While driving to Schnepf Farms last weekend I wondered how long it had been since I’d gone peach picking. More than 30 years. I was just a girl, but I remember long drives to rural Kansas farms with my grandparents. I also remember the excitement I would experience from being able to help my grandmother pick peaches that I knew would be going into delectable desserts, and mostly I remember the incredible taste and texture of a perfectly ripe peach picked from the tree.
If you’re not in tune with and in control of yourself, the perfectly ripe peach eating experience can turn into an almost animalistic event, triggered by the intoxicating aroma and intensely sweet first bite—juices running down both sides of your mouth, your taste buds chomping at the bit, and your inner carnal hunger driving you finish off the peach as if it’s both your first and last meal. You may make a spectacle of yourself but when it comes to eating a perfect peach no apologies are necessary.
As I pulled into Schnepf Farms’ parking lot I assumed that I would just find my way to the organic orchards and start picking but there was so much more to experience and explore. I met Carrie Schnepf, co-owner of the farm, and she was gracious enough to give me a quick tour of the Country Store & Bakery, where everything from peach pies to peach preserves and pickled garlic to salad dressings can be purchased. Carrie also offered up one of Schnepf Farms’ peach cinnamon rolls. Chunks of soft, succulent peaches were hidden in the bun, taking my cinnamon roll love to a new level of taste and texture appreciation.
By the time I made it to the orchards, after picking flowers from the U-Pick Garden, I had already decided that I will be going back to Schnepf Farms. The orchards are easily marked, and Schnepf Farms provides you with a small produce box to take with you when picking your organic peaches. You can even pay for your peaches right at the orchard you pick from.
I gave some of my peaches to family members, ate several peaches myself, then made peach cobbler with what was left. It was my second time making peach cobbler. It will not be my last. Here’s the incredibly easy recipe from Epicurious.
If you are a peach lover and have never been to Schnepf Farms now’s the time to go, because the Arizona peach season is almost complete. Their perfectly ripe peaches are a great way to celebrate the arrival of summer, and they’re great for inspiring creativity in the kitchen. From cereals to salsas to smoothies, peaches sweetly enhance a variety of dishes and drinks. Schnepf Farms’ Country Store & Bakery is open through June 27, and right now, you can pick organic peaches seven days a week from 7:00am to 5:00pm. Peaches are $1.75 per pound. It’s a great deal for these juicy gems, and the Schnepf Farms experience is well worth the drive.
I totally shook the trees at Schnepf Farms…