Saturday afternoon (after leaving Richmond-stay tuned for that post) we drove to Carter Mountain Orchard, near Monticello. The entrance road is right before Michie Tavern and goes up, up, up, winding, twisting, curving, switchback roads through a dense, lush forest. At the top, the orchards dominate: grapes, plums, apples, peaches and nectarines. There is a large gift shop, fresh produce and snacks. As we ate peach cider doughnuts and drank peach cider (well my husband had apple cider), we sat on a deck overlooking the valley below.
I had never heard of peach cider doughnuts or peach cider. The kids and I enjoyed them and thought they tasted better than apple cider doughnuts and apple cider. After we finished eating, the kids and I wanted to pick peaches. Alas we had missed the last group to go up to that orchard. Instead we picked through a loose selection of peaches. I showed the kids how to choose the best ones and they helped me fill up a bag. My kids have always wanted to do some canning, so I thought this would be the opportunity. The best peaches are needed for a successful batch.
The man who rung up the order had shown me the loose peaches to choose from, instead of the prebagged pecks and bushels, when we missed the picking tour. When I took our big plastic bag to him, where we pay by the pound, he got a peck sized bag and transferred the peaches. It was a perfect fit and I saved some money!
Stay tuned for the canning which we did on Sunday!