Summertime is in full swing. In fact, it's starting to wind down, so don't sleep on it. Get up and get out there! One of the best ways to celebrate the season is to eat it. We're talking raspberries, blackberries and peaches are in full bloom! While you can purchase all the goodness at your local farmers market, the more fun way to procure nature's candy is to get caveman with it—or cavewoman, rather—and go gather it yourself. Luckily, though, unlike our prehistoric forefathers, the gathering process just requires about an hour-long drive out on I-66 into Northern Virginia, where local farmers have opened their fields for your picking pleasure. Here's where to go:
Located in Delaplane, Va., this farm is open for picking Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Right now, you can get peaches, raspberries, blackberries, Asian pears, potatoes, Japanese plums and more. Admission is free, and the prices are fair. A peck of peaches will run you about $12, for instance.
11324 Pearlstone Lane, Delaplane, Va. 20144; (540) 592-3592
Green Truck Farm
Redskin peaches sound like the perfect way to inaugurate football season, no? You can get plenty of those here every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (although that's subject to change, so call before you come), plus a few bushels of fresh sweet corn. Raspberries are on deck, the farmers report, so prepare your jam jars now. Plus, the pricing is fantastic—one pound of berries will run you only about $2.15.
3015 Hartland Lane, Markham, Va. 22643; (540) 316-7715
Mackintosh Fruit Farm
If you needed any more convincing, this picturesque farm is appropriately located in a town called Berryville. Open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, peaches are in season right now, but save a date to visit here in September when this farm will roll out the pawpaw, a.k.a. "the poor man's banana." What is it? We hear because it has twice the sugar content of most other fruits, it's like eating custard. Plus, legend has it that chilled pawpaws were one of George Washington’s favorite desserts. We're in.
1608 Russell Rd., Berryville, Va. 22611; (540) 955-2161