Pick a peck of peaches and blackberries (Aug. 23 and 24)

August 21, 2008

If your school-bound kids are needing to burn off some steam this weekend, consider a trip to the Belleville or Grafton locations of Eckert’s pick-your-own orchards, where the larger, juicier varieties of peaches are now ripe. I personally never scoff at the early Red Havens, but true connoisseurs around here tell me they never get excited until the later varieties arrive. Peaches can be picked every day; call 618.233.0513 x1 for hours.  The blackberry patches are only open on the weekend (Aug. 23 and 24); call the same hotline to confirm before you head out.  Prices are $1.49 per pound for peaches and $2.99 per pound for blackberries. This is a better activity for older kids who’ll be gentle with the fruit and won’t run around like banshees, necessitating constant attention to their whereabouts and slowing down the picking process.

Thanks to late spring frosts and cool summer weather, the peach season should last well into next month at Eckert’s and other local orchards (click here for Kids in St. Louis’ online pick-your-own guide).  Two from their list that I’ve not visited personally but have heard good things about are Kamp’s Orchard and Joe Ringhausen Orchard, both in Illinois.  And if you’re headed up that way, consider taking a ferry en route.  For locations and prices, visit the Great River Road homepage. We haven’t taken a ferry yet either, although it’s long been on my list of must-do St. Louis activities!

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