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Pick Own Fruit 2023

Seven Reasons to Pick Your Own Fruit: And Where To Do It Near Waynesboro

Have you ever considered visiting a pick your own fruit farm while on vacation? There are many of these farms in and near Waynesboro, Virginia. A trip to a pick your own farm is a fun and unique way to spend a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of touristy spots. Here are seven reasons to add this to your getaway agenda.

  1. The fruit is freshest and tastiest when you pick it yourself. Fruit at a grocery store has most likely traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles to get to the produce section. It could be days old by the time you buy it. Purchasing fruit from a local farmers market is a great option for freshness. However, even those strawberries can never be a tasty as ones just picked from the plant. When you buy fruit at a store or market it can be hard to know how long it will be good. When you pick it yourself you have a better idea of how long you have to enjoy the sweet fruits. The staff at the farm will make sure you know what to look for in order to pick the best fruit. Trust us. Your taste buds will thank you for the sweet explosion of flavor they will experience.
  2. There are unique photo opportunities on a farm. Are your vacation albums filled with photographs of you in front of one famous old building after another? Try adding some color by taking photos in a lush and beautiful setting. You can stage some funny pictures such as hugging an apple tree or biting into a peach. A farm can be a great place to get some photos with no one else in the background. Some farms do have rules, especially for professional photography. Be sure to check for any special procedures or tips they may have on taking pictures in order to respect the plants.
  3. Pick your own fruit farms often bring a sense of nostalgia. They are a fun family activity that many parents do with their children. You do not have to have kids to enjoy a farm. Instead, you can relive your own childhood by going as an adult. If your parents or grandparents had a fruit or vegetable garden, visiting a farm can bring back those wholesome memories as well. If you have never been to a farm before, be prepared to form some great memories.
  4. You can support the local economy. Buying directly from the farmer takes out the middle man. Many farms are family businesses and this is a wonderful way to provide direct support for their livelihood, hard work, and dedication to their craft. The fruit is often cheaper than the prices you will find at the store. While saving money you will be helping the environment, the economy, and the farmers.
  5. It is an opportunity learn more about farming. Many pick your own fruit farms have staff who are more than happy to share information about the process. Some farms include specific tours to teach visitors about growing food. You will be sure to learn techniques on how to properly pick the fruit. You may even get some tips that you can bring home. Perhaps you will learn how you can plant an apple tree in your yard or grow berries in a pot on your patio. If nothing else, you will certainly appreciate the work that goes into stocking your local grocery store with ripe produce.
  6. You get to eat healthy. Many vacations are filled with lunches and dinners at restaurants. While the food is always delicious, it can leave a sense of something that is missing. Enough meals out can leave you longing for a simple lunch at home. Imagine a lunch of blackberries, blueberries, and cherries. The berries are easily transportable and you do not need silverware so you can eat them anywhere. It can be such a refreshing break from a few days of heavy meals. Pack some of your fruit in a picnic to enjoy in a local park or just snack on them while driving to your next location.
  7. It is a fun outdoor adventure. If you have never picked your own fruit, you do not know how much fun it can be to spend a few hours in the fields filling a basket with fresh blueberries or peaches. It is great exercise, you get to spend time in the fresh air, and you walk away with a real sense of accomplishment. Some farms have additional activities like hay rides, petting zoos, and food markets. Spend a few hours or an entire day at the farm. This is not a rush in and rush out sightseeing tour. This is a chance to linger and enjoy what our planet can provide for us.

Have we piqued your interest in adding a pick your own farm to your Waynesboro getaway? Try one of these farms near the Iris Inn.

Troyer’s Farm in Waynesboro

Troyer’s Farm in Waynesboro – The Troyer family has made a business of farming produce since 2008 but they have been farmers for much longer. Kenneth grew up on a dairy farm and has been involved in the milking process since he was ten. In 1999, they grew their own produce and had enough extra corn and pumpkins to sell at a roadside stand. Along the way, they had seven children who they introduced to the farming lifestyle. Today the Troyers offer pick your own strawberries (the season starts in May), blackberries (mid-June through July), and blueberries (mid to late-June through July). The fun does not stop there. Visit the farm in the fall to pick your own pumpkin and explore the ten-acre corn maze. Get a gigantic pumpkin to turn into a jack-o-lantern and a few little gourds to decorate your autumn table.

Critzer Family Farm in Afton

Critzer Family Farm in Afton – The Critzer family boasts a five-generation commitment to environmentally-friendly farming methods. The farm market is open from April through October and features locally grown produce, orchard-grown fruit, and plants for your garden. Depending on the season, you can pick your own strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cherries. Call their Berryline (540-241-3305) for daily updates on what is available at the farm. After picking your fruit, reward yourself with a cone of their home-churned ice cream made with farm-fresh fruit. Or if you prefer, hop across the street for a beer at Blue Mountain Brewery.

Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet

Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet – The Chiles family planted their first peach trees for commercial production in 1912. They tried their first pick your own opportunity in 1974 and it was so popular they never looked back. In the 1980s, they started hosting school field trips. The farm market saw a tremendous upgrade in 2007. They added solar panels in 2019. Lastly, they debuted their first wine in 2021. Through all of this, they have stayed true to their fifth-generation family business. Starting with strawberries in the spring, visitors can pick their own blueberries, peaches, vegetables, flowers, apples, and pumpkins. The farm store features other pre-picked options along with cider donuts and pies. They host live music most Saturday afternoons. Grab a glass or bottle of Carter Mountain Wine to sip at a picnic table among the peach trees or on the covered porch. The wine shop also has ice cream if you have a hankering for a frozen treat.

Spring Valley Orchard in Afton

Spring Valley Orchard in Afton – Also part of the Chiles Family farm business, this is the place to go for the ruefully short cherry season. The acres of cherry trees are surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains making it a truly lovely place to visit when the cherries ripen in June. The deep red cherries are the sweetest ones you will find. Keeping the stems attached will help them stay fresh longer. Since cherries are the most perishable of the berries, the farm provides easy tips for freezing your harvest.

East Rockingham Chestnuts in Elkton

East Rockingham Chestnuts in Elkton – Did you know you can pick your own chestnuts? This farm started a pick your own option in 2021. They have almost 600 chestnut trees and visitors are welcome on Saturdays and Sundays during the harvest season. Did you miss the opportunity to pick berries in the spring and summer? Chestnut season typically runs from mid-September until late October.