Blame spring’s late frosts for the lack of peaches at some Lancaster County farms.
On the pick-your-own side of fruit farming, Cherry Hill Orchards Outlet will not have fields open to the public for picking but there are peaches in the market. First Fruits Farms and Orchard will have no peaches.
The frost spared some peaches in the region. Brecknock Orchard Farm Market and Weaver’s Orchard will have peaches to pick through September.
Lancaster Farming reports the peach outlook across the state is mixed at best, with some farms seeing a good crop and others lucky to harvest enough for one pie.
Brecknock Orchards lost some peaches but the crop is about 80 percent of the normal harvest, says owner Daryl Martin. Peach-picking should continue through early September.
Usually the Brecknock Township orchard has a peach festival with wagon rides and children’s activities. That’s canceled this year but Martin says he’s hoping to offer activities in the fall.
Cherry Hill Orchards has enough peaches to supply its market near New Danville, says Phyllis Shenk, the orchard store's co-manager. There’s not enough to sell wholesale or offer pick-your-own.
The cold temperatures hit the orchard when the peach trees were producing their delicate flowers. Some of the crop survived. At harvest, Shenk noticed more split pits in the peaches, showing the spring damage. This can lead to larger fruit. Some varieties like Coralstar and Carolina Belle weigh a pound and a half each, Shenk says.
Here’s more about where to find pick-your-own peaches in and around Lancaster County. There are also nectarines available at pick-your-own farms in the region and early apples are starting to arrive.
Where: 390 Orchard Road, Mohnton
Season: White peaches will be available to pick through the end of August. Yellow peach-picking should continue through mid-September.
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, closed.
Cost: $2.25/pound; more than 20 pounds, $1.75/pound.
Where: 40 Fruit Lane, Morgantown
Season: Peach-picking has started. Peak season for yellow peaches will be Aug. 7-Aug. 29. White peaches will be available through Sept. 12 with peak picking through late August.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last entry is 30 minutes before closing.
Cost: A 7-pound bucket is $16; a peck box is $27 and a half bushel is $42.