This week at Weaver's
With all the new things happening with my website, blog, and definitely my new feature magazine I am a little behind in telling you all about Weaver's Orchard. BUT it's okay because this is actually the perfect time to tell you about all they have to offer since Fall is only right around the corner and new things are happening for them too. And yes, I said it, Fall, Pumpkin Spice everything, sweaters, and hayrides are only right around the corner. It's better we discuss it now and bring it to the foreground instead of putting it off any longer. ha. But only a few short weeks ago I was there picking blueberries, peaches, and cherries, and then this week they announced on their website that apple picking has started this week to start off the season. Then in the following weeks kiwiberries, will be arriving and available for picking (no, I didn't know what they were either until I visited Weaver's, so go pick a few, and find out!), and then pumpkins will be right around the corner coming soon.
It's really easy and I would definitely recommend it for a fun day trip for a family and small children. There is a small area with playground equipment, swings, and a place to feed goats and chickens. Also it would be a great opportunity for kids to learn where our fruits and vegetables come from and why it's important to eat whole, non-processed foods so we can grow up big, healthy, and strong.
Since I was never there before I didn't bring my own containers to put my picked fruit in but for a very small fee Weaver's has some that you can purchase, which is what I did. As I said, I opted for blueberries, peaches, and cherries. So they gave me three separate containers for each fruit so when I'm done picking they can weigh each container separately and that's how they figure out how much I pay. And let me tell you after spending way too much money on overpriced, low quality produce at the grocery store I spent 13 dollars and some change on all the fruit you see pictured in the header photo of this post. It was amazing, and definitely a lot of fun. It was like a scavenger hunt to follow the signs but it made for even more fun when I finally got to my fruity destination.
First I began my day in the blueberry patch. Let me tell you, this was not just any patch, there were rows and rows of plump and juicy blueberries everywhere and I could have honestly just plopped myself right in the middle of one of those rows and went to town. I LOVE blueberries. I'm the kind of girl that gets to the blueberry section at the grocery store and I know that I have to buy two cartons right off the bat because I will have eaten the first one by the time I unloaded all the groceries and put them away when I get home. I originally planned to make blueberry jam with the immense amount of blueberries I picked but by the time I got them home, photographed them, ate some, washed them, ate more, and by the next morning when I planned to make the jam.... most of them were gone. Ha. So I settled on the most amazingly moist blueberry muffins I have ever had in my life. Not to brag. But they were DEEEELISH. Pictures and recipe will be in the next blog post. So make sure you subscribe and stay tuned!
I met two very friendly girls, Holly and Caitlin, who informed me how to dictate which blueberries were the sweetest and most ripe. Then while picking I also met two great kids and their mom who very graciously let me take their picture with their pickings. I firmly believe that the little boy pictured here will be the executive of his own company someday because he made sure I had his email to let him know when this post would be out so he could see their picture.
It was so great to roam through the rows and rows of blueberries and smell the scent of sweet fruit and fresh air. I could hear kids playing off in the distance and it brought me back to picking strawberries, tomatoes, and many other delights in my grandparents garden growing up. There is no sweetness like that of fresh berries straight from the garden. Next time I'm definitely bringing my Nana so we can reminisce together.
So I picked me fair share of blueberries from the patch and decided to forge on to look for where I could find the cherries. Now I was pretty grateful that Weaver's places signs for where the crops are located through-out the orchard because there is quite a lot of ground to cover. It was nice to walk around and see the various families piling out of their cars with their baskets ready to spend the afternoon picking fruit and enjoying each others company. After about ten minutes or so I found the sign for the cherries and headed in their direction. Despite the very precise and helpful directions from the girl at the counter in the beginning of the day, after picking berries, taking photos, and talking to fellow pickers, I was pretty lost. I didn't mind though because it was a beautiful day and in admiring the scenery it really made me appreciate what the Weaver family and their staff have done to keep that place looking and feeling amazing. With all the people walking around it really felt like we were all invited into the Weaver's personal backyard and even a little piece of their hearts. After all, the establishment has been flourishing and growing since the 1930's and it shows how proud they are of their life's work and I felt very lucky to be able to be apart of a small portion of it that day.
So when I finally found the cherry tree sign, I headed straight toward the towering trees and even though the girl at the counter warned me that the crop may be sparse due to it being the end of cherry season, that wasn't going to warn me off. I did have to walk to the back of the trees to find the cherries but when I did they were just as good and sweet as I would have hoped and even though I'm pretty sure I ate more than what went in my bucket. I still got a decent amount to take home with me. The only thing that I would have changed about the cherry picking experience is that I wish I had a ladder because those trees were entirely too talk to get the cherries at the top and it's just not fair that the birds get to have a feast like that to themselves.
Last but not least, I made my way back toward the front of the orchard and found the peaches. And I have to be honest, I was so enamored by the amount of peaches I saw hanging from every square inch of every tree I actually completely forgot to get a picture. I see this as a blessing and a curse because unfortunately I can't show you all how crazy it was to see this many fresh and juicy peaches dangling in your face everywhere you turned but hopefully this will give you the last push you need to get over there and see it for yourself. They have white peaches available next week, so get over there! The experience was absolutely awesome and it's very exciting to me that a place like this is right in my backyard. As I said, they are now picking an assortment of apples, they have blackberries and raspberries still available. White and yellow nectarines are coming to a close and the blueberries are officially done for the season. You can find this information and a ton more on their website updated regularly.
After I picked all the fruit my arms could carry, I parked it all next to my car so I could take a better look around the rest of the facility. I ran into a friend of mine, Maria Kriebel, whom I hadn't seen in a very long time, and her seven month old son while they played on the swings and slide. It was really nice to catch up with them and even nicer because now Maria has helped me start on a journey to have a healthier and happier life which I will talk about further in an upcoming blog post. So yet another reason to subscribe and stay updated ! Next to the playground was an area for feeding goats and a variety of birds, there is also an outdoor farmers market full of all the freshest produce, and there is also an indoor market for a vast spread many different products from an ice cold birch beer (which I of course did indulge in! It's my favorite !) to honey straight from the buzzing bees located in an enclosed hive right in the store. During my entire visit there was a constant flow of customers coming and going and everyone was super friendly and helpful. I end up purchasing a birch beer, homemade local dog treats for my sweetest puppies Chloe and Grace, locally made toasted corn nuts (also an addiction of mine during long hours of photo editing), an organic and local protein bar to try, and an impulse buy of kettle cooked ranch chips cooked in avocado oil. (no guilt here, they were wonderful.)
I then carried all my goodies to my car and proceeded to head to pay for my POY (pick your own) fruits. It was the same girl from earlier and we chat about how complex the orchard is and that maybe the next investment should be maps. Haha. Truthfully it's not all that bad, it was just a bit warm that day.
I packed all my treats into my car and started down the road home. It was a successful day to say the least at Weaver's, and even with feet a little sore, I will definitely be back. The experience is unparalleled in this area of the world. Yes, there are other POY places around Berks County but there is a feel about Weaver's that makes you feel at home.
When I finally arrived back at my home, I couldn't wait to take photos of my scrumptious pickings so I'll end this post with a few images of the beautiful fruits and you'll just have to wait til next week to see how I transformed the little exploding blue berries into mouth-watering muffins. :) Until next time folks !! I'll see you out there, In The Field !
Best Always, Cait xO