The spring growing season is well underway, but as much as we love our artichokes and onions, what we're really excited about is peach season. Very soon we'll be able to pick fresh peaches and soon after that apricots, melons, and more at farms all over the city and state. Here are nine places where you can get out and get your own produce right now and throughout the summer.
Schnepf Farms 24810 South Rittenhouse Road Queen Creek, Arizona 85142 www.schnepffarms.com 480-987-3100
As of this weekend peach season is officially underway at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek. The organic U-Pick gardens and orchards at the farm are open Thursday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free. Everything -- that includes peaches, strawberries, turnips, Swiss chard, and more -- costs $1.50/lb. Apricots, plums, and apples should be available in May and June. The farm will also host its annual Peach Festival from May 10 to 18 with live music, rides, crafts, and more.
Fenway Park Orchards 42610 Highway 60-89 Morristown, AZ 85342 www.fenwayparkorchards.com 623-388-2603
Located nine miles east of Wickenburg, Fenway Park Orchards grows Yellow Cling Peaches and blackberries, though they won't be ready until mid-May. Call after May 1 for an exact opening date. White Peaches and Anna Apples will also be ready in early June. During picking season the farm will be open Tuesday though Thursday and on weekends from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mother Nature's Farm 1663 E. Baseline RD. Gilbert, AZ 85233 480-892-5874 www.mothernaturesfarm.com
Mother Nature's Farm in Gilbert farm will host its own Peach Festival on Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11, during which time you can snag your own fresh peaches right off the tree. The farm will also allow guests to come out and pick their own apples starting in mid-May.
Tolmachoff Farms 5726 N. 75th Ave. Glendale, AZ 85303 602-999-3276
You'll find this family-operated farm in Glendale one mile south of Bethany Home Road on the west side of 75th Avenue. This year Tolmachoff Farms will be hosting U-Pick produce throughout the month of June on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Everything will be available for $1.75/lb. The farm grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, so call ahead to see what's available.
Vertuccio Farms 4011 S. Power Rd. Mesa, AZ 85212 480-650-6606 or 480-650-6611 www.vertucciofarms.com
Located on Power Road between the US60 and 202 San Tan Freeway, Vertuccio Farms brings fresh produce almost right in the middle of the city. Started by Joe and Maria Vertuccio, this farm will have you-pick peaches in mid-May, but hasn't set an opening date yet. They'll also host Peaches n' Play during the peach season, which will offer the little ones an air pillow, pedal carts, hay maze, tube slide and train ride. Peach picking hours will be daily from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free. Peaches will cost $1.50 a pound -- don't forget to bring a basket.
Apple Annie's Orchard 2081 W. Hardy Rd. Willcox, AZ 85643 520-384-2084 www.appleannies.com
Apple Annie's Produce & Pumpkins 6405 W. Williams Rd. Wllcox, AZ 85643 520-384-4685 www.appleannies.com
If you're up for a little road trip, head to Apple Annie's Orchard in Wilcox to pick your own sweet corn, peaches, and more. The farm's Sweet Corn Extravaganza 2014 will be held at Apple Annie's Produce & Pumpkins starting on Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13, and Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20. Farm guests will be able to pick sweet corn and other vegetables from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Apple Annie's Orchard will then host Peach Mania 2014 on weekends from July 19 to August 17 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to picking your own peaches, look forward to an all-you-can-eat peach pancake breakfast, wagon rides, and more.
The Farm at Agritopia 3000 E. Ray Rd. Gilbert, Arizona 85296 480-988-1238 www.thefarmatagritopia.com
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This urban farm, found in the heart of Gilbert, will kick off its Peach U-Pick within the next two the three weeks. The Farm at Agritopia will be open for picking from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday mornings. Keep an eye on the farm's Facebook and website for when the season starts -- and act fast because they expect to sell out quickly. The farm also offers a 24-four, self-service farm stand.
Tonopah Rob's Vegetable Farm 35838 W. Buckeye Rd. Tonopah, AZ 85354 623-386-3033 www.tonopahrob.com
About an hour west of the city you'll find Tonopah Rob's Vegetable Farm. The all-natural farm offers a pretty unique CSA program that lets members come out to the farm every weekend to pick their own share. During summer the farm is open Saturday mornings from 7 to 11 a.m. CSA members are invited to pick their own produce including cilantro, assorted onions, fennel, cauliflower, fresh eggs, and more. Guests can also schedule farm tours. For more information and CSA pricing check out the Tonopah Rob's website.