This A-List Hairstylist’s Apple Orchard Is Straight Out of a Lifetime Movie
The Orchard at Apple Lane is a you-pick idyll that’s begging you to hit the road for a visit.
We’re not in the business of writing Lifetime movie plots here at Sunset, but if we were, “The Orchard at Apple Lane” would be our first pitch. The setting: A charming, but neglected century-old fruit orchard in Auburn, California, with rows of trees bearing apples, peaches, plums, pears, and figs; a handful of cottages; and a rambling old farmhouse at the top of a hill. The lead: Ashley Streicher, a chic young hairstylist who spent the last decade making a name for herself in Los Angeles at a salon she owns with her two glamorous sisters, who was growing tired of the chronically single life. The love interest: Clay, Ashley’s high school sweetheart, who became an arborist, back home in Sacramento. The story: They reconnect during the pandemic after years apart, buy a house, have a baby boy, and then bring The Orchard back to glorious life, re-imagining a farmstand that becomes a favorite stop to stock up on snacks on the drive from San Francisco to Truckee. And it’s all based on a very true story.
“When I saw the property was for sale, I was up in Tahoe with Clay and his family, and I sat them all down and said, ‘Guys, I think we need to buy this property,” says Ashley, who is the youngest of the three Streicher sisters—beauty influencers and owners of the Striiike salon in Beverly Hills, and the heroine of our story.
When the salon temporarily closed in 2020 during the pandemic, Ashley returned to her native turf near Sacramento. After rekindling her relationship with the “love of her life,” they had a son, Ansel. When the pandemic restrictions were lifted, she resumed work in L.A. for a week a month to see her loyal clients and friends, like actor Mandy Moore and Kiernan Shipka. But when she was back home in Meadow Vista, she was twiddling her thumbs, and eager to sink her teeth into a local project. “I’m not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom, and I was looking for a challenge. I knew this was something I could do,” she says.
With Clay’s mother, sister, and aunt on board to organize the financial and logistical aspects of running the property, and with Clay’s experience tending to land and trees, Ashley dug into the renovation with co-founders Laura Carter, Sue Dossa, and Jan Moriel. The on-property structures were revived, remodeled, and rented to new tenants, with plans to turn them into Airbnb rentals one day. The farmstand got a brand new coat of paint (Japanese Sable by Kelly Moore); a charming logo; and a fresh stock of new provisions like bagged candy and dried fruit, local cheese and meats, and plenty of pies. The “fruits” of their labor are evident in every corner of the 27-acre property, where the best parts have been restored to their former glory, but the farming practices are far more sustainable.
“We hired the farmhands who used to work here seasonally full time to help us, and we’re still working with Norma, the baker who’s been making pies for the orchard for 30 years,” says Ashley. “We’ve added fruit and savory hand pies to the mix, which are perfect for picnics on the grass.”
After six months of hard work, The Orchard is poised to open for their first-ever you-pick season, and the young family is preparing to celebrate with a fall dinner for friends and family, with children playing among the trees. “We’re at 101 Apple Lane, right off of Highway 80 at the Bowman exit,” says Ashley, who’s eager to welcome road trippers who are looking for a crisp fall day in the country. Go check out the happy ending for yourself!
Ashley’s Local Favorites:
WHERE TO STAY
WHERE TO EAT
Streicher’s Auburn favorites include Restaurant Josephine for farm-to-table French, Pizzeria Luba (“the best pizza I’ve ever had”), and the Wings Grill and Espresso Bar at the local municipal airport.
WHERE TO DRINK
WHAT TO DO
The Pennyweight hiking trail to the American River is short, sweet, and scenic. Ashley grew up swimming and fishing at the Yuba River state park, known for its historic bridges and picture-perfect waterfalls. Or wander around the shops in downtown Grass Valley.