With crisp autumn air comes much-anticipated activities connected with the season. Apple Annie’s has long been the ideal road trip for Phoenicians to participate in all things fall including a festival, delicious seasonal foods, fruit picking and choosing the perfect pumpkins.
“Apple Annie’s can be found at our three distinct locations in Willcox. For pumpkin picking, you can visit our Williams Road location. Our Harvey Road spot is for apple and Asian pear picking, and we have our retail store off the freeway for jarred goods, pies, apple bread and much more. That location is open year-round to share our goodies with you,” says owner Mandy Kirkendall.
Mandy recommends that a trip to Apple Annie’s begins by simply grabbing a light jacket and some sturdy boxes for fruit transport (boxes are available on site for a small fee.)
Apple Annie’s does not charge a parking fee at its locations, and there is no entrance fee—you pay as you go for what you’d like to do or, more importantly, what you’d like to taste.
“We have apple picking, along with fresh vegetables to purchase, such as tomatoes, summer and winter squash, sweet corn, peppers and chilies. We have the largest corn maze in Arizona and a beautiful sunflower patch as well,” she says.
Apple Annie’s grows its own pumpkins, which means variety—a myriad of colors and more than 30 types from minis to Atlantic Giants.
“Our orchard location uses pumpkin in other ways too. We offer pumpkin ice cream, pie and bread. Of course, we include something for any fall foodie, such as apple bread, apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, homemade fudge and apple-smoked hamburgers. Our apple pie was voted best pie in Arizona by AZ Highways.”
To bring home your own apples for baking, Mandy gives some helpful tips and information.
“Apples are a durable fruit. They hold up well in transport, but be sure to be gentle and also to pick for what you want. Granny Smith apples are ideal for baking; Pink Ladies are great for baking, eating and applesauce; and Brown Beauties are delicious baked whole or eaten straight off the tree as they are a bit tart.”
Mandy is proud to offer a fun-filled experience to visitors, which all began with her parents. Natives of Scottsdale, her father has a degree in wildlife biology from ASU and worked with the Game and Fish Department, which moved the family to Willcox. What started as commercial apple growing with an agreement to sell apple bread at Costvo is now Apple Annie’s.
“My favorite part of our business is the idea of kids getting to see where their food is grown. They don’t get that opportunity at the grocery store. It’s the freshness that’s exciting,” she says.
Orchard and Patch: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. in October
Country Store: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. year-round
Orchard: 2081 W. Hardy Road Willcox, Arizona
Produce and Pumpkin Patch: 6405 W. Williams Road Willcox, Arizona
Country Store: 1510 N. Circle I Road, Willcox, Arizona