The Apple Basket is the only USDA certified organic apple orchard in northern Nevada.
The orchard of 200 dwarf apple trees was planted in 1994, and is owned and operated by Al and Delane Pennington. Al is a retired airline pilot and a Christian minister. Delane is a retired public school teacher and author of children's books. Together they do all the work required to operate the orchard considering it more of a hobby than a business, offering an experience unique in northern Nevada
Located at 7425 Franktown Road in Washoe Valley, the Apple Basket orchard offers pick-your-own apples from mid-September through October. The orchard sits on the division between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Great Basin, just east of Lake Tahoe. The five acre property also includes a gift shop and picnic area. The pristine waters of the Washoe Valley aquifer yields apples of exceptional quality including Braeburn, Cameo, Gala and Golden Delicious varieties.
The micro climate of the Washoe Valley is problematic for apple farming. In fact, for two seasons out of the last seven, no apples appeared due to warm spring weather followed by hard freezes. But this year is different, with plenty of apples to pick from. Pests are controlled at the farm by all natural methods with no oils, chemicals or insecticides in use. For the past six years the State of Nevada Department of Agriculture has awarded the Apple Basket USDA Organic Certification.
The Apple Basket has become a popular destination for Reno and Carson City locals who make wandering the orchard hunting for the perfect apple an annual Fall tradition. Children also enjoy watching the many varieties of free range chicken that live in the orchard that provide additional pest control. A picnic area, children's play area and small gift shop have been added to the farm in the last few years.