For two weekends in May, Schnepf Farms (Queen Creek, AZ) holds a Peach Festival. It’s free to get in (I love “free”) so we wanted to go. (Translation: I wanted to go and my husband didn’t have the energy to fight it.) I had my heart set on fresh peaches so I could make peach pies – which I’ve never done before.
It has been three or four years since we’ve been there, but they have orchards/groves where you can pick your own fruit, as well as a General Store where they sell baked goods, like whole peach pies or peach cinnamon rolls. Sadly, we have never gotten to try the baked goods because the line is always long (wait time between 30 and 45 minutes.) With two children, this wait feels more like 30 to 45 hours.
We found a tent with samples of all kinds of peach products: jellies, salsas, sauces, licorice, taffies, butters, gum balls and popcorn. We moved along the u-shaped display tables like herded cattle, enjoying the shade for as long as we could.
We rode in a trailer pulled by a green tractor to the u-pick orchards. Unfortunately, the seats were dried bales of hay. Nice country feel…except when you have allergies. I sneezed several times, the force of each sneeze pushing away those around me. I kind of liked the extra space 🙂
We finally made it to the orchards. My husband and I stood and surveyed the rows, trying to figure out which way we should go. The kids took off running down a row to the right. We followed.
While the men of the house hunted ripe fruit, I searched for fun peach pictures. The twenty minutes spent among the trees filled my heart with joy because they all worked in harmony. Being used to sibling fighting, the absence of it made me want this time to last longer. The perspiration glistening on every part of exposed skin, and trickling down my face helped me accept that this time of peace would be short-lived.
An hour-and-a-half after we arrived, we left with a small box of peaches, a jar of raspberry preserves, a jar of apple butter and five pouches of yummy dip mixes (a mixture of veggie, garlic and dill.) My husband asked if he wanted to know how much I spent, and I told him “no.” It will be my secret that our ‘free’ trip to the farm cost nearly $50.
Sunday morning, after our hike, I kept up my end of the bargain: I made peach pies. I took one over to my parents and kept the other one. My younger son didn’t like it (in his words: “I like it except for the peaches. They’re cooked.”) It’s okay…just leaves more for me and they do go to bed early 🙂
Do you have local farms or farmers markets that you visit?