Crops are tops: Have your pick of summer’s bounty

The pickin’s ripe for local fruits, including peaches, cherries and blackberries, at area orchards. The pickin’s ripe for local fruits, including peaches, cherries and blackberries, at area orchards.

We’re halfway through June, which means fruit harvest season has begun, and that means now is the time to do our best impression of the very hungry caterpillar. You know the story: A tiny caterpillar eats through fruit after fruit (and a piece of cake, an ice cream cone, a pickle, etc.) on his journey to becoming a big, beautiful butterfly. But rather than nibble tiny holes in a series of tissue-paper fruit illustrations, we suggest you select your own very real, delicious fruits and berries from one of the many pick-your-own spots in the area. And savor every juicy bite.

Pick-your-own hours often change day to day, depending on the weather and the crop, so always call ahead before you make the drive.

Carter Mountain Orchard

Peachy keen…on yellow-fleshed, white-fleshed and donut peaches (and nectarines, too). 1435 Carters Mountain Trail. 977-1833.

Chiles Peach Orchard

Go for strawberries and peaches in June. Later in the summer, they’ll have apricots, plums and veggies picked and ready for buying. 1351 Greenwood Rd., Crozet. 823-1583.

Critzer Family Farm

Strawberries and cherries are ripe now; blackberries and raspberries will be ready mid-July. They also sell ice cream made with fruit from the farm. 9388 Critzers Shop Rd., Afton. (540) 465-4772.

Henley’s Orchard

Pluck nectarines and more than a dozen varieties of peaches. 2192 Holly Hill Farm, Crozet. 823-7848.

Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery

Blackberries galore—picking starts in July. 2800 Berry Hill Rd., Nellysford. 361-1266.

Market at Grelen

Pick your own blueberries, or buy pre-picked strawberries, cherries and peaches from other local farmers. 15091 Yager Rd., Somerset. (540) 672-7268.

Middle Fork Farm

Strawberry fields forever. 3840 Branch Rd., Scottsville. 589-0810.

Seamans’ Orchard

Strawberries, cherries and blueberries…perfect for pie-making! 415 Dark Hollow Rd., Roseland. 277-8130.

Spring Valley Orchard

Act fast to pick sweet cherries—picking season ends in early July. 3526 Spring Valley Rd., Afton. 960-9443.

We’ll cheers to that

On Monday, June 5, the 2017 Virginia Craft Brewers Guild announced the winners of this year’s Virginia Craft Beer Cup: Among the 356 beers entered for judging in 24 categories, five local breweries earned accolades for their brews. South Street Brewery’s Virginia Lager took first place in the International Lager and Strong European Beer category; its Astrognomer brew took third in the IPA category. Three Notch’d Brewing Company’s Blackwall Porter placed second in the Scottish and Irish Ale category; its No Veto Brown placed third in the Brown British Ale category. Pro Re Nata Brewing Company took third place in the Historical, Alternative and American Wild Ale category with its Go Johnny Gose. Wild Wolf Brewing Company placed third in the Fruit Beer category with its Area 151. And Stable Craft Brewing’s Britchin Brown Ale took second in the Amber and Brown American Beer category.