Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bella's Gardens You Pick Peaches, Plums, Nectarines and Blackberries

Bella's Gardens located at 5041 Rt. 204 near Kratzerville opened their you pick scheme this weekend and will be open every weekend until all the fruit has been picked. This recently acquired orchard is committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.  The orchard is about 20 minutes from Lewisburg by car.

Bella's gardens has several varieties of peaches and plums that are ripe and ready to be picked. They also have nectarines and apples, but they are not ready for picking yet. There were lots of blackberry bushes, some were even overtaking a couple of apricot trees. We picked 1/2 a bushel each of peaches and plums which cost us $9 total. The blackberries are all you can pick for free. The owner said he would pay someone to get rid of all the blackberry bushes if someone were willing.

I thought we would pick a lot more fruit than we did, but my kids got too hot and tired and so they went into the cashier building and sat in front of the fan while my husband and I picked fruit. It was a very hot day out. 

On weekdays the you pick scheme is open on weekdays from 1-4 pm and all day on weekends. The nectarines will be ready to pick in a week.

The management said they were thinking of putting in a gazebo and playground next year. I also suggested a drinking fountain. They would also probably score some points if they added a small freezer with cheap/free popsicles available.

Good points:
There was plenty of fruit to pick.
It was easy to reach.
The staff was friendly.
The blackberries were free.
They had buckets ready to use.

Needed Improvement:
The workers were quite new and couldn't remember all the varieties of fruit available to pick.
There was way too much spoiled fruit on the ground which made getting around very messy.

Overall, I give the orchard a 7 out of 10. We will definitely return next week when the nectarines are ripe and at a cooler time of day. My plans for the peaches are to slice and freeze them, make a pie and maybe a little jam. If I can find a dehydrator to borrow, I would love to make some prunes out of the sugarplums. I think we'll eat most of the plums as they are and maybe make a plum galette.


Jocelyn Christensen said...

Yay, great review! I'm so going there this week!