While store-bought produce is all well and good, there’s nothing like going to a farm and picking your own fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, and plants. It just makes the food taste better and the flora feel more vibrant.
If you’re looking to pick your own fresh produce, check out this guide to find out what’s in season and where you can pick it.
Mount Pleasant Farms was launched in 2011 following its first successful peach harvest from well over 1,500 trees that had been planted a couple years earlier.
Current and upcoming seasonal pick-your-own options include peaches from June through August, blackberries from June through August, and pumpkins from September through October. It’s always a good idea to check the Facebook page before going to make sure what you’re looking for is still in season.
Braehead Farm has been family-owned-and-operated since 1937. With plenty of berries—including raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries—the farm also has leafy greens and vegetables available for picking along with various types of flowers.
The farm even has a family playground so your kids can play while you fill your basket full of berries, but we’re sure they’ll want to get in on the fun in the fields.
Wegmeyer Farms focuses on pick-your-own sunflower, strawberry, and pumpkin experiences. “We take great pride in what we grow—the taste, the quality, and the appearance—and strive for the best pure experience for all our visitors,” the farm said.
While the sunflower and strawberry fields are closed for the season, the pumpkin patch will open on Sept. 24. In the patch, you’ll find more than 50 varieties of pumpkins, including the traditional jack-o’-lanterns and heirlooms. The pumpkins are grown using no-till practices for conservation purposes, which also allows for clean, well-rounded pumpkins and a mud-free picking environment.
Mackintosh Fruit Farm says its goal is to “find fruit varieties that have amazing flavor and texture and grow them on dwarf trees that can be picked easily from the ground.” It holds pick-your-own days Thursday through Sunday.
The options available for picking change week to week, so check out the website before dropping by. Current available fruits include Ginger Gold apples, Asian pears, blackberries, and yellow peaches. You can also make yourself a nice bouquet out of the zinnias that are curretly in bloom.
Green Truck Farm describes itself as being “just 50 minutes from the Beltway in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.”
Current and upcoming pick-your-own options include tomatoes from July through September, red raspberries from July through October, and pumpkins and winter squash from September through October.
Spanning the seasons, Hollin Farms offers 40 acres of pick-your-own fruit and vegetables. While you’ll want to check the website before you go to see what’s available, current options include peaches and nectarines. You can also dig for your own potatoes. Flowers currently available for picking include zinnias and sunflowers.
Situated on 400 acres, Great Country Farms has been a working family farm since 1993. “We welcome you to visit our farm, pick some incredibly fresh produce, create some memories and begin your farm adventure as part of our family farm,” the website reads.
It divides up its picking schedule with honey crisp apple picking from Aug. 21-31, a corn maze and apple harvest from Sept. 1-30, and pumpkin harvest from Oct. 1-31. Be sure to buy a ticket before showing up.
The land used to grow Marker-Miller Orchards Farm Market’s produce has been in the Marker-Miller family since 1908. Today, the fourth and fifth generations of the family work the land.
The market has an extensive list of pick-your-own options including blackberries, red raspberries, Ginger Gold apples, yellow peaches, tomatoes, and flowers. If you’d like to taste an apple or peach before committing to a whole bag, just ask for a sample.
Five generations of the Chiles family have run Chiles Family Orchards over the past 100 years. Today, the orchards offer several pick-your-own fruit options against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There is a handy page on its website that tells you what’s currently available for picking, as things can change daily or even hourly depending on weather and customer traffic. Peaches, yellow peaches, and flowers are available for picking at the time of this writing.
Critzer Family Farm is the place to go for a friendly, down-home fruit picking experience. “Our goal is to provide you with the freshest, best-tasting and healthiest farm-grown produce that you can find,” the farm’s website reads.
The fifth-generation farm has multiple pick-your-own options including strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches, and apples—all of which were grown using environmentally friendly farming methods.
Showalter’s Orchard & Old Hill Cidery is the place to go if you love apples. With over 30 varieties planted, you’ll surely find one you want to fill your bucket with.
“Our small family orchard is rooted on top of an old hill overlooking the Shenandoah Valley,” the orchard states. “Our 360-degree vantage point promises breathtaking views each day.”
The orchard’s harvest season generally runs from mid-July through November. Two varieties of peaches are also available, with the picking season starting in early August. “They’re yellow, freestone, big, sweet, juicy, and they don’t turn brown,” is how the orchard describes its peaches.
Location: Stephens City
Rinker Orchards has been offering visitors the option to pick their own apples since 1972. “The varieties available for ‘Pick Your Own’ on the orchard are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Ida Red, Nittany, York, Rome, Granny Smith, Gala, and Redcort,” the orchard’s website reads.
Swift Creek Berry Farm & Greenhouse, a family-owned-and-operated farm, has been offering a pick-your-own blueberry experience since 1983. “Come join us and pick one of nature’s super fruits. Blueberries are full of antioxidants. We do not spray our plants. The fruit is clean and good to eat right out in the field,” the farm said.
Keep in mind that the season runs from June through August, so you’ll need to act … swiftly.
You can pick your own blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries at 3 Birds Berry Farm. “We are a pesticide-free farm using organic farming practices,” the farm’s website reads. “We love teaching kids how to be expert pickers! So come on out!”
The picking season normally follows this schedule: July for blackberries, mid-June through Aug. 30 for blueberries, and late July through Aug. 30 for raspberries. Before you go, call the farm at 540-552-4195 to verify the current picking conditions.
Liberty Mills Farm is the place to go to bring a little beauty home with you. It offers pick-your-own flowers from late June through October. “We grow the flowers, you create the magic” is the farm’s tagline.
Current flowers available for picking include zinnias in numerous colors and varieties, gladiolus, echinacea, cosmos, lisianthus, dahlia, lavender, snapdragons, gomphrena, rudbeckia, blue ageratum, and sunflowers. They can either be picked by the bucket or bouquet. Don’t worry about bringing your own clippers.
Additionally, the pick-your-own pumpkin patch opens on Sept. 24.