September 28, 2023

[Dominick Copas | Banner] Riley’s Farm, feautring a history that reaches back to the 1700s, has been a prominent fixture in the Oak Glen area for its bountiful apple groves.

Riley’s Farm, nestled within Oak Glen Canyon, has continued to delight anyone who passes through its gates ever since its beginning in 1978.

After the Riley family bought and developed the land where the farm is now located, the farm launched into local fame when the gates opened its “U-Pick” operation.

During the right season, visitors can find anything from delicious apples of nearly any variety to even sweeter fruits like strawberries.

The apple orchards are spread throughout the farm and range from Granny Smiths to Pink Ladies, while specialty fruit like berries and pumpkins spread their roots upon the gentle slopes at the rear of the farm.

“Riley’s offers a variety of activities for all ages,” said Janine Radoc, senior business administration major. “From apple- and berry-picking to pumpkin patches, dining, shopping, petting zoos, camping, seasonal events and so much more.”

Riley’s Farm offers plenty of year-round activities and events unique to specific seasons. During the holidays, it offers a peak of the season in its “Christmas in the Colonies,” featuring a feast, caroling and dancing. In the spring, the farm takes on the early years of the state in its “Gold Rush” event, complete with “local miners” and a taste of their daily lives.

The farm and its activities are thankful for “Old Joe Wilshire,” the original acquirer of the vast landscape.

“Old Joe Wilshire bought (the land) with a saddle, a bottle of whiskey and a chicken,” said Kristen Forbes, cashier at Riley’s Farm. “Hundreds of acres up here.”

No matter what the activity or the history lesson, Riley’s Farm has a tremendous dedication to portraying historical events with accuracy and respect. Its actors are treated as  teachers to all those who visit the beautiful farm.

Forbes talked about how the buildings on the farm are separated by nearly a hundred years at times, and the historical dress of the employees matches those periods where they work.

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