We hit the turn signal at Wagon Wheel Road off of Hwy 540 in Northwest Arkansas, dreams of freshly-picked peaches from Vanzant Fruit Farm dancing in our minds. Will they have white peaches? Free stone? Will it be air conditioned in this triple-digit weather?
My anticipation was growing as fast as the growling in my stomach.
Once on Wagon Wheel Road, we headed east, staying on Hwy 264 for a measly two miles. Two miles! Yes, it only took two miles off the highway to indulge in freshly picked peaches of seventeen varieties to my heart’s content? Why have I not been here before? Why am I not here every single day between now and August when those peaches ripen?
Dennis and I had the day off on Tuesday, so naturally “job #1” was to visit the Vanzant Fruit Farm in Lowell. We took this drive on Sunday and found, to our dismay, that it was closed. On Tuesday, we were armed and ready. The back seat was like a prop house, armed with coolers.
They were beckoning and practically *begging* for juicy fresh peaches.
So was I.
We pulled in the parking lot, strolled in with our best we-do-this-all-the-time-and-no-we-weren’t-too-eager look, took a deep breath and sighed.
We were home.
Peaches, peaches, peaches, peaches! They were everywhere! Immediately my mind began to sing “millions of peaches, peaches for me.”
I had a mission to find free stone peaches. Yep, that’s right, I was going to can peaches for my very first time and free stone’s were the ones to get.
We found them right away! Vanzant’s had three free stone varieties available and ready to go. All I had to do was choose one.
|June Haven Free Stone|
|Loring Free Stone|
|These are the ones I picked, the “007 Free Stone.” Why, because I like the name… why else?|
And then we saw it… yes! They had white peaches! Of course we had to buy them! Dennis’s family lived next to a white peach orchard in the Central California Valley and white peaches were always a treat. They are similar to a free stone yet juicier, mellower, and, dare I say, they have more “depth.”
They are too-die-for.
Happily, we purchased one ½ peck of the 007 free stones and ½ peck of the white nectar and waved our goodbye to the fruit farm staff.
If you are wondering how that works out financially, one ½ peck was $7.50 and I canned five pints of peaches. That means one pint cost $1.50 worth of fruit.
Not bad, not bad.
We waved our goodbyes to the fruit farm staff and headed back towards the freeway and past the 4,000 fruit trees producing seventeen varieties of peaches. This farm has been selling peaches for over one hundred years and is one of our backyard treasures.
You’re in luck because those seventeen varieties will be providing fruit for Northwest Arkansas now through August.
You’ve got time.
They’re bursting full of sweet summer delight and humbly waiting for you to partake of their goodness.
Are you in?
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.
P.S. Do you live near Bella Vista? Good news for you! Allen’s Market stocks Vanzant Fruit Farms peaches — come get them while they are available! Just $1.49 a pound.