Yes, we can squeeze the peaches before we buy them in the supermarket and cherry-pick the basket we like at the farmer’s market, but there is nothing more satisfying than standing under a a tree limb full of ripe peaches. There is a tangible joy in choosing one, reaching up to feel the soft fuzz against the firm fruit and inhaling it’s perfume as you gently twist it from its stem. This was our experience yesterday and not one person in our party of 8 put their first picked peach in a bag. Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford can offer you this experience 4 times over, as their orchards are currently yielding peaches, apples, pears and raspberries. Bishop’s is a straight shot up Rt. 95N (exit 57; take a right) and the 45 drive is well worth it.
Bishops peaches are spectacular, but they are in their last week. Raspberries are ripening and ready for picking until the end of this month. Apples are abundant and pears plentiful. The apple and peach trees are flanked by a pond which makes a beautiful backdrop for a picnic. You can pack your own, or stop at the Orchard’s Market, a complete grocery with a wide variety of gorgeous produce, meats, dairy, frozen and prepared foods, a substantial selection of cheeses, including local varieties we don’t see in Fairfield County, and a large bakery with fresh fruit pies and breads. The market also sells white and fruit wines from the orchard: Amazing Grace, Honey Peach Melba, Paradise Pear and Spiced Apple. Whether you grab what you need for a picnic in the orchards, or stock up before heading home, don’t pass up the vegetable chips, which are delicious, lightly salted and remarkably grease-free.
An added roadtrip bonus: on the way home, your car will fill with the aromas of the orchards.
Bishop’s Orchards Market: 1355 Post Rd. Guilford 06437; 203-453-2338
Bishop’s Orchards: 480 New England Rd. Guilford 06437; PYO Info Line: 203-458-PICK