Sunday, August 2, 2009

Homemade Peach Ice Cream











Hope you made it out to the orchard this weekend. The ladies of the Albemarle/Charlottesville Pilot Club once again outdid themselves with some delicious homemade peach ice cream! It's a win-win-win - Chiles Peach Orchard donates the peaches, the ladies of the Pilot Club make and sell the ice cream to fund their community service projects, and our customers come out in droves to enjoy this amazing treat! They made 70 gallons of ice cream this year, and sold out by the end of the weekend!

Peach season is in full swing now, with gorgeous freestone peaches available for picking or buying ready-picked. We'll have peaches a few more weeks, so come on out. Thanks for helping make it a great summer here at Chiles Peach Orchard!




Friday, July 10, 2009

Peach Season in Full Swing











It's been a great couple of weeks of peach picking! Wonderful weather (warm, not humid), a couple of good rains, and a fantastic crop so far. We've had some terrific folks visiting us this summer!

There are still lots of wonderful peaches to pick, and we'll be picking for several more weeks! We're still in clingstone peaches; freestones will be ripe by late July and early August.

We've got some great gift items and local crafts in our farm market - if you haven't shopped with us lately, come on by!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pick Your Own Peaches


Peach Season is upon us! We are picking Sentry, a delicious yellow cling-stone peach. Freestones will ripen in late July.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tweet, Tweet

Okay, guys, we are now on Twitter! Become a follower so you'll know when the donuts are hot, when the peaches are ripe, and if there are any celebrity sightings.........

http://www.twitter.com/ChilesPeachOrch

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chiles Peach Orchard in the News

Our local monthly paper, The Crozet Gazette, featured the Girl Scout event we held back in May. Thanks for the coverage, Gazette! Click the link below for the June edition - you can read about this story (page 8), as well as other news in Crozet and Western Albemarle County.

http://www.crozetgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/crozet-gazette-june-09.pdf



Friday, June 5, 2009

Staff Member Accomplishments!


3 of our summer staff at Chiles Peach Orchard graduated from Western Albemarle High School tonight! Courtlyn and Lizzy are pictured, and Leah escaped before I could get her picture. Congrats and Best Wishes to Courtlyn, Lizzy, and Leah! Coincidentally, all 3 will be attending VCU in Richmond begining in August. Be sure to congratulate them next time you're in the market!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The peaches are growing!


We're anxiously watching the peaches grow here at Chiles Peach Orchard! Our crews have been through the orchard, thinning the smaller peaches off the trees, so that those that are left can grow to a good size (did you know that peach growers generally have to thin off about 85%-90% of the growing peaches?). We should have some early peaches ready to harvest in about 3 weeks. The peaches pictured here need a little more time than that!

Strawberry picking is still happening - the berries are GREAT this week! Time is ticking away on strawberry season, so hurry out to get yours soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend



The sun has finally come out, and the strawberries are ripening. While we have fewer strawberries this year than in year's past (due to the cool, wet spring), the berries we have are beautiful. The weather should be nice this weekend, so we hope you will come to visit! You can buy pre-picked strawberries, our ice cream parlor is open (homemade strawberry milkshakes - Mmmmmm!), we have fresh baked berry pies, apple pies, and homemade fudge! We'll offer pick-your-own strawberries as long as there are berries to pick
Don't forget the strawberry donuts! . Hope to see you this weekend!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Celebrating Girl Scouts













On Saturday we hosted over 110 girl scouts from the Virginia Skyline Council, along with their leaders, parents, and siblings, for an educational and fun day! The girls spent almost 2 hours at different learning stations - they studied and learned the history of our orchard, the different jobs that are necessary at our farm, how important honeybees are to local agriculture, and the life-cycle of the strawberry plant. After their educational time, the girls rode a tractor-pulled wagon to the strawberry patch to pick a pint of strawberries to take home. Each girl scout filled in a questionnaire, showing off what they had learned, and received a patch for participating in the day!

We were fortunate that the rain held off! Everyone loved the day, and we are already making plans for a bigger and better event next year!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sunshine and Strawberries


Finally, we saw the sun today for an extended period of time! We are so grateful for the rain over the past few days - but the strawberries are ready for sun! The crop is coming along nicely and there are plenty to be picked now! Come on out this weekend! Oh, yeah, we are making strawberry donuts too! Yes, strawberry donuts - this delicious treat is not to be missed. See you soon!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our 2009 Season is almost here!



We've been busy at Chiles Peach Orchard, getting ready for a new season! The strawberries are ripening - there will be a few for picking this weekend; there will be a more abundant supply next week. We are just beginning!

We've been cleaning, decorating, and stocking the market at Chiles Peach Orchard. We are hoping you will enjoy and appreciate our new inventory. Be sure to check out our new line of scented candles (they smell DELICIOUS!), some re-usable shopping bags (great for picking peaches, taking to the grocery store, picking apples, etc!), and some fun wine accessories! We can't wait for you to see them!

Our new season begins this Friday, May 1st. Our hours will be Monday-Saturday 9-6, and Sundays from 10-5. Can't wait to see you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beautiful Weekend!







Hope the weather was as gorgeous in your neck of the woods this past weekend as it was here. Blue, blue, blue skies, temps in the 70's and 80's, just fantastic! We uncovered the strawberry plants last week so that they could enjoy the warm temperatures and sunshire. They've started blooming, so we should have the first berries ripe in about a month. It's almost here!

The peach blossoms are at their peak, and I've attached a few more photos for your enjoyment.

The weather is changing dramatically beginning tonight, and we have several nights of below freezing temperatures to contend with this week. Today we are covering the strawberries back up to protect that tender vegetation. This is a very labor-instensive job. It takes 6 men almost a full day to get our 2 acres of berries covered. We use rock to hold the covers down, so all that stone must be put back in place (we just uncovered them less than a week ago) and the covers securely fastened in order to protect the plants. The peach trees are very vulnerable to this upcoming cold as well - the blossoms are wide open, so the tiny fruit inside is very exposed.

Today we are also calibrating more thermometers to use in the orchard, and gassing up the wind machines for use.

I'll update you more over the next few days. We'll be out at night and early mornings to do what we can - we'll see what Mother Nature has in mind.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Peaches in Full Bloom











It's a beautiful day here in Crozet, but it was cold last night. The temperature was below freezing for several hours early this morning. The wind machines were in action again. We are hoping that they helped! It takes a few days for any damage to be evident.

Enjoy these pictures of the peach blossoms. If you are in this area, take the drive out through Crozet to see the orchards - it's a sight not to be missed!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Warm Days, Cold Nights









This time of year is always interesting for fruit growers! The warm spring days have been beautiful, and the peach trees are starting to show their glorious bloom. This is the time, however, that our crop is at is most vulnerable. When the blooms are starting to open, the tiny fruit inside is exposed. When the temps get below freezing at night, the risk exists that the fruit will be exposed to too-cold temps for too long. While mother nature is in control of this situation, there are a few things we can do to try to protect our crop. We monitor temperatures in all our orchards, especially those at lower elevations (like Chiles Peach Orchard). If the wind is blowing, it is of great help. If the air is still, we'll lend our hand to Mother Nature. Last night (actually, early this morning), we started up our wind machines. videoThese machines move the air around, and can actually raise the temperature by 2 or 3 degrees - which often is enough to make a difference. We started the machines just before dawn (the coldest time of the night is right as the sun starts to rise) and ran them for a couple of hours.
We'll continue monitoring the temperatures for the next 4-6 weeks, until all chance of frost has passed. Keep following our blog for updates! And, if you see us around town and we look tired, you will know why! You'll see from the pictures of the peach trees that they are in different stages of bloom, depending on the variety.
PS, the strawberries have covers on them, - this is protecting them for the time being.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Welcome!


Welcome to the Chiles Peach Orchard and Farm Market Blog! We are excited to let you know what's happening on the farm. Check back often for updates!
We've had a good winter (steady cold temperatures) and wish we'd had a bit more precipitation. Okay, a LOT more precipitation! The beautiful snow we had earlier this week certainly helped!
We covered our strawberry plants this winter, and hope that means our berries will be ready a little earlier than normal. We are planning to open the market this year on Friday, May 1st, and if all goes well on Mother Nature's end, you'll be picking berries then!
We're still pruning the peach trees, and are now starting to get the market ready for business. The forecast for the coming days is for temperatures much warmer than usual, so we will be monitoring the orchard carefully for signs of peach buds. Then, we will really be paying attention to the temperatures. We'll let you know how it's going!