37 Years of Quality Fruit & Memorable Experiences
Our 1st place 1/4 bushel prize peaches at the 2016 Gillespie County Peach Show
Peach Season 99.99% Over!
(No Peaches Saturday)
Frequently we must close early, due to a lack of enough ripe fruit for the demand. For current picking conditions, and times we expect to be open, read the updates posted below, and usually revised several times each week.
Friday, July 22 2016, 3:15 p.m.
Even though we know it is coming, it always feels like a surprise to us and our customers, when the peach season seems to come to an abrupt end! That's where we are today! We essentially have no more peaches for this year! Out of the very, very few peaches still hanging in our Dixiland and Fayette varieties, we do not expect to have any ripe enough to pick tomorrow, following thorough customer picking today. The last peaches may be ripe enough to search for, and be picked Monday or Tuesday.
We will be open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, until about noon, for customers who want to make purchases at our shed. Available produce will include tomatoes, cantaloupe, okra, pickling cucumbers, onions, yellow squash, seeded table grapes, and Asian pears.
Thursday, July 21 2016, 9:15 p.m.
We are probably less than a week away from completely finishing our 2016 peach harvest season. There are very, very few peaches still remaining in our last two varieties, Dixiland and Fayette. And, of the remaining fruit in these trees, only a small portion will be ripe enough to pick each day of this last week. The amount of ripe fruit each day will be so little that it will not justify trying to pick more than once every two or three days. This Friday will be one of those days, and it will be the first day in over a week that we have invited customers to do pick-your-own. However, there will only be enough peaches for just a few pickers. I am anticipating that there will be no more than a total of 5 half bushel boxes, altogether, in both varieties. Most of this last fruit will be smaller than the earlier portion of the the crop, and much of it will be "blemished" (left unpicked by other customers, because of marks or scars). Because of the less than ideal selection, we are reducing the prices (check further below for price information).
We do not expect to be open for pick-your-own in our peaches this Saturday, due to lack of enough ripe fruit. We will be closed Sunday!. We will probably allow customers to attempt to pick-your-own again on Monday, and then re-evaluate the situation after that to see if there are enough peaches left to keep trying on the following days.
Even when we do not have pick-your-own peaches, we plan to be open each day (except Sunday) at 8:00 a.m., until about noon, to sell our other produce at our shed: tomatoes, cantaloupe, okra, pickling cucumbers, onions, yellow squash, seeded table grapes, and Asian pears. We will continue being open so long as there is a reasonable daily harvest of this other produce, after which time customers may have to call, leave a message, and arrange for a specified pick-up time.
Wednesday, July 20 2016, 1:45 p.m. (CLOSED -- open again at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday)
CAUTION! We will have very few peaches for sale at the orchard on Thursday, as most of what little we have is being reserved for sale at the Fredericksburg Farmers Market on Thursday afternoon. Chances of getting peaches from us at the orchard may be just a little better on Friday morning, when there will again be a very limited amount of fruit ripe enough to pick. Check back here again late tomorrow evening to get the most up-to-date forecast of peach availability for Friday.
(get more details in updates from previous days, below)
Tuesday, July 19 2016, 2:00 p.m. (CLOSED -- open again at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday)
Monday, July 18 2016, 1:30 p.m. (CLOSED -- open again at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday)
Monday, July 18 2016, 9:20 a.m.
Open this morning! No peach
pick-your-own, again today, but we have a modest supply of some small
boxes of beautiful Dixiland peaches, that our workers were able to
pick yesterday, for sale at our shed. We do not expect to have
enough to fill any orders for half bushels for today,
but we may be able
to take orders for pick-up the next two days. After that, we will
most likely not be taking any more orders this year....there simply will
not be enough selection from the few remaining peaches for us to do that,
plus our field workers will be gone home to Mexico for the next several
weeks, leaving the "boss" to be the sole picker! Starting Thursday,
we will probably welcome help from customers who want to do
pick-your-own in the peaches, as we hunt for, and start "cleaning out"
the last of this year's crop....check back here Wednesday evening for the
latest advisory, regarding pick-you-own.
Cantaloupes, cantaloupes, and more cantaloupes!!! Our very sweet, delicious Sugar Queen cantaloupes are ripening in abundance every day. We should have them for the next several weeks, and they will also be available from us at the Fredericksburg Farmer's Market this Thursday.
Blackberries are now gone, except for the most diligent pick-you-own customers. Our tomatoes are continuing to produce, but in very limited quantity. Okra is now just really getting going....if you would like to cut your own, and you can be here early in the morning, call us, and arrange for a day to do that....it must be cut every day, and that will be another of my personal tasks, starting later this week....help, help! We are also still cutting bunches of our Victoria Red seeded, table grape....these are available at our stand, or for customers to cut there own. We also continue to have yellow squash, sweet onions, and pickling cucumbers for sale at our shed.
Saturday, July 16 2016, 1:45 p.m. (CLOSED)
We sold out of peaches this morning, and are closed for the rest of today, and will be closed all day Sunday. We will be open again at 8:00 a.m. on Monday.
We will have a few peaches ripe enough for us to pick and sell again at the orchard shed on Monday morning, but not enough for pick-your-own. I expect this to continue to be the situation at least through next Wednesday. We are about two weeks away from being completely finished with our 2016 peach season.
Our very sweet Sugar Queen cantaloupes are now ripening in abundance every day, and should continue to be available for the next several weeks.
Friday, July 15 2016, 6:20 p.m.
Open Saturday morning, but NO PICK-YOUR-OWN. We will have some peaches, as well as other fruits and vegetables, available for sale at our shed, but probably not enough to stay open all day....come early. Our wonderfully, sweet Sugar Queen cantaloupes are finally beginning to ripen, and we will have just a few of these on Saturday morning. Our blackberries are pretty well exhausted, but the first few customers who would like to try to pick them tomorrow morning should be able to find a satisfactory amount.
We will be closed Sunday.
There may be an opportunity for a little more peach pick-you-own next week. Right now, the amount and quality of the fruit is uncertain, as well as the dates for picking....watch here for additional advisories.
Thursday, July 14 2016, 9:50 p.m.
Due to peach orders we were filling today, and more we will be picking for tomorrow, and our commitment to have fruit at the Fredericksburg Farmers Market today, we will have essentially no surplus peaches to sell at our shed on Friday! And, as we have already stated yesterday, there will be no peach pick-your-own! Availability of peaches may be only slightly better on Saturday....check back here tomorrow night for another update.
Wednesday, July 13 2016 (closing at 2:00 p.m. today)
Thank you to all the customers who came out this morning, and for your patience in searching for the few firm-ripe Dixiland peaches that were available for picking today! It was especially good to see several of our long-time, loyal, experienced friends!
There will be NO PICK-YOUR-OWN PEACHES for the remainder of this week!!!! It was obvious today that our customers were having a very difficult time finding any ripe peaches to pick. The Dixiland variety is getting very close to finishing, and, therefore, there are fewer and fewer ripe peaches to be picked each day....some trees are already empty. Also, with less fruit to choose from, customers are prematurely picking a lot of green fruit, before it has a chance to ripen properly to its full sweetness. For this reason, we are allowing no pick-your-own this Thursday, Friday and Saturday in our peaches. We will be closed entirely again this Sunday. We will re-evaluate the situation later this weekend, and decide whether or not to re-open the peaches for pick-your-own sometime next week. If we do allow any more peach pick-your-own, it will probably be at reduced prices, because it will be "cleaning-out" the smaller, and less attractive "leftovers".
We will be open the next three mornings to sell here at our shed what few peaches our workers can find and pick each day. Most of these will be sold "first come, first serve" in small box quantities. If you want half bushel quantities, we strongly recommend calling us in advance, and ordering for pick-up on a specific day and time. We will be able to do only a very limited number of these boxes each day. If we are not confident that we can fill your order, we may have to put you on a waiting list, and call you if and when the fruit becomes available.
Blackberries are becoming very scarce, but there are still a few ripening, so that customers can still pick-your-own for a little while each day. Our tomato plants have pretty much "expired", but are still giving customers a little to pick daily. We continue to have a good supply of onions, yellow squash, and pickling cucumbers. Okra is slowly getting started, and will be much more productive the next couple of months. Our Sugar Queen cantaloupe does not yet have any ripe melons....once it starts (about one more week), we should have a terrific quantity for about six weeks.
Tuesday, July 12 2016, 2:15 p.m. (closed at noon today)
In less than three hours this morning, all available ripe peaches in our pick-your-own, and all pre-picked peaches, had been sold. I would guess that amount of time may be even less on Wednesday. We will again allow customers to do pick-your-own on Wednesday....questionable on Thursday....very questionable on Friday....almost certainly not on Saturday....maybe a little bit of "clean-out" picking the following two weeks.
(read more details below, regarding the current situation)
Monday, July 11 2016, 3:15 p.m. (closing now, for the rest of today)
Less and less peaches everyday! Nearing the end of the 2016 season! Our overall peach production, in all of our varieties, has been reduced significantly this year, due to aging and dying trees, and also due to a spring freeze, which took out part of the crop. This loss was less noticeable in June, when we had a lot more trees to work from. We are now in the two week harvest period of our last two varieties of the season, Dixiland and Fayette, and both of them have very few trees, by comparison to the earlier varieties. And, actually, Fayette is just barely beginning, and therefore has practically no fruit ready for picking just yet. The result is that we have an average of only 15 to 20 half bushel boxes (25 lbs./box) of ripe peaches each day, and that amount is going down each day!
Because of this scarcity, the next few days may be the last opportunity for pick-your-own this year! When we have more customers showing up, even before 8:00 a.m., wanting to pick more peaches than we have ripe enough to pick that day for everyone's expectations, we have a lot of disappointed, and unhappy customers....something we can't fix, since we can't "manufacture" additional fruit to meet their demand! WARNING: There may be a limit to the number of customers who can pick each morning....be here before 8:00!
Therefore, we will allow customers to pick-your-own peaches probably for only two or three more days, or until it becomes too frustrating for both our customers, and ourselves. After that time, we will pick most everything ourselves, and have it for sale, pre-picked, at our shed. Those wanting to purchase this pre-picked fruit, in quantities of a half bushel or more, are advised to call, and order several days in advance, since we will be very limited in the amount of orders that we can fill each day. For smaller quantities, simply be here when we open each day.
Saturday, July 9, 2016, 2:05 p.m.
Sold out and closed for the rest of today....closed entirely on Sunday. We are getting close to the end of our 2016 peach season. Starting back in May, all of our ten peach varieties have been ripening about two weeks ahead of normal. Each variety only lasts about two weeks, and during that two weeks all the peaches on the tree do not ripen at the same time...we only pick that small percentage that is ripe each day. When those are picked, we close, and allow more fruit to ripen for picking the next day (or, sometimes it is necessary to wait two or more days, in order to have a sufficient amount of ripe fruit for customers to again pick).
We are now picking our next-to-last variety of the season, Dixiland. We do not have a lot of trees of this variety, and it has a very light crop this year. This means that there is a very limited amount of fruit for picking each day. This coming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday should be the peak of production for this variety, but, still, with no more than 20 half bushel boxes per day. If you are here at opening time, you should have no problem finding enough to pick....one or two hours later, and you may find that we have shut down the pick-your-own for the day.
The last variety of the season, Fayette, will probably get started sometime next week, but it has much fewer trees, and a much lesser crop than Dixiland, and, therefore, won't be a lot of help to us in satisfying desperate "last minute peach pickers"!
Friday, July 8, 2016, 4:15 p.m.
Closed at 11:00 a.m. today. Extremely limited supply of peaches for Saturday. Are you thinking about coming to pick peaches this Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday? The best choice would be any day but Saturday! Our Redglobe and Majestic varieties are now finished for pick-your-own .... we will continue to hunt for the last few peaches in these trees, and have them for sale at our shed. The only variety with enough fruit for pick-your-own on Saturday will be Dixiland, and it will have only 10 to 15 half bushel boxes of ripe peaches. We will be closed again this Sunday. We expect Dixiland to average about 20 boxes per day next Monday through Wednesday, and dropping off in production after that.
On Saturday morning, we plan to open the gate about 7:45 a.m. We will be counting cars. If we have 15 or more by 8:00 a.m., we will close the gate, and that will be our limit for pick-your-own for the day. Also, if we have that many pickers, we may have to limit each family to no more than 1 half bushel box each. After this first "wave" of customers has finished picking, we will re-survey the orchard to see if we think there is any additional ripe fruit for the day that can still be picked by "late arrivals". It is highly unlikely that this will be the case.
We expect to have very few pre-picked peaches for sale on Saturday morning. Whatever we have, will be available when we open at 7:45, first come, first serve. If it becomes necessary to close the gate, to restrict further pick-your-own traffic, any of this remaining pre-picked fruit would not be accessible until later in the morning, if we reopen for pre-picked sales only, after pick-your-own is finished.
Thursday, July 7, 2016, 1:30 p.m.
SOLD OUT & CLOSED FOR THE REMAINDER OF TODAY! Open again Friday at 8:00 a.m., with a very limited amount of peaches for pick-your-own ... closing again when all the ripe peaches for the day have been picked ... come early!
Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 9:55 p.m.
The primary peach variety for Thursday will be Dixiland ... it will have about 10 to 15 half bushel boxes of ripe peaches ready to pick ... come early! Majestic may have another 5 boxes tomorrow, but Redglobe is essentially finished for this year.
We will have a very limited amount of pre-picked peaches for sale at our shed .... these will be almost exclusively Redglobe, as a result of our workers "cleaning out" the few, last remaining fruit from this variety. If you are wanting to order half bushel quantities of pre-picked Dixiland peaches, it is too late to do so for this week, because of orders we have already taken. Call as soon as possible, if you would like to reserve a box or more for Monday through Thursday of next week. We can take orders for no more than 4 or 5 boxes on each of those days, without detrimentally affecting the availability of fruit each day for our pick-your-own customers, due to the light production in Dixiland.
If you just need a few peaches this week, remember that we will be at our, once a week, Fredericksburg Farmers Market tomorrow from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Marktplatz, in downtown Fredericksburg.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 3:15 p.m.
CLOSED for the remainder of the day. As forecast, we had a total of only about 15 half bushels of peaches for picking today. The traffic was slow, and, therefore, late-arriving customers were able to pick up until about noon. However, I do not recommend that expectation for the rest of the week ... with just a little more traffic, we can easily be picked out within the first hour or two any of the next three mornings.
(for more details, read postings from the last several days)
Tuesday, July 5, 2016, 11:25 p.m.
Sorry for the late night update! Peach picking the next several days will be very limited. The Redglobe and Majestic varieties, which are almost completely finished, will have no more than 5 half bushel boxes each on Wednesday, and less, or none, on Thursday. Dixiland, which is just beginning its two week harvest period, will probably also not have more than 5 boxes tomorrow, increasing only slightly each day thereafter. Our two Dixiland blocks do not have nearly as many trees as those in the Redglobe and Majestic blocks, which we have been picking the last two weeks, and that means that even at the peak of production, about a week from now, the daily production of ripe fruit may not exceed about 20 boxes. Another factor .... the much hotter afternoons, that we are now experiencing, are a stress on the trees, which can actually slow down ripening, not speed it up!
Therefore, if you are coming to pick, any day this week, be here at opening time, 8:00 a.m. It will be much cooler, and it will be when there is the best selection for the day. If we have a lot of customers, then we will probably not have enough ripe peaches to allow picking for more than one or two hours each day.
We pretty much exhausted our accumulated supply of pre-picked peaches today, and will have very few to replace them with on Wednesday. The exception is softs and #2s ... we still have a surplus of these that we are ready to see get used at a discount!
Blackberries are still available for picking, but their production has dropped off significantly. We still have most of our vegetables. However, we are temporarily out of ripe tomatoes. Anyone need to make pickles? We have a tremendous amount of pickling cucumbers right now! Also, lots of green beans. We are still waiting on our first Sugar Queen cantaloupes to ripen, and okra is slowly getting started. Oh, and right now is the only time this season that we will have grapes! Our seeded Victoria Red table grapes are now ready for harvest!
Monday, July 4, 2016, 7:45 p.m.
After being closed for several days, it looks like Tuesday will be a very good day for pick-your-own peaches .... and for availability of some beautiful pre-picked peaches, at our shed!
Pick-your-own will still require a little bit of patient searching, but well worth it for some nice quality fruit in three varieties. Majestic will be the easiest picking, with an estimated 10 half bushels ready for picking. Redglobe, although it has many more trees, should have about 5 half bushel boxes. Dixiland, which is just beginning, will have a lot of fruit, but a total of only about 5 boxes, also, that will be ripe enough to pick on its first day. I had considered reducing prices in Majestic and Redglobe, anticipating that the quality, size, and selection would be less than it was last week, as we begin "clean-out" of these varieties this week. That, however, is not the case .... there is still a fairly good selection of beautiful, large fruit, and, therefore, the prices will not change for at least another day or two.
Tuesday, we will also have 20-25 half bushels of pre-picked Redglobe, Majestic, and white peaches for sale at our shed. We normally do not have anywhere near this amount, on a daily basis. This is an accumulation of several days of picking by our workers. Of course, you do not have to purchase half bushels ... we will have smaller box size quantities for sale, as well.
Sunday, July 3, 2016, 8:35 p.m.
The orchard was closed today, and will be CLOSED MONDAY, JULY 4th. We are closed these two days, and were also closed for pick-your-own peaches on Saturday, primarily because we are at the end of the Redglobe and Majestic peach season, and there are so very few peaches still remaining in these trees. However, our workers have been searching for, and picking, what fruit is still ripening each day, while we have been closed, and it looks like we will have the equivalent of about 25 half bushel boxes of these peaches available to sell to customers on Tuesday morning.
If Redglobe and Majestic are your favorite peach varieties, Tuesday or Wednesday may be your last chance to get them this year. You can either just show up early on Tuesday, or call and leave an order on the answering machine, with your phone number. There is a fair possibility that the first customers on Tuesday will also have an opportunity to do some "clean-out" PYO in Majestic ... I don't think there will be enough left in Redglobe to justify the same effort there. If we do this, the prices will probably be reduced. Check back here Monday night, or early Tuesday, to get a more up to the date evaluation of the situation. There is also a slight chance that Dixiland, which is just on the verge of beginning, may have a very limited amount of ripe fruit by Tuesday or Wednesday, allowing us to open it to cautious picking by customers.
Saturday, July 2, 2016, 12:15 p.m.
No pick-your-own peaches today, but still a very busy morning of customers buying peaches from our shed. Traffic has slowed considerably, and it looks like we may have enough peaches to sell yet today, that we can stay open several more hours, closing when we run out. We also still have a good supply of our other farm produce.
Friday, July 1, 2016, 1:55 p.m.
The orchard will be open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, but there will be no peach picking! Our Redglobe and Majestic varieties have come to the end of their two week harvest season, and are now too few, and too scarce, for customer picking, without a lot of frustration, and a lot of green fruit being picked. As the last remaining fruit on these trees ripens ... a few each day ... our workers will search for only the ripest fruit, and bring it to our shed, for sale to customers wanting pre-picked fruit, until we are sold out of these peaches each day. My guess is that we will be sold out of all available peaches for the day on Saturday by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m., and that we will be closing the orchard entirely by that time.
Blackberries will still be open for PYO on Saturday morning, until all ripe berries for the day are picked.
The orchard will be closed this Sunday, July 3rd, and Monday, July 4th.
We will re-open the orchard on Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. Right now, it looks doubtful that the Dixiland peach variety will be ready for customer picking on Tuesday. If just a few peaches on each tree have begun to ripen, we will pick them ourselves, and have them for sale at the shed. Once we feel like ripening has advanced to the point where customers can easily fill their boxes, we will open this variety for pick-your-own. That may not be until the latter part of next week ... keep checking the advisories posted here.
If you want to purchase the last of pre-picked Redglobe or Majestic peaches from us, the best time for that will be Tuesday morning, after we have had several days of searching, picking, accumulating, and storing those peaches, while the orchard is closed.
We now have a great supply of vegetables.....tomatoes, onions, yellow squash, zucchini, pickling cucumbers, okra and green beans. Tomatoes and green beans are available for PYO. Our wonderfully sweet Sugar Queen cantaloupes are not quite ready ... about one more week!
If you are determined to try to pick-your-own peaches this Saturday and Sunday, get to the Jenschke Orchard on Hwy. 290, between Fredericksburg and Stonewall, ASAP. They have been closed to pick-your-own for the last 10 days, and apparently have lots of ripe Redglobe peaches available for picking only these two days ... after that, their pick-you-own will be closed for the remainder of the season.
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Saturday morning, April 2, 2016, 8:00 a.m.
NO FREEZE! Clear skies, bright sunshine, very little wind, and an estimated temperature of 50° at our 9:00 a.m. opening time! Perfect strawberry picking weather!
Friday, March 25, 2016, 5:00 p.m.
As expected, today was HUGE! In less than 3 hours, just over 600 lbs. of strawberries were picked ... the most in any one day, so far, this season! Looking at the lighter color of many of the last berries to be picked, my workers believe that we stayed open too long, and let customers pick 200 more pounds of berries than we should have allowed. Instead of having an estimated 400 lbs. of berries for customers to pick on Saturday, we are now guessing we will have only 200 to 250 pounds of ripe berries. And, if we are rushed with as many customers as we had early today, we will most likely be finished picking, and have the gate closed by 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, January 28, 2016 (Earliest ever opening for PYO strawberries at Marburger Orchard!)
Our first attempt to allow customers to do pick-your-own strawberries for this season will be at 2:00 p.m. this Saturday, January 30th. We anticipate having no more than 50 to 100 lbs. of ripe berries for the day....that would be only 10 to 15 full berry boxes. We will allow picking until we feel like there are no more berries ripe enough to pick, or until 5:00 p.m., whichever comes first.
Although not very plentiful, these early berries are exceptionally large, and definitely sweet. With this earlier start, we are expecting a much longer than normal season, and we are hoping for more leveling out of the crop, rather than the extreme peak of volume that we have experienced most years from late March to mid-April.
***June 23, 2016: Lucile Marburger, 98 year old mother of Gary Marburger, ringing the opening bell for the weekly Fredericksburg Farmers Market
***We are experimenting with a fairly new agricultural concept....the use of "high tunnels" to alter the climate conditions for growing crops. A high tunnel is similar to a huge greenhouse, but normally without the advantage of heating or cooling, other than by closing or venting. Currently, we have a very small portion of our strawberries in one of these structures, and tomato plants in the other one. I will try to post pictures, as time permits.
***Again this year, we will have for you excellent quality Nicaraguan coffee -- check back here in the coming weeks for more information about my family's involvement where it is grown, about the new "branding" of the coffee, and about the larger selection of products, which we will have available.
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Hours of Operation
Our "peach season hours" -- ripe fruit and weather conditions permitting -- are normally as follows (with frequent exceptions): open at 8:00 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and at 1:00 p.m. on Sundays, and close at 5:00 p.m., if not earlier. We will always close early (or entirely) on any day when we feel like the remaining fruit is not ripe enough to be picked. We strongly recommend coming early in the day to have the best selection, and to avoid arriving after we have had to close. Occasionally, we must close a full day or more, in order to assure that our customers will have the ripest, best tasting fruit. It is a good idea to check here, or call our answering machine (830-997-9433), the night before you plan to come, and also if you cannot make it out until later in the day, to be sure that we will be open,
Very often we are closed on Sunday, because we have had so many customers on Saturday that the fields need an extra day of rest to catch up on ripening.
Dixiland: **** Reduced for "clean out" **** $30.00 per ½ bushel (apx. 25 lbs.),
or $1.50/lb. for smaller quantities
($15.00 minimum purchase)
Fayette: **** Reduced for "clean out" **** $30.00 per ½ bushel (apx. 25 lbs.),
or $1.50/lb. for smaller quantities
($15.00 minimum purchase)
(Our preferred method of payment is cash or check. However, we are now equipped to accept credit or debit cards, when customers are unprepared to pay otherwise.)
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Typical happenings at Marburger Orchard from previous years
(I will attempt to post current pictures and happenings as time permits!)
Our peach trees blooming in March, 2014!
(full bloom in 2015 was about one week later--around March 22-26)
Bounty peach trees in bloom 3/18/14
"2015 Peach Prospects"
(May 3, 2015)
It is still too early to try to estimate when the first peaches will be ripe this year. Our first variety is Regal, and so far it is not giving us any predictable indicators. My best guess is that it may start about May 20th, and last for one and a half to two weeks. When the peach season begins, I will start posting here my best estimates of when each variety will be ripening. Watch for those estimated dates to continually change week by week, as we observe changing conditions.
We had a severe freeze on March 6th, when the peach flower buds were still tightly closed, giving them some protection from a killing freeze. In spite of that protection, there still was a high percentage of damage. However, since peach trees produce far more blooms than the amount of ripe fruit the tree can comfortably carry, and still make good size, we could stand to lose a lot of that bloom, and essentially have a "full crop". Initially, I thought that we would still have a "fairly good" crop this year. However, during the last few weeks, we have seen some of the very small, developing peaches "shed", or drop off. My current assessment is that we will have a "light" peach crop this year. We have 10 different varieties, each ripening in its particular two week time period, from late May until early August. The amount of fruit is not consistent on all varieties. Some varieties may have a nearly full crop (like Regal), while other varieties may have an extremely light crop. Customers will need to be very vigilant about choosing their time to come pick!
(The following was posted late Spring 2013.)
The major orchard task from January through March was getting all of the peach trees pruned before they bloomed in mid-March.
Peach trees need an accumulation of "chilling hours" during the winter months in order to grow vigorously and produce a good crop in the spring and summer. Because of a mostly mild winter, our trees had inadequate chilling. Therefore, we did a chemical spray of the trees during the second week of February, which we hoped would enhance this chilling requirement. It appeared that this spray did help. However, there were some varieties, and some individual trees, that showed the effects of inadequate chilling by being slow to "leaf out". This delayed start in the spring was probably responsible for some of the delayed ripening that we saw on some of our peach varieties.
Other ongoing orchard tasks include mowing, spraying weeds, irrigating, fertilizing, and monitoring for insect pests.
Normally, in April and May we devote the majority of our time to "thinning" excessive fruit off of the peach trees, so that the remaining fruit can grow larger in size. Of course, with the loss of most of this crop to the severe freeze in late March, there was very little need for thinning this year.
Once there was very little chance of additional late freezes, during the first week of April we planted our tomato plants and most of the seeds for our summer vegetables.
After the orchard is closed to customers in late summer, we do not re-open until strawberry season begins in late February or early March. During that off time, we stay busy with planting and caring for the new strawberry plants, and maintaining the peach trees, which includes cutting out dead limbs and trees, irrigating, and controlling weeds, plus equipment repair and maintenance.
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Pictures of Events During Past Years
January 4, 2013 -- snow pictures!
Fayette peach trees
Strawberry field -- peach orchard in the background
A blanket of snow on a strawberry plant
October 18, 2012 -- strawberry planting time
Our 16,000 strawberry plants arriving, in preparation for planting the next week.
The beds were built in September, and in this picture we are connecting the irrigation, in preparation for planting.
October 16, 2014 Planting strawberries!
Strawberry season is primarily March and April. In June/July we remove the old plants, take out the old plastic and irrigation lines, and plow up the field. In September we rebuild the plastic-covered beds, and in October we plant new plants.
Peaches are our primary crop!
We have 10 varieties, normally ripening between mid-May and early August. Each variety lasts approximately two weeks, with the peak of production being in the middle of that two weeks. Since the ripening dates for each variety vary from one year to the next, based on constantly changing weather conditions, I can only estimate the ripening dates for the varieties. I continue to revise these estimated dates during the harvest season.
January through early March is the time when each tree in the orchard is meticulously hand-pruned, to create the most desirable structure for a healthy crop. Peach trees produce best when they have had adequate "chilling hours" during their winter dormancy, from November through February. During this dormancy, freezes do not usually cause any harm to the trees. The trees bloom and set their fruit in March, followed by the emergence of the new foliage. In April, our workers begin the tedious work of thinning. Thinning is the task of removing excessive fruit, so that the remaining peaches can grow to larger size. This work is done almost exclusively by hand, one peach at a time, and is usually not completed in all varieties until late May!
From late February to early April, we are always vulnerable to freezing weather, which can result in either a partial or total loss of the year's peach crop. Springtime is also when there is the threat of thunderstorms, accompanied by hail, which may scar or devastate the crop.
A lot of pruning, irrigating, fertilizing, insect prevention and weeding goes on year-round, in order to maintain healthy peach trees, and to produce good quality fruit.
Blackberry season is May and June. We have four varieties, that ripen at different times over that two month period. The plants are tied up on trellis wires, with grass walkways between, for ease of picking.
Because of the threat of killing freezes, most of our summer vegetables can not be planted until early April, which results in harvest being mostly in June and July. The exception is our onion crop, which we normally start digging by the end of April or early May. We try to have a good assortment of vegetables each year.
Although we allow some pick-your-own, we do most of the picking of the vegetables ourselves, so that we can be sure that they will be harvested at their freshest and best early each morning--tomatoes, green beans and southern field peas are usually the exception. The vegetables are available for sale at our orchard stand, until they are sold out for that day.
We do not grow fall and winter vegetables.
General information about our pricing: Since our products are not manufactured, and are at the mercy of nature, the quality, size, and quantity can easily vary from week to week, especially in our many peach varieties. Therefore, our pricing is also flexible, reflecting those changing conditions. Our strawberry and blackberry prices generally remain the same throughout most of their respective seasons. Prices for pick-your-own are less than if we do the picking for you. However, due to the need for competent employees to assist customers with picking instructions and supervision, the prices are only moderately different. We occasionally offer discounts when we want to encourage customers to come out and help us pick an over-abundance of ripe fruit, before it becomes a loss. Since the demand for our fruit is usually greater than the supply, we rarely have the need to wholesale our products, nor offer reduced prices for customers picking larger quantities.
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Looking for something else to do while you are in Fredericksburg?
For other activities in the area, click on the link to the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce at the bottom of this page.
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If you are looking for a place to stay overnight in Fredericksburg, a little out of the ordinary, click on the links below to bed and breakfast accommodations available with "friends of Marburger Orchard".
Meusebach Creek Farm
Austin Street Retreat
Directions to Marburger Orchard
Take U.S. Highway 87
5¼ miles south of Fredericksburg
Watch for our sign.
559 Kuhlmann Rd.
Mapquest and Google Earth now have us accurately located! (Other GPS programs apparently are still trying to say we are someplace else!)
Call or check back here for current information.
Click below on pictures of Peaches, Strawberries, and Blackberries
The best way for us to get notices to you about what is happening at
Marburger Orchard is by e-mail. In addition to being the quickest
method, it allows us to get information to you more specific to your
interests, and is a less costly way for us to stay in touch with our
growing list of customers. It also allows us to notify you anytime we
might have a special going, such as during an unexpected surplus of
overripe fruit. If you are a new customer, or have never
before registered with us, please go to “Join Our
this page, and register. Be sure the e-mail address you enter on the
form is current, and 100% correct--we do get back a fair number of
"undeliverable" e-mails. Recently, we seem to be
getting our e-mail notices blocked by more of our customers.
Be sure your spam filter allows messages from: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a previous customer, and are already on our mailing list, we would still like for you to fill out this form, if you have never before done so, especially if you would like to start getting e-mail notices, instead of our traditional cards. Please, please, please, do not fill out this form more than once!!! That only creates more unnecessary work for me, deleