by Karen McCullough
Summer months conjure up thoughts of lazy, hazy days of baseball, barbeques and fresh fruits and berries right off the vine or tree. When it comes to growing fruits and berries, Texas farmers offer an abundance of choices.
There is no season like summer to convince you to participate in the seasonal abundance. Pick-your-own farms are found throughout the North Texas area, and some are even as conveniently and centrally located as Gnismer Farms in Arlington.
Texas farmers grow blackberries, blueberries, peaches, apricots, watermelon, cantaloupe, figs, plums, plumcots, cherries, Rainier cherries and strawberries. By the time you read this, strawberry season will be over, but there are plenty of other delectable fruits to fill your basket and assist with savoring summer.
Eat a Peach
There is nothing quite like the juice of a fresh peach running down your chin. Here are some local spots where you can find Texas peaches.
The Parker County Peach Festival on July 11 in historic downtown Weatherford offers not only sweet, juicy Parker County peaches but also all kinds of treats such as peach ice cream, peach juleps and peach jams. To find out more, visit the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce website at weatherford-chamber.com and click on the calendar of events.
Ham Orchard just east of Dallas offers over 40 varieties of peaches and a detailed website telling when each of the varieties is available to pick. Other summer fruits offered
are nectarines, blackberries, blueberries, plums, watermelons, and baby sugar watermelons. A place to bring the family, Ham Orchard is living proof that nothing cools you
off on a hot summer day like a tasty, North Texas peach! Check their website for a complete list and availability. hamorchard.com
Blacks and Blues
Nothing says summer quite like the kaplink, kaplank, kaplunk of berries dropping in a bucket. These nutritional gems are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber and found in abundance at pick-your-own farms throughout North Texas.
Duck Creek Blackberry Farm is just north of Denton in Sanger, Texas. Check out their website duckcreekblackberries.com and it won’t take a lot of convincing, once you see the photos, to get in the car and go. Just be sure to check in advance to see what is available to keep disappointment at bay and assure your carbon footprint is under control.
Blueberry Hill Farms in Edom, Texas works hard year round to deliver great summer crops. They have 18 acres of producing blueberries and when the blackberries ripen in June, you want to be sure to be there early. Always check the website before heading over to see what’s available for picking. blueberryhillfarms.com
Other berry farms nearby Dallas & Fort Worth are:
Merry Berry Farm in Balch Springs, Texas, themerryberryfarm.com
Texas Blueberry Farm in Avinger, Texas, texasblueberryfarm.com
Echo Springs Farms in Murchison, Texas, echospringsblueberryfarm.com
Gnismer Farms in Arlington, Texas, gnismer.com
Greer Farm in Daingerfield, Texas, greerfarm.com
For a complete list of available farms visit pickyourown.org and be a participant in the harvesting of tree ripened fruits and berries.