Many peach festivals are about just that--peaches. However, early peaches are sold for a premium price because of a lack of competition from other production areas. Use this as a guide, but check with local farmers to find out what fruits and vegetables are growing when. A variety of crops can be planted, grown, and harvested more than once per year in many areas of Texas, making them available more or less year-round. Peach season is celebrated by big annual festivals. Box 1, Stonewall, TX 78671; (830) 644-2735 or www.stonewalltexas.com. White peaches are less common and more delicate than yellow varieties; they’re best eaten fresh or used for desserts (think tarts or ice cream) the day of purchase. Texas. Peaches don’t technically ripen after harvest; that is, they won’t continue to develop sugar content. The journey starts with Stonewall and Fredericksburg along US 290, where growers’ outlets are interspersed with Hill Country vineyards. The Soul of StonewallYou see, peaches are personal. Though Cooper Farms delivers peaches to grocers if there is a surplus, co-owner Elizabeth Johnson says “50 percent of our traffi c is roadside,” a throwback to her parents’ first marketing efforts. Just ask for a napkin. All Rights Reserved. This event features a Peach Queen contest, baking & salsa contests, a rodeo, and live performances as well! For exact locations of some 15 roadside markets in Gillespie County and their hours and telephone numbers, visit TexasPeaches.com, the home page of the Hill Country Fruit Council. If you visit for the JAMboree, you'll see why this homespun part of Texas is so special. The ones grown in this part of the state taste so sweet, they're like candy. And, yes, buy a peck or two for your neighbors and your freezer. That makes sense because the weekend is such a rip-roarin' good time. And the Winner Is...Let's begin with judge Bluefford Hancock. The Texas census first mentioned peaches as a commercial crop in 1890, and by 1910, the state’s peach production peaked with 10 million trees. According to The New Southern Living Garden Book, peach varieties found in the South include ‘Belle of Georgia,' a midseason freestone peach, ‘Redhaven,' a medium-size peach that produces early in the season, and ‘Cresthaven,' a tree that can produce peaches later in the season. When judging, Bluefford looks for uniformity of size and color in the fruit. You can also find a great selection of peaches and other produce each week at the Fredericksburg Farmers Market. CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. The Hutton stand is down a shady country road off US 180, footsteps away from the orchards. parkercountypeachfestival.org. To buy the sweetest peaches, examine the base color of the peach. We get publicity from Austin and San Antonio; then people come to Gillespie County to buy our peaches. By continuing to use our site you agree to our Privacy Policy. FLAMEPRINCE: Late ripening, extending the Texas freestone season well into August. Take joking about the fruit, for example. It can be tricky for transplants to wrap their minds around this truth. Many of the peach growers also have fresh blackberries and other produce available, while area restaurants incorporate the local offerings in to seasonal dishes and recipes - making the Texas Hill Country a unique culinary destination worthy of a visit for any foodie. It can be tricky for transplants to wrap their minds around this truth. To his knowledge, he's participated in every JAMboree peach contest ever held in Stonewall. No words.”. The rest of the contests take place behind closed doors inside a school classroom, where a group of judges sample homemade jams, jellies, preserves, pies, and cobblers. It hurts our peelings.” The solution: Buy a basket of the tawny beauties and consume one, skin and all. It starts in May and lasts till early August. The spacious store sells 24 varieties of peaches as well as farmstead preserves and other crops. The afternoon packs in a contest or two, a washer-pitching tournament, children's activities, and the Peach Queen interviews. Each mid-May through August, find fresh Texas Hill Country peaches at orchards and roadside markets clustered along Highway 290 between Fredericksburg and Stonewall, and along Highway 87, south of Main Street in Fredericksburg. At least three venues feature the bounty of Hutton Fruit Farms’ 4,500 trees—its stand west of Weatherford, down-town Weatherford’s open-air farmers market operated by the Hutton family, and the Malt Shop, a 1950s-era drive-in on the old highway to Fort Worth. By early July, word has spread about the season’s success, with cars, SUVs, and pickups navigating the stand’s one-lane driveway. Saturday morning begins with a 5K run/walk and a ten o'clock parade, when the town dresses up trucks and tractors in celebration of peach season. Roadside markets and orchards around Fredericksburg and Stonewall offer a great variety of delicious Gillespie County peaches. A Family AffairThe JAMboree is the social event of the year in Stonewall.