up for taste testing pie and I’ve never been to Julian.

  6. Alexandra says:

    Oh, my. That quiche description really made me hungry. I’m putting Walter’s Fruit Ranch on my list of places to visit in Washington. Thanks!

  7. Alisa Bowman says:

    I love this idea of farms being part tourism. It helps you know how the animals are treated–the good farms embrace it and even make extra money off it. The bad ones (factory) arrest people for trespassing.

  8. 32 pies! Wow. The quiche does sound divine with the feta & green olives.

  9. I’ve never been to this region. And I love pie. (In fact, I’m at my favorite pie place in Brooklyn right now – Four & Twenty Blackbirds.) So this is reason to visit.

  10. Lara says:

    Thank you so much for showing ALL of Washington! I grew up near Walters and have such awesome childhood memories of picking all kinds of fruit at Greenbluff. There are some great things to see and do in Central and Eastern Washington.

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