The original orchards were planted in the 1912; we are proud to be a Century Farm in Virginia! These peaches were planted for commercial production, and for years were packed and shipped all over the country.
In 1974, we had an almost total freeze-out in our peach orchard. There was not enough fruit to bring in our seasonal pickers or run our packing house. So, we decided to open up the orchard to the public and let them pick what few peaches we had. We put an ad in the local newspaper, set up a card table, a set of scales, and a cigar box, and wondered if anyone would come (this idea of “pick your own” was a fairly new concept at the time). Fortunately for us, the public did indeed come. We sold all the fruit we had that year, and called it a success. Our intention was for this to be a “one-shot” deal to get us through a rough year. Imagine our surprise when the phones began ringing the following year, wondering when we were opening for Pick Your Own!
Since the public had been so good to us the previous year, we felt we could not say “no,” so we set aside a few acres of peaches, and were once again in the “Pick Your Own” business. We built a tiny temporary shelter, put up a sign, and Mrs. Chiles and one other employee worked seven days a week to sell the peaches.
Over the years, we built a larger roadside stand, enlarged it twice, pushed down a few trees to make more parking spaces, and entered the world of telephones, cash registers, and credit cards! Our Pick Your Own offerings now include strawberries, sweet cherries, apples, and pumpkins, in addition to our famous peaches. We added a frozen yogurt machine, and then an ice cream parlor. We are now open from May through Thanksgiving, and in 2007, we built our beautiful new farm market, and stocked it with jams and jellies, crafts, and gifts to complement our fresh fruit. We continue to add to our offerings each year. If you don’t see what you are looking for, just let us know!
You will still see Mrs. Chiles there many days, and now her children and even her grandchildren can be seen behind the cash registers, scooping ice cream, and welcoming you to our orchard.