When I was a kid, my parents took us peach picking every year. The picking was easy which made the stopping difficult. I can remember filling more boxes than the back of our van could hold. Each of us rode home itchy and sticky, with heavy boxes full of peaches on our laps. Ah, the memories. Well, the peach doesn’t fall far from the tree. Now it’s my turn to drag my kids out to the peach orchards. And just like my parents before me, we pick too many. Sometimes too much of a good thing is still a good thing.
This past weekend, my husband and I joined forces with my sister’s family to pick Suncrest peaches at a local orchard. Last year my sister & I picked 112 pounds. This year we wised up and brought our dad and husbands along. They lugged our overflowing boxes of peaches from the trees to our cars. Grand total? 235 pounds. See? I told you the easier they are to pick, the harder it is to stop.
My sister and I have been busy canning them as fast as they ripen. (BTW, I loved reading all the canning comments you left on this previous post.)
Although hundreds of varieties of peaches have been tested in the Willamette Valley, only a few are grown here commercially. Here are three of the most common varieties you will probably find growing in an orchard near you:
:: Elberta – These peaches are firm and freestone, meaning the pit and fruit do not cling to one another. They are good for eating fresh, freezing, or canning.
:: Sunhaven – These are usually available in early August. With our crazy weather this year, you can still find this variety at a handful of farms. They have great flavor and texture, making them good candidates for canning or eating fresh.
:: Veteran – Because they are reliable producers, Veterans are the top dogs in western Oregon. These peaches are freestone and are easily peeled without scalding, making them great canning peaches. They’re not as popular for eating fresh.
I called around to several local peach farms (go here for a more complete list). This is nowhere near an exhaustive list of the peach picking options in our area, but it should give you an idea of some of the varieties and prices available.
Early varieties are done, but later varieties will be ripening through September. As always, make sure you call ahead to confirm availability.
Sauvie Island Farms just outside Portland, OR (503) 621-3988
Veterans $1.50/lb (discount if you pick over 15 lbs.)
Albeke Farms Oregon City, OR (503) 632-3989
Suncrest (ready 8/27) & Veterans (ready next week) – .85/lb.
Kelso Blueberries Boring, OR (503) 663-6830
Veterans (ready next week) & Elberta (mid-September) – .50/lb.
Greens Bridge Gardens Jefferson, OR (541) 327-2995
3 varieties ready $1/lb.
Grandpa’s Fresh Market Albany, OR (541) 928-8778
Olson Stuart Farms Salem, OR (503) 362-5942
4 varieties of canning peaches $1/lb.
Daum’s Produce Farm Salem, OR (503) 362-7246
Elberta (not ready yet) .90/lb.
Draper Girls Parkdale, OR (541) 352-6625
Reliant $1/lb for 20+ lbs.
Firestone Farms Vancouver, WA (360)693-2492
Elbertas (next Thurs.) $1/lb. or .90/lb. for 60+ lbs.
Where is your favorite spot to pick peaches? What do you like to do with your peaches once you haul them home?
Emily is the author of our Frugal Homemaking series. Emily and her husband, Ed, live in the Portland area with their two adorable kids, Elly and Evan.
This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.
pam westom says
hi! i just phoned Kelso Blueberries, they are closed for the season! 🙁
Grossen Peaches, up Helvetia Road, just past the Helvetia Tavern.
I live in Alaska but fly frequently to Portland. I enjoyed your comments a lot and as I bring home fresh stuff from time to time. I plan on coming this next weekend and freezing peaches! I wish I had more time and could dehydrate them as they are a bit heavy! Thanks for the info on where to go and pick or have delivered. I also would like to be put on your list…Bev.
I live in Alaska but fly frequently to Portland. I enjoyed your comments a lot and as I bring home fresh stuff from time to time. I plan on coming this next weekend and freezing peaches! I wish I had more time and could dehydrate them as they are a bit heavy! Thanks for the info on where to go and pick or have delivered…Bev.
Judy Jones says
I would like to be put on your list
Karen King says
I would also like to know if any listed above are spray free peach picking? Thank you.
Matthew Farnell says
Battle Ground Peaches! The owners of ‘This n That Consignment” in Battle Ground are bringing in a truck full of Yakima peaches tomorrow! They are $16 a box, and it works out to about $.67/lb. They open at 10 am. If you go, let them know that Matthew Farnell referred you. Maybe they’ll give me a discount! 🙂 One of the varieties is Diamond Princess I believe. Feel free to pass this on or post it on your blog. Here’s a map to the store: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=607+East+Main+Street,+battle+ground&sll=45.646688,-122.645874&sspn=0.832349,1.972046&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=607+E+Main+St,+Battle+Ground,+Clark,+Washington+98604&ll=45.780731,-122.531&spn=0.006487,0.015407&z=17&iwloc=r2
I am new to canning and have started off making pickles and salsa, and I have a question: I know that canning makes things shelf stable for one year, but how long do things last in the fridge once they are opened? thanks!
