Nine Places in Arizona to Pick Your Own Summer Produce
Almost time to pick the peaches!
If you think that you have to live in Portland or Northern California to participate in the gratifying experience of picking your own fruit off a tree (or bush) then you are wrong. Arizona has all sorts of places to pick your own produce -- apples, blackberries,artichokes, cucumber, peaches, and more are all available at farms across the state.
Take a trip to one of these family farms for some of the freshest summer produce. Some are right here in town but a few of the others might be a bit more of a day excursion.
Fenway Park Orchards, Morristown -- Allen and Carol Way have been growing desert fruit on their land just 23 miles northwest of Surprise for the past 39 years. Each of their thousand or so apple and peach trees are cared for by the owners themselves and are 100 percent organic. No pesticides here! The Fenway Park Orchards peach harvest begins May 19 and usually lasts until the beginning of June. The orchard grows red blush cling peaches and the larger white freestone variety, which normally ripen up toward the end of the season. Picking hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturdays and Sundays. Arrive early for the best selection.
Blackberries and butterflies
Silvas Farm, Somerton -- Twelve miles south of Yuma, you'll find this beautiful little farm where you can pick your own blackberries and tangelos. Blackberry season started early this year (May 2) but you still have a couple weeks to get down there and fill your baskets with the sweet, tart berries. If you haven't ever tasted a blackberry straight off the bush, we highly suggest you put this on your bucket list. The farm is open Mondays and Wednesday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tangelo season starts in late December. Make sure you call Sandy at the farm to make sure fruit is available before you make the trip: 928-446-8706
Aqua Linda Farm, Amado -- South of Tucson in the itsy-bitsy town of Amado, you'll find husband-and-wife team Stewart and Laurel Loew's beautiful 63-acre organic farm. The farm grows everything from pumpkins to bok choy to garlic. The Loews open their farm to the public ever Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This summer, you can pick your own zucchini, summer squash, snow peas, okra, cucumbers, and bok choy and you can purchase freshly harvested onions and garlic.
Howard's Orchard, Catalina -- Get your later summer peach fix at Howard's Orchard just south of Tucson. The orchard will open June 20 with ripe apricots and crisp cucumbers with peaches and tomatoes to follow in July and apples in August. The Orchard is open Wednesday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to noon. Bring cash. Howard's doesn't accept credit or debit.
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