Peachy Keen: U-Pick Peaches in Southeast Michigan

By: Toni Cunningham | August 11, 2014

If you ask me, fresh produce is one of the best aspects of summer. I thoroughly enjoy going to my local marketplace to pick up Michigan grown corn, blueberries, and peaches. The latter of which are currently in season and are ripe for the picking at orchards in Southeast Michigan.

Perhaps you’re feeling lazy and would like to enjoy a Michigan produced peach without the actual picking part. You’re in luck, because there are several markets and orchards in the area that are fully stocked with locally grown peaches available for purchase.

U-pick

Westview Orchards, 65075 Van Dyke, Washington Twp., has plenty of summer left to offer in the form of u-pick peaches. A guided wagon ride leads you and your group out to the orchards, where you can pick your own produce. You can do so between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and peach season goes until early September.

Take a peek at Westview’s official website for a brochure on peaches that will tell you all you need to know when it comes to selecting and preparing them, as well as the health and nutritional benefits of peaches.

Blake Farms, 17985 Armada Center Rd., Armada, has u-pick peaches at its Big Apple location, where you can pick and take home fruit. At Blake’s, Freestone Haven peaches will be available for u-pick through September.

With over 500 acres of u-pick orchards, you’ll be able to pick enough fruit to last you for days (or weeks or months, if you make jam).

Locally grown and already picked

Schmidt’s Roadside, 43125 Joy Rd., Canton, is my personal favorite marketplace for locally grown fruits and veggies. The peaches are no exception! In fact, I picked up a few yesterday in order to make mini peach pies (recipe to follow). They have plenty of Michigan grown peaches for cooking or eating fresh.

Spicer Orchards, 10411 Clyde Rd., Fenton, has several varieties of peaches available through mid September, including Red Haven peaches, which will be available in the market through the beginning of next month.

Erie Orchards & Cider Mill, 1235 E. Erie Rd., Erie, grows peaches on its grounds, and pre-picked ones are available for purchase in the store. Erie Orchards provides plenty of varieties of peaches, including Early Red Haven, Red Haven, New Haven (available now) Glo Haven, Canadian Harmony, Jim Dandy, Cresthaven and Red Skin (available later in the month).

Mark your calendar for this weekend, when Erie Orchards hosts Red Haven Peach Weekend on Saturday, August 16 and Sunday, August 17. The peach weekend celebration includes homemade peach cobblers and peach pies, as well as fresh donuts and fritters. It’s the orchards’ most popular peach weekend of the year!

Verellen Orchards, 63260 Van Dyke Rd., Romeo, has plenty of peach varieties available at the market, including Early Red Haven, Glo Haven, Coral Star, Red Haven, Harmony, Crest Haven, Allstar and Bellaire.

You’ll also find freshly made peach pie and… wait for it… peach donuts. If they’re made with fresh, locally grown fruit, these desserts have nutritional value, correct?

Once you’ve got a bushel of peaches in your possession, what’s a guy or gal to do? Head to the kitchen! Here’s what you can make with those juicy babies you just picked up:

The only thing better than fresh, u-pick peaches are fresh, u-pick peaches that are whipped up into one of the above dishes. Sweet or savory, they will be the stars of the meal! And, of course, make sure to save a few to enjoy on their own.