“The nectarine, and curious peach, / Into my hands themselves do reach; / Stumbling on melons, as I pass, / Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.” –Andrew Marvell
Imagine a summer day so sweltering that the air seems to shimmer, leaving you perspiring even when standing entirely still. Now imagine someone handing you a small peach, soft with ripeness. You bite into the peach and are immediately rewarded with a sweet juice that elicits a myriad of happy, summer memories.
This may all be hypothetical, but your experience can come pretty close to it at Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet, Virginia. Right now, it is peak peach season: “The yellow freestones are ripe and ready, the white peaches, donut peaches, and nectarines are awesome, and we’re getting in tons of local veggies from our Greenwood neighbors – tomatoes, squash, cantalopes, and sweet peppers – so much summer goodness” (Chiles).
Peaches are still available to pick through the end of August, and pre-picked peaches are available through mid-September (if they aren’t gone before then). The weather has been fall-like in its coolness the past couple days, so this is the perfect time to go-peach picking. The orchard is “open Monday through Saturday 9-6, Sunday 10-5. Please arrive at least 45 minutes prior to closing time in order to pick your own!” (Chiles).