Introducing: Mackintosh Fruit Farm located in Berryville, VA
We love Mackintosh, and at this time of year especially, there is no shortage of things to do or delicious treats to enjoy at the farm. I recently spoke with Lori Mackintosh about everything going on in August, and the Peach Festival is just one of many events you should plan on attending! The event is Saturday, August 12th, from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.
According to Lori, this festival will kick off the beginning of peach season, so be prepared to delight in this perfect summertime fruit! Aside from the festival, the delicious peaches harvested at Mackintosh Fruit Farm will also be used in a peach tart dessert made by Susan Dolinar from Nibblins in Winchester, VA. The use of fresh, regionally-grown ingredients and the collaboration of locally known chefs and businesses is the focus of Taste of Blue Ridge’s “Root to Table” event. This will be a two-day event as part of the Taste of Blue Ridge Culinary Series funded through Virginia Tourism celebrating farmers and chefs in the region. The event (and the peach tarts) will be incredible!
The Peach Festival takes place the weekend before the Root to Table event, so you should mark your calendars now for back-to-back weekends of excellent local entertainment and food! Mackintosh has been hosting the Peach Festival for about 9 years now, and it only gets better each year. As someone who mainly just eats peaches and doesn’t know much about them, I had plenty of questions for Lori. Are there more than two different kinds of peaches? How do you know when they’re good enough to eat? Are they hard to grow and nurture? Here is what I learned…
“You can usually tell if peaches are ready to eat by the color, they’ll have an orangey color. And by the feel – you want them to be firm. You pick them while they’re firm and then they will soften after you pick them.”
She also let me know that there are actually tons of different kinds of peaches! Who knew? “They’re just like apples,” Lori told me, “there is a whole variety of peaches, more than you’d think! They grow all throughout August and September.”
On the process of growing peaches, I asked if there is anything unusual or specific about growing peaches compared to other fruits. “The main thing is keeping them alive in the spring. You really have to ‘baby’ them during bloom season and protect the baby blooms. It’s also important to have a nice, mild winter – nothing too harsh.”
The Peach Festival will have something for everyone – u-pick peaches, peach pies and preserves, peaches already picked and available for purchase, a moon-bounce water slide for the kids, and so much more. This is the perfect family outing to wrap up summer before school starts again, and then you can attend the Root to Table event the following weekend to relax and unwind!
For more information on the Taste of Blue Ridge Root to Table Culinary Series, head over to the website. Make sure to buy your tickets before they sell out!