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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Schnepf Farm and Hackberry Trail

Cycling with the snowbirds from Minnesota, we learn new routes to ride, meet nice people and stop for lunch. This day was a stop at Schnepf Farms.
 The Schnepf’s joined other farmers to begin clearing the brush for row crops. The farmers soon realized the sandy soil in this area was perfect for crops such as cotton, wheat and vegetables. In the late 60’s, Ray Schnepf began growing potatoes used for potato chips. They continued to diversify in the 70’s planting Queen Palms, Mexican fan palms and pine trees in a large field. Before long the Schnepf’s were farming over 5000 acres and shipping vegetables across the country. His favorite crop was candy corn. As visitors drove out to the small farming community they would often stop and ask if they could pick a few ears of corn and some peaches. It wasn’t long until Ray realized that selling corn and peaches for U-Pick was the way to go. And Schnepf Farms began to grow….

Today Schnepf Farms is enjoyed by over a quarter of a million people throughout the year. Visitors come to the farm for festivals, events, weddings, educational tours, pick your own vegetables, to pick peaches,  shop, foodie events  or just to enjoy the beautiful feeling of walking on a true family farm





There is much for a person to do while in Arizona with the Snowbirds arriving and ready to get out and go. We pulled on the hiking boots to head out for a hike with a group from our resort.
This was an easy hike with a stop at the Hackberry Spring as we rounded the hill.

Hackberry Springs Loop is just an extension of the Garden Valley Loop. The trailhead starts at the First Water Trailhead just past Lost Dutchman State Park 
This hike was rated as easy and 4 miles and a good one to get our hiking legs back.

 




It is amazing to me how easily the desert can change. On the other side of this mountain are jumping chollas and mesquites, and here are grasses growing in the wet soil amidst lush green shade trees.

Dave was our leader and chief picture taker.

Looking up, we could almost see where the rains during the monsoons would flow over the cliffs above.
First Water Ranch
 
 

8 comments:

  1. Schnepf Farm looks like our kind of place

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    1. It is pretty good. The Olive Mill is around the corner and you would really like that place.

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  2. We were just at Hackberry Springs last week.

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  3. Some great ideas for next year when we are back in AZ. Last year we found Mesa and the Cal-Am park we were at were not quite our thing thus our move to hosting at Spur Cross Ranch Recreation Area and living at Cave Creek Regional Park. If you haven't been to either of them they are well worth a visit.

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    1. Spur Cross looks great. We will check it out. We enjoyed Cave Creek in the past and will have to return since we are staying a little longer here.

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  4. Here we are, bundled up in fleece and down jackets while you're hiking in short sleeves. Still, life is good. :-) The farm looks great!

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    1. The high today was only 58 degrees and 40s at night. Looks like the heat wave is over.

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