Is there anything better than a tree-ripened peach?
Sometimes you get lucky, and the sweetest fruit is the easiest to pick. Peaches definitely fall into this category. Grown on trees all around the state, all you have to do is walk up and snag a few. No bending, no thorns—just juicy, delicious peaches ripe for the taking. Here are some of the Maryland farms where you can pick your own.
Rock Hill Orchard
ADDRESS: 28600 Ridge Road | Mount Airy, MD
PHONE: (301) 831-7427
Rock Hill Orchard is my absolute favorite Maryland u-pick spot. Not only do they have almost anything you'd ever want to pick (you can even pick your own flowers), but they have their own dairy operation and they make their own ICE CREAM. Y'all, I'm getting chills just thinking about it.
The location is a little puzzling the first time you go. It seems much too suburban, but it's really there! Look for the little farmstand on the road and follow the signs to the orchard—They'll tell you where to go to pick what's ripe. Many of the tree fruits are in the back of the property so you can drive all the way back instead of hiking up on foot.
The 2021 season features U-pick reservations on the weekend, every Saturday and Sunday, with walk-ins welcome on Fridays. So far in August, they have peaches, nectarines, and fresh flowers available for picking. Apples are right around the corner, so keep an eye on their website for updates on what's ripe in the orchard.
Courtesy of Rock Hill Orchard
ADDRESS: 1015 Baugher Road | Westminster, MD
PHONE: (410) 857-0111
This farm is loads of fun—You get to ride a wagon out to the fields ($2 per person), and containers are provided. In addition to the farm market where you can pick up even more fresh produce, there are playgrounds and a picnic area where you can enjoy an impromptu picnic. The 2021 hours for U-pick fun are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday.
Pets are prohibited, so leave your furry friends at home. Call before you head out and check what's ripe that day. Bad weather can mean impromptu closings, so you've been warned!
Courtesy of Baugher's Orchard
ADDRESS: 15604 Sugarland Road | Poolesville, MD
PHONE: (301) 977-3761
Visit this farm's website to keep track of what is ripe and when. They're open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Homestead Farm charges a $2 entry fee for everyone over the age of 1, but it gives you access to the orchard, the farm animals, and a picnic area. Sounds like a great way to spend a day in the country! Face coverings are required in the market, so be sure to have one with you.
Know Before You Go
- Ripe peaches will come away in your hand with a gentle twist. If a peach doesn't come off the tree easily, it's probably not ripe yet.
- Transporting perfectly ripe peaches isn't easy without bruising them. Bring along some extra kitchen towels and boxes to carefully pack them for the ride home.
- The orchards will probably give you paper bags to do your picking. Bring some baskets if you plan on doing a photoshoot.
- As tempting as it is, you don't want to eat your fresh peaches without washing them. If you plan on eating some right away, bring along a paring knife and peel the skin off first.
- Cash is always accepted at small farm operations. They may not be able to take credit cards, so check before you head out.
- If you find that you've picked too many peaches to eat, think about freezing some to use later in cobblers and pies. Need some new recipes? Try this simple peach crumble.
Does your family go peach-picking every year? What are some of your favorite peach recipes? Let us know in the comments!