pear picking in julian at o’dell’s organic orchard (because apple picking is too mainstream)

A little scenic drive up into the mountains was what awaited us one recent Saturday…


I always love the windy roads with trees covering both sides of the road.


Maya was even part of the crew that day!


Eventually we made our way to our destination: O’Dell’s Organic Orchard! To get to O’Dell’s you have to pass through a packed road filled with people visiting a winery and an apple orchard. If you drive a bit down the road, the crowds thin out and you go up another winding path to the orchard. Someone directs you where to park and you get out to peek around.

O’Dell’s Organic Orchard has approximately 400 pear trees with varieties such as Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc.  O’Dell’s is a certificated organic orchard so everything’s safe to just eat off the trees. We were encouraged to sample and eat as many pears as we pleased!


Not all the fruit is in easy picking distance, so Jake got this fruit picking tool (I’m sure it has some official name that I don’t know) to help us out!


We wandered around the orchard, going from tree to tree and sampling the fruit.


There were pears in different colors, shapes, and sizes. It was something hard to tell the varieties apart, but as long as you tasted it and liked it, then you were good to go!


When we were done sampling the fruit, we were told to just toss it under the trees. There’s quite the collection of fallen pears on the ground.


Here’s our partially filled bag. You can bet this bag was overflowing with pears by the time we left! The cost is $10 a bag. They said a bag can hold about 6lbs of pears – I am certain we got that, if not more. Plus, you can OD on pear eating.


Laura and I, sampling a delicious pear.


T in the midst of pear picking with the fruit picker thingamabob.


In addition to the pear trees, there’s also animals here! They have chicken and turkey’s (which Maya was very, very interested in).


As well as horses and goats!

The goats were scared of Maya at first: They all backed far away from her when we approached the fence, but then one brave goat would come a few inches forward and then the rest of the herd would inch forward. This happened over and over again until one goat decided to investigate Maya up close!


The orchard itself was very peaceful and very pretty, with spots of fall color!


The best part is that the orchard is also dog friendly!

There’s also a fire truck that the kids can climb on (after signing a waiver) and it’s a very open, friendly atmosphere.


Pear picking was great fun and O’Dell’s Organic Orchard was a great place to do it! There are a couple of other orchards nearby that do both pear and apples if you want to pick both.  Check out this list of Julian Orchards to see which ones have apples/pears and their hours and open dates. Apple/pear picking season doesn’t last long, so if you’re interested in doing this I suggest going sooner rather than later!


What did I do with my share of the pear bounty? Nothing too interesting, actually. I mostly just ate the fruit but I did use one pear to make a pear and blue stilton cheese salad with candied pecans and grape tomatoes. I love the combination of blue cheese and pears! Maybe next time I’ll make a pear tart… or a pear crumble…

O’Dell’s Organic Orchard
1095 Julian Orchards Dr.
Julian, CA 92036
(760) 765-1174

Hours: 11AM-4PM on the weekends

4 thoughts on “pear picking in julian at o’dell’s organic orchard (because apple picking is too mainstream)

  1. Yum! My goal this year is to go to Julian for the first time. A few of your past posts gave me the motivation. I was going to do apple picking but pear picking sounds like fun too

    1. I love going up to Julian! I haven’t been fruit picking since I was a kid but it’s pretty fun. We also had a picnic lunch while we were up there and then got the obligatory apple pie. There are a few orchards that have both apples and pears if you want to try that!

  2. What a great post! I never knew about the pear orchards in Julian. Very nice to know. If we don’t do it this year, we’ll do it next year. Seems like a lot of fun!

    Haha, “apple picking is too mainstream!” (0) ___(o)

    FYI – there is an article in today’s Food section of the Union Tribune about Julian apples. They interviewed a chef, (local boy from Julian), Jeremy Manley. We went to his restaurant a couple of years back, Jeremy’s on the Hill (kind of upscale for Julian but better than the stuff they have on their main touristy drag; this place is out of the way)….

    1. Thanks, CC! I’m not really a hipster, I just thought it was funny to say hehe. The apple orchards seem to sometimes be overcrowded and this place was a bit more kick back – at least when we went! I have heard of Jeremy’s on the Hill but have never been. On this trip we brought our own lunch since we had Maya with us and I feel like most of the places to eat in Julian is just tourist traps.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.