In contrast to Justin Beiber’s famous lyrics, New Jersey locals don’t need to “get (their) peaches out in Georgia.” As one of the top four peach-producing states in the country, the Garden State lives up to its beloved nickname. Each Jersey peach is picked by hand, with an average of 66 million pounds of the sweet, decadent fruit grown each year.
Peach picking season spans from early July to mid September, making this the best time to visit the orchards. If you’re curious about how NJ’s milder climate cultivates the perfect peach, here’s where to pick your own peaches in North Jersey.
Demarest Farms — Hillside, NJ
At Demarest Farms, New Jersey locals are satisfied with “low-hanging fruit.” Founded in 1886, this Hillside farm is a long-standing staple to the Bergen County community. Upholding the tradition of providing farm-to-table service, Demarest Farms offers seasonal pick-your-own (PYO) events for the public.
Their PYO peach season begins in July and operates until August. To attend any of their events, the farm requires visitors to make a reservation online. Once there, guests can purchase peach bags, which hold roughly 12 pounds of fruit. After you fill your pouches, be sure to stop by the Farm Market for a variety of fresh produce, baked goods and seasonal decorations. Check their Facebook page for updates on PYO availability and special events.
Wightman Farms — Morristown, NJ
Homegrown fruits and vegetables aren’t just rich with flavors. The history harvested with each one offers insight into New Jersey’s unique agricultural background. Established in 1922, the Wightman family’s third generation of friends and family currently works to uphold the tradition of locally-grown crops. In the past, the farm was essential for food to the neighboring Morristown area. Today, it caters to a wide range of visitors, through fresh produce and pick-your-own events.
The pick-your-own peach orchards are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, only available on the weekends. After paying a one-time membership fee for the season, guests can visit the farm and pick as much as they want. If you want to take a break from the heat, Wightman Farms’ picnic areas offer a soothing place to unwind. Try any of their fresh salads, sandwiches or baked goods to fuel up after scouring the orchards. Or, enjoy their other PYO options, including purple kale, raspberries and spring onions.
Stoneyfield Orchard — Belvidere, NJ
There are a wide variety of peaches. In the U.S., the two most popular kinds are white and yellow. Luckily, at Stoneyfield Orchard, the orchards are home to both. With peach picking from July through Aug., it’s the perfect time for locals to wander through the trees and pluck the perfect fruit. The farm also raises animals, including cows, for guests to greet during their trip.
Before you leave, visit the farm store open all year round to purchase seasonal goods, pre-picked peaches or plums and locally produced cheese and honey.
Melick’s Town Farm — Califon, NJ
When you’re planning to pick peaches, visiting NJ’s largest apple grower may seem like an odd choice. However, beside Melick’s Town Farm’s 25,000 apple trees are more than 5,000 vibrant peach trees. Within the 120 acres of orchards are 30 varieties of both white and yellow peaches open to the public seven days a week. At the farm, PYO is available from July through Sept.
For a complete experience at Melick’s Town Farm, drive from their Califon orchards to the Oldwick Cider Mill. There, they produce their famous, freshly pressed cider, along with other farm-to-table goods. Currently run by the 10th generation of farmers, their commitment to cultivating crops is felt in every bite.
Battleview Orchards — Freehold, NJ
Owned and operated by the Applegate family since 1908, Battleview Orchards has its roots in both community and rich harvests. Their mid-season PYO peaches and nectarines are available from July 21 to Aug 4, making this the perfect time to visit. If you’re hoping for a fall event, their late-picking season ends in early Sept.
The Battleview Orchards Country Store is open all season, selling freshly baked pies, apple cider donuts and gift baskets. For those picking an abundance of fruit, the store also supplies their family recipes for the perfect peach cobbler.
Have you visited any peach orchards in North Jersey? Tell us about them in the comments!
Feature image courtesy of LuAnn Hunt.