Peaches, Nectarines, & Plums at Andy's Orchard
The first stone fruit tasting of the year at Andy's Orchard is tomorrow, 7/29/06, and includes an harvest walk as well. Andy's is a local treasure! He has dozens of varieties of heirloom fruit trees, varieties you'll never see in the market. Baby Crawford peach is a particular favorite. It doesn't look like much since it's a variety that doesn't blush red, but the peach flavor is intense.
The orchard tour/harvest walk is like pick-your-own with a guide. The savings is modest, but the real fun is learning to picking tree-ripened fruit yourself. (Look for the sugar speckles on the nectarines!) Wear sturdy shoes because the orchard can have uneven and sometimes muddy footing.
If you go in August, watch for Golden Nectar plums, a particular favorite of mine. They're tricky to harvest because they drop when ripe, but when you get them just right, they have a marvelous flavor with a hint of butterscotch.
Here's a link with the tasting schedule and other info. Fruit is available daily in the country store for purchase, but there will be varieties at the tasting that aren't offered for sale because he only has one or two trees. So the tastings are really worth going to.
Here's a link to a review from last year:
I should mention that the Gilroy Garlic Festival is going on this weekend, but last year folks said that getting to Andy's was no problem, that he was far enough north of Gilroy (in Morgan Hill)that there wasn't a traffic back up.