Peachy Days

11:58:00 AM mandy 0 Comments

lavlilacs Middlefield, Connecticut Lyman Orchards peach tree

One area of food that I lack the most knowledge in is with fruits. Yes, the sweet and juicy, vitamin packed produce that mostly grows on trees. Why? Because I grew up eating a very limited variety of them all-year round. Thanks, uncommon allergies! Fruit seasons might as well not exist for me; otherwise, I would miss out on the chance to fill my daily sugar allowance with preferably natural ones.

This doesn't mean that the opportunity to go fruit picking doesn't still excite me. As long as it isn't pollination season and not departing for the farm at 6:30 AM on a hot summery day, I am far more willing to be outside in nature and farmland than just a few years earlier.  I might not be able to consume the fresh fruits but my allergies aren't so bad so I could still touch them and be fine.

lavlilacs Middlefield, Connecticut Lyman Orchards peach picking lavlilacs Middlefield, Connecticut Lyman Orchards nectarine closeup
lavlilacs Middlefield, Connecticut Lyman Orchards peach picking lavlilacs Middlefield, Connecticut Lyman Orchards nectarine closeup

Mid to late summer is, apparently, the perfect time for peaches and nectarines. I saw them more often in our fruit basket throughout July and August but didn't know if my mom had sudden cravings or sales were too good to resist, usually meaning it's their season and time to shine. It only clicked after the parentals said we were going on a peach picking day-trip. We joined a bus tour that brought everyone from New York City to Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, Connecticut.

lavlilacs Middlefield, Lyman Orchards peach trees

The orchard must be doing something right since they are celebrating their 276th year anniversary this year, 2017. Even though we went with a tour group, there were many families who drove to enjoy the day outdoors as well. It seems to be quite popular amongst the local state residents nearby.

Seeing the rows and rows, acres upon acres of the orchard is just breathtaking. Our bus only allotted enough time for peach picking, but the orchard had PYO peach, apple, and pears the day we went. Lyman's also has a nearby marketplace that sells fruits, baked goods, pantry items as well as BBQ sandwiches. For those looking for activities, the orchard has a golf course and sunflower/corn maze nearby. The maze seemed fun but the day we visited was a little too cloudless to bear the thought of potentially getting lost inside.

lavlilacs Middlefield, Connecticut Lyman Orchards white and yellow peaches lavlilacs Middlefield, Connecticut Lyman Orchards nectarine closeup 2

The director said that all picked fruit should be paid for first but I would say a majority of visitors had very generous samplings as they went on their picking frenzy. Staff weighs everyone's loot by the entrance/exit and the bags are paid per pound. I believe all peaches were ~$1.50/lb. (give or take) when we visited.

Lyman's has both white- and yellow-flesh peaches (furry) and the same for nectarines (smooth). Since I couldn't eat them, the differences between the variations that I knew were all superficial. Wiki does say the white ones are less acidic and sweeter. My mom recommended us to only pick and purchase firmer ones since these fruits ripen and soften even after picking. It is also wise to keep the peaches and nectarines well protected in the car ride home as any sudden thrashes will surely cause it to bruise.

My biggest regret is not purchasing one of their apple pies and peach crisps/cobblers. It is supposedly an award winning recipe. I got to taste their peach crisp a la mode at the marketplace and it was delish! If only I didn't buy it at the last minute and the bus wasn't on a schedule to leave. Bummer... Perhaps next time?