Just Peachy

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.

Part of the line (it’s amazing how many people fit in an itty bitty store)

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.

Peach Popcorn
Peach Taffy (older son loved it)

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 🙂

Ah-choo! A short hay ride to pick peaches

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.

One row of many…

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 🙂

First baked pies….not much to look at, but tasted good!

Do you have local farms or farmers markets that you visit?

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33 thoughts on “Just Peachy

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 5:54 PM

      Thanks, Erin! It was my first try, and a good learning experience 🙂

  1. nrhatch May 21, 2012 / 7:47 AM

    I love picking peaches, apples, strawberries, tomatoes, etc.

    I’m voting with your son . . . I’d rather eat a fresh picked peach and let the juice run down my chin than have a sliced of pie. BFF would opt for the pie. 😀

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 5:55 PM

      Oh, I love fresh peaches, too…as long as they’re ripe. The ones we tend to get in our stores are picked to early and there’s no juice to be had 😦

      Thanks for your peach description, Nancy…now I have a hankering for a good peach!

  2. suzicate May 21, 2012 / 9:18 AM

    Oh, the south is full of wonderful peach orchards…love when we go! Thanks for bringing a visit here to me!

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 5:56 PM

      I bet our peaches are nothing compared to Georgia, but that’s too far for me to drive! Thanks for stopping by, Suzicate.

  3. Widdershins May 21, 2012 / 10:19 AM

    Congrats on your pie making! They look yummy!

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 5:56 PM

      Thanks, Widdershins. They were pretty good, but I wrote down a couple adjustments I’d like to try next time 🙂

  4. Diane Turner May 21, 2012 / 1:03 PM

    Looking at all the gorgeous peaches made my mouth water. But your son is spot on. Nothing beats a fresh peach. Thanks from a Californian for a peek into the south.

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 6:55 PM

      Oh, you’re in CA? We’re neighbors (sort of). I’m sure the peaches here in Arizona are nothing compared to Georgia! I love fresh peaches when they’re just ripe enough to be juicy but not bruised. Yes, I am a picky one 🙂

      • Diane Turner May 22, 2012 / 7:02 PM

        Me, too. Picky, that is. I love them exactly as your describe them, right off the tree, dust and all. If the peach is right, I don’t even mind the fuzz. Now I’m drooling again. Drat! I’m sure western US peaches can’t hold a candle to those grown in Georgia. Thanks for the juicy post.

        • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 7:09 PM

          I’m drooling too, and I don’t have any more peaches 😦

          I don’t know if I should ever try a Georgia peach – I may not like our peaches anymore. (That’s what happened with mangoes in Hawaii. I can’t get a decent mango here!)

  5. newwhitebear May 21, 2012 / 1:12 PM

    It’s marvellous! A peach festival! I love the peach.

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 6:56 PM

      It’s a fruit that deserves to be celebrated, Newwhitebear 🙂

  6. Debbie May 21, 2012 / 2:15 PM

    What a neat experience! Personally, I’m with your younger son — I love fresh peaches, not cooked ones. The Midwest is full of all kinds of fresh fruits and veggies. Pumpkin patches and apple orchards and strawberry fields are the favorites to visit for most people.

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 6:58 PM

      Oh I wish we had strawberry fields. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to grow berries in AZ, but it’s just too hot. (New Mexico was a little better, but they weren’t the best berries, either.) Thanks for making my mouth water with the talk of fruit, Debbie 🙂

  7. pattyabr May 21, 2012 / 9:18 PM

    It’s funny my son didn’t like “cooked peaches” in a pie either. He said it was slimy. It looks like you had a lot of fun. Peach festivals in Colorado will be in August. Awesome!

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 7:02 PM

      I bet your weather will be nicer than ours (it was over 100 degrees, Ugh!) I hope you’ll do some peachy baking in August and post pictures on your blog 🙂

  8. pattisj May 21, 2012 / 9:57 PM

    Your pies are lovely, Janna. I’m not much for cooked peaches, either, fresh would be my pick. They look so pretty in your pictures.

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 5:58 PM

      I come from a long line of folks with “sweet tooths” (and diabetics) so I guess that’s why I like peach pie 🙂 Thanks for checking out my peachy post, Patti!

  9. Carl D'Agostino May 22, 2012 / 9:02 AM

    On Wednesdays I am now featuring guest posts, poets and painters only. Would like you to send a fav poem, bio and pic as jpegs. See my posts 5/9 and 5/16 to see what I am talking about. Hope you will accept and participate.

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 6:26 PM

      Sounds like fun, Carl! I’ve seen those posts, but I’ll check them out closer. Do you have a date you are looking to have this by?

  10. cuhome May 22, 2012 / 10:33 AM

    Yes, we have a local farmer’s market nearby, and after reading your post, I just want to go visit it…. maybe leave my cash at home, though! Honestly, though, I love supporting local business!

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 6:31 PM

      I know what you mean about leaving the cash at home! I could be justifying the expense, but it seems like what I buy at these places tastes better than the grocery store. Thanks for chiming in, Janet.

  11. chlost May 22, 2012 / 6:56 PM

    Those pies look wonderful. We have a friend who does not like any cooked fruit pies. It seems it is mostly a texture avoidance thing, rather than the flavor. I love both the fresh peaches and pies, cobblers, crisps, anything with the peaches. You are right that the ones from the farms and farm markets taste so much better. I think that they are better for us as well. I never realized that there were fruit orchards in AZ.

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2012 / 7:07 PM

      Thanks, Chlost! I’ve never baked fruit pies before…I guess I felt adventurous 🙂 I could see how the texture could be off-putting, Chlost.

      There aren’t many farms in Arizona that I know of. I can think of a couple and they are limited in what they do grow. They will have tons of pumpkins in the fall, though. Thanks for stopping by today!

    • jannatwrites May 23, 2012 / 9:31 PM

      Thanks, Evelyn! My husband thought I was nuts crawling around in the trees trying to get good angles 🙂

        • jannatwrites May 25, 2012 / 8:42 PM

          Thanks! I choose to believe he walked away from me because he was searching for peaches, not because he was pretending h didn’t know me 🙂

  12. philosophermouseofthehedge May 24, 2012 / 1:09 PM

    Nothing – nothing better than warm homemade peach pie with vanilla ice cream melting all over it! (drooling….)
    The pix were well worth the climbing.

    • jannatwrites May 24, 2012 / 8:52 PM

      Vanilla ice cream would’ve been a nice addition…I was just too lazy to go buy some! Thanks for stopping by to enjoy the peaches, Phil.

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