When you think of Nevada, your mind probably doesn’t automatically jump to apple orchards. You probably think of the desert or the exciting city of Las Vegas.
But did you know that there are apple orchards in Nevada that are dedicated to providing you with fresh, locally-grown produce? It’s a great way to add family fun to your fall season, and who doesn’t love biting into a crisp, juicy apple?
If you’re wondering where the best apple orchards in Nevada are, keep reading to discover the five of the best!
The Five Best Apple Orchards in Nevada
The Apple Basket
The first Nevada apple orchard on the list is The Apple Basket, which is located in Washoe City, Nevada, right next to Washoe Lake State Park. Retired couple Al and Delane Pennington planted over 200 dwarf apple trees back in 1994 as a hobby venture, and that developed into what is now known as The Apple Basket.
The Penningtons do all the work of running the orchard themselves. According to the Sierra Nevada Tourism website, “The Apple Basket is the only USDA certified organic apple orchard in northern Nevada.” How does that work? It’s simple. No chemicals, oils, or insecticides are used for pest or weed control.
The Apple Basket is situated in an interesting location in Nevada, sitting right between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Great Basin. Similar to all locations in Nevada, the dry, hot climate makes growing apples difficult.
The Apple Basket has had years where the orchard doesn’t even produce fruit due to warm springs and late frosts. That’s just the harsh reality of nature in Nevada, but you can expect delicious apples on years with great harvests like they’ve had lately.
Why should you visit the Apple Basket? This Nevada apple orchard offers a fun experience for the whole family! Come fall time, apple season is in full swing. They are open on weekends from mid-September to October.
At the Apple Basket, you can watch free-range chickens wander through the orchard as you pick the best-looking apples to take home. There’s also an area where children can play, and you can swing by their gift shop before you leave.
Gilcrease Orchard is arguably the most popular Nevada apple orchard, which is why it has a welcome spot on this list. They aren’t just limited to apples though. They sell all kinds of fruit and vegetables including tomatoes, peaches, squash, potatoes, onions, and cucumbers.
The website updates its availability list throughout the season. It’s truly a unique experience to see so much produce grown and sold in Nevada!
The Gilcrease family began farming and cultivating this land over 100 years ago in 1920. At that time, they purchased over 900 acres. The land has natural artisan springs located within to counterbalance the dry weather, to which they attribute much of their success.
For more than 50 years, the Gilcrease children worked toward creating a place where the community could come and pick their own produce.
Through the establishment of a board of trustees over the Gilcrease Orchard Foundation, the Gilcreases were able to preserve and protect 60 acres of their fertile land to further serve the community through produce for years to come.
The orchard is located just north of the heart of Las Vegas, Nevada. They open for picking on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 7 to 10 am. They also allow reservations for events, school trips, and photo shoots.
Master Gardener Orchard
At the Master Gardener Orchard located in Las Vegas, over 800 fruit trees, grapevines, and row crops are grown as an educational experience. Orchard volunteers offer hands-on classes to the public, educating them on how to grow and care for different deciduous crops in the Mojave Desert.
For over 25 years, this Nevada apple orchard extension program has been dedicated to learning and researching what can survive in the dry, desert climate of Las Vegas.
What happens to all the produce they grow at the Master Gardener Orchard, you ask? It’s available at the local farmers market and for curbside pickup at the orchard on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. What they don’t sell, they donate to local charities.
It’s a great program if you value homegrown food and would like to support a program that recycles proceeds back into research for the community.
Along with several types of apples, this Nevada apple orchard grows peaches, apricots, pears, figs, and several varieties of fresh vegetables.
Quail Hollow Farm
Up next on the list of best apple orchards in Nevada is Quail Hollow Farm. Quail Hollow Farm is located in Overton, Nevada, which is situated in the Moapa Valley of Southern Nevada.
Monte and Laura Bledsoe started this Nevada apple orchard and farm as a way to encourage small farming in their area and provide the community with sustainably grown produce.
Quail Hollow Farm exists as a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, where community members purchase a “share” of the harvest, and in turn, they receive a portion of what is grown at the farm that season. This helps the farm from having to shoulder all of the startup costs.
This can be risky if farms have an off-year, but most of the time, you’re provided with an ample amount of high-quality produce. Either way, you are supporting local agriculture!
Quail Hollow Farm provides an A-Z of what they grow on the farm on their website. Some crops included on the list are apples (of course!), figs, pears, lemons, basil, cilantro, squash, peppers, tomatoes, and carrots. The farm also offers dairy products like eggs and cream along with honey, beef, pork, and turkey meat.
To get involved with this Nevada apple orchard, you can visit their website and fill out a registration form to send in along with your payment. In return, you’ll receive produce on a weekly, biweekly, or seasonal basis.
Sweet Farm is a small farm located in Fallon, Nevada that started in 2011. This Nevada apple orchard and farm specializes in fruit trees and grape vines, and it’s a great option for central Nevada residents looking for fresh produce.
They have over 125 cherry trees, eight kinds of apple trees, 10 plum trees, and 10 peach trees. Apple varieties include McIntosh, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Red Delicious, Red Rome, Golden Delicious, and Braeburn.
Along with growing fruits and vegetables, Sweet Farm offers different types of jams, marmalades, baked goods, and cage-free Grade AA eggs for sale.
To purchase produce and goods from Sweet Farm, visit surrounding local farmers’ markets and vendors, or reach out directly to the farm.
Growing Apples in Nevada
In a perfect world, this list of apple orchards in Nevada would go on and on. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Growing apples in Nevada is actually a difficult process and not for the faint of heart.
That’s why so many farms on this list are dedicated to researching what and how they can grow better in the Nevada climate.
Nevada is known for its hot and dry desert climate and unpredictable weather patterns. That doesn’t always bode well for growing fruit trees. Fruit trees are heavy drinkers which can make them difficult to take care of while trying to preserve water.
Fruit trees also need so many chill hours to produce a good harvest. If apple trees don’t experience the proper dormancy, some trees will not produce a harvest that year. That’s quite a roll of the dice when it comes to running your own business. That very well may be why there aren’t many apple orchards in Nevada.
Some popular apple varieties that grow better in the Nevada climate include Dorsett Golden, Fuji, Pink Lady, Mutsu, and Granny Smith.
Plan Your Visit to One of the Best Apple Orchards in Nevada
If you’re in the mood for delicious apples, skip the grocery store and try supporting one of these five apple orchards in Nevada! Not only are you purchasing locally-grown produce for your family, but you’ll also be supporting a local farm’s effort to serve the community.
It’s also a great way to provide a fun day out for the whole family. Many apple orchards offer children’s play areas, and it’s never too early to spark an interest in gardening or farming.
Excited for more apple content? Visit my apple trees page to learn more about apple planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and more!