Fresh, juicy peaches are unbeatable, if you love peaches. And if you love peaches, you’re going to LOVE August! August is National Peach Month and here are all the fun things you need to know to capitalize on the peach harvest.
Chiles Peach Orchard
— WHERE TO PICK —
Cana – Ayers Orchard – Right at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains is this beautiful pick-your-own orchard and century farm. Available varieties of peaches and nectarines are China Pearl, Red Skins, Alberta, Jersey Queen, Jefferson, Georgia Belles, and Yellow Hale.
Crozet – Chiles Peach Orchard – Check out the farm market and ice cream parlor where amazing treats await. Hot, fresh donuts, pies, fudge … it’s a heavenly place! Check their calendar for the annual Homemade Peach Ice Cream Days. Grab some and then pick your own yellow Freestone or Donut peaches.
Crozet – Henley’s Orchard – For more than 75 years Henley’s has been growing and sharing peaches, nectarines and more. Fresh preserves and homemade peach ice cream is waiting for you here!
Piney River – Saunders Brothers Orchard & Farm Market – The first peaches of the season are now available! Choose from pre-picked for purchase or or go all out and pick a peck or a bushel for yourself. As the month goes on, expect the Loring, Sugar Giant, Blake and Mr. Carson varieties to be ready. .
— PEACH FESTIVALS–
Winchester – Peach Festival – Probably every peach dish you can imagine can be found at this festival. Peach cobbler, pie, turnovers, ice cream … the list goes on!
Meadows of Dan – Annual Meadows of Dan Folk Fair – Musicians, crafts, fun activities for the kids, and plenty of peaches in various edible forms — even peach butter made like apple butter!
Stuart – The Virginia State Peach Festival – This festival is free to attend and features every type of peach dish you could possibly want. Live music and historical demonstrations are part of the fun, and local barbecue is available in addition to everything peach.
— A PEACH RECIPE FOR YOU —
Easy Fresh Peach Preserves from Karla Jones Seidita of Cheesecake Farms in Sumerduck.
- 8 to 10 ripe peaches (about 3 1/2 lbs.)
- 3 T. lemon juice
- 1 1/4 c. sugar
Peel and pit peaches. Remove any bruised spots and discard. Coarsely mash. Stir in lemon juice. Measure peahces and juice – you should have about five cups.
Put mashed peaches and juice in a large skillet (not cast iron). Add sugar and cover the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for one minute with the lid on, then remove lid. Reduce heat so peaches bubble but don’t boil over.
Cook, stirring, until mixture reduces in volume by half (about eight minutes). Do not overcook. Preserves thicken as they cool.
Remove from heat and skim away any foam. Immediately ladle into a heat-proof container. Cool uncovered at room temperature for about an hour, then cover and refrigerate. Stores refrigerated for up to one week.
Have a peach recipe you’d love to share? Leave a comment!