Chow Bella

You Pick It: Schnepf Farms

Schnepf Farms may have gotten a reputation for hosting rowdy music festivals, but that isn't what is attracting fall foodies. Schnepf is another great example of an Arizona you-pick-it farm, and it's a lot easier to get to than Buckelew or Apple Annie's.

Currently, the farm is putting on a pumpkin and chili festival through the end of October that costs $14 to attend. However, Schnepf offers farm fresh produce all year round, changing what's available to pick with the season. Though most of their fruit isn't available until the spring, they do offer an array of fruit butters, preserves, and spreads in their gift shop.

Also available in the store are salsas, dressings, and pickled goods. Baker Susan Rosier makes pies, cookies, and cinnamon rolls for Schnepf, which are also available in the gift shop.

Two events hosted by Schnepf Farms really set them apart from other orchards and patches, though. First, Diners Down The Orchard gives folks the opportunity to have dinner right where their dinner was grown.
The event has attracted some popular local chefs including Eddie Matney, Robert McGrath, and Aaron May. The event only comes around four times per year, so those interested should reserve their spot on the Schnepf Web site for the next dinner service on November 21.

Schnepf also hosts a four-course farm-fresh Friday night dining experience. The next menu features chili-glazed salmon with wilted greens and citrus risotto. Diners are also entertained by live jazz on the Schnepf patio. The meal with wine pairings is just under $30, and seats fill up fast so reservations are a good idea.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch