The Yakima Valley, that is. Sometimes I forget how lucky I was to grow up here. For me, the summer was divided into 4 seasons: asparagus, cherries, peaches and apples. These were the crops I anticipated most and were, it seems, the most talked about by family and friends. In farming communities, the worry was always rain splitting the cherries or late freezes affecting the fruit. My mom was quite the gardener and spent most of her summer either in the garden or in the kitchen, canning and freezing. Garden staples were cucumbers (Mom made the best dill pickles), tomatoes and rhubarb. Us 4 kids were her "support", providing the picking, peeling and filling jars. At the time, honestly, I would have rather been outside playing with the neighbors, but come winter time, I was very happy to have those delicious canned peaches with my cereal and Mom's apple pie at Thanksgiving.
Recently, I visited a very cool farm in Grandview, Washington for their 'Peach Festival'. It's called Bill's Berry Farm and is run by my friend, Bill, and his wife, Julie. It has U-Pick fruits, pony rides, and a very cool little train for the kids that runs through the farm. My grandson especially liked the chickens, or as he calls them "buggas". Simply put, it is good wholesome fun with lots of delicious food mixed in. I love their big tree house and tire swing on the huge shady lawn, the enticing smell of bbq and fresh peach doughnuts baking. Seriously, I could have spent my whole day there, but the "Little Kiddles" needed to get home for naps. So, we only had enough time to buy a pie and a bag of peaches. We looked forward to eating that pie all day and oh my goodness was it ever good! Well done, Julie!
Check out their lovely website:
The 'Apple and Pumpkin Festival' sounds amazing! It is on my list of events that I want to attend next year! Autumn in the valley is so colorful--even the drive to get there will be a treat.
To support this family-run business and learn about their festivals, like them on Facebook:
Here's a wonderful blog post about the family and a bonus recipe!: