Peaches, plums, and nectarines hit their prime from mid-August through mid-September, but start looking for apricots in July. The season overlaps with blueberries. Here are a few places around Rochester you can pick your own stone fruit.
1. Green Acre Farms
- Apricots – *available pre-picked only in The Shop at Blue Barn
- Peaches – Early to mid September, 13 varieties (all freestone)
- Nectarines – Early August to mid September
- Plums – late July (*limited crop for 2020)
- Prunes – early September (*great crop this year!)
2. Becker Farms
Plums in September
3. Hurd Orchards
- Peaches: Yellow and White: late July – early Sept.
- Peen Tau Peaches: mid August (Asian white fleshed donut peaches)
- Nectarines: late August to early September
- Plums: late August and September
4. Watt Farms
A wide variety of peaches ripening add different times between late-July and the end of August.
Niagara County Peach Festival
Lewiston, cancelled for 2020
I’m fairly certain this is the only peach festival in our area, and it’s a big one! If you’ve been looking for another reason to head out toward Fort Niagara or Niagara Falls, this would be a great time.
Take advantage of the Discover Niagara Shuttle and park outside Lewiston if you’d appreciate a little less traffic.
Tips for when you pick your own peaches & nectarines
Thank you to pickyourown.org for these helpful tips!
- Peaches are affected by weather (both rain and cooler temperature) more than most crops. And when they are in season, a large turnout can pick a field clean before noon, so CALL first!
- Most peach varieties grown today are freestone and are usually available (depending upon your location) from June through September.
- When you get home, put a couple of days supply into the fridge, wash and cut the others and freeze them.
- Even under ideal conditions peaches will only keep for a week in a refrigerator, so for best flavor and texture, use them as soon as possible after purchase.
- Peaches are ripe if they are still attached to the tree: Peaches are best picked when the fruit separates easily from the twigs. If it is hard to pull off the tree, it isn’t ripe! Peaches will not ripen further once removed from the tree (they only “soften”)
- Color: Green is definitely unripe, but you can’t use red color as an indicator of how ripe a peach is. Different peach varieties have differing amounts of red blush in their natural coloring. Pick them when the ground color changes from green to yellow, orange, red (or a combination). The skin of yellow-fleshed varieties ripens to an orange tint, while the skin of white-fleshed varieties changes from greenish- to yellow-white.
- Softness: unless you like your peaches very firm, pick your peaches with just a little “give” when gently pressed. Peaches at this stage are great for eating, freezing, and baking. Peaches won’t ripen very much after picking!
Where are your favorite spots to pick stone fruit?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!