Love, love, love peaches. Can’t get enough of them. I love to can Elberta’s in half sections with light syrup. I also love to peel and slice any variety of peach and freeze them in gallon freezer bags to use in smoothies all year long. I freeze them flat with only one layer of sliced peaches so they separate easily and aren’t in one frozen clump. I just moved to Portland from Yakima – and in Yakima I loved Johnson’s Orchard for any and all produce or I drove to Wapato to the Calhoun Farms for great and inexpensive boxes of apples, peaches and pears.
I ‘second’ Jossy Farms in North Plains. I went there myself, this past Saturday. Picked 115lbs ( combined total) of Vetran peaches, and Gravenstein apples. Canned all weekend– it was an exhausting blast. All their fruit is .85/lb
They have pears that are/were suppose to be ready this week. May head out there again on Saturday and pick pears and can again this coming weekend. Can’t think of a better way to spend my long weekend. 🙂
Jossy Farms is where my family used to pick! Good memories…
I love all your savings, hints and suggestions. But I was wondering why often, you don’t tell where you went to get berries or peaches etc. We just moved to the area, and are looking to get into all of the fun and excitement of the season, but would love the first hand recommendations.
Good point! 🙂 I often leave out the locations in my FLNW posts because you readers are spread out all over the Pacific NW (and beyond). I’ll try to post these details more often just in case they help out any of you in my immediate area (SE Portland).
I picked these peaches at Kelso Blueberries (see comments in this post):
Thanks for the suggestion!
Jossy Farms by North Plains also has peaches for .85/lb. We got 50 lbs and I hope to make peach jam, peach pie filling, canned peaches and dried peaches. Feeling adventurous this year!
when you say freezing, do you mean you would just put the peaches in the freezer or do they need prepping of some sort? sorry, I’m totally un-educated when it comes to canning and such……
Cheryl K says
Some people prep but you can just stick them in as is – whole with skin on in a ziplock. The skin helps protect against freezer burn and when you pull them out run them under hot water and the skin will come off easy. Then let them thaw until they are spft enough to slice. They will brown up but lemon juice helps. In my opinion peaches done this way taste the most like fresh and no messy canning…..as long as you have freezer space.
Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs says
Oh, I wish I had known this!! LOL! NEXT year, though. Hee, hee!
I have never heard of doing this before! Thanks for the great tip, Cheryl. I am definitely going to try this next year.
Any places in Washington? Closer to Seattle?
Tina, I looked for peach orchards in your area but couldn’t find any! Anyone else know about the Seattle area?
Anyone know who, if anyone, has spray-free peaches? I’m willing to pay a little bit more for no spray! 🙂
Kelli edson says
The other non-picking option:
I order from Dale Graff he is from Vancouver but does deliveries every weekend to areas all over…troutedale, Oregon city, tualatine, Beaverton, Helens, rainier…etc!! But I just ordered elberts for .73/lbs great price and u dont have to pick!! email@example.com
If u want on his email list, he will email u every week with available produce it’s awesome!!!
I use him he is AWSOME!
I have bought fruit from Dale too! He is SO Great! I missed my pick up day and he helped me out immensely by sending my apples home with a co worker that lives near me!
Krista S. says
If you don’t want to pick, Hartnell Farms in Milwaukie has boxes ready to purchase. They come in 20-25 lb boxes and range anywhere from $17-$22 per box. I’m sorry I don’t know the kind because I just walked in, said I needed free stone peaches and they handed me some boxes! I let the boxes sit in my garage for a day or two and they were perfect for canning, eating, and/or freezing.
Here is the info:
Hours: 9:30am-6pm, closed Sun.
Directions: I-205 (exit 12) going west, right at McKinley, 2 blocks right at Johnson Rd, 1 block right at Jannsen Rd, 1/2 block.
8481 SE Jannsen Road
Clackamas, OR 97015
Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs says
I picked peaches for the first time this year!! Members of our MOPS group met up at Perryhill Farms in Perrydale, OR (near Salem). The peaches are 80¢/lb or only 60¢/lb for 100+ lbs. http://perryhillfarm.net/
I posted about it! http://kelleighratzlaff.com/life/46-pound-of-peaches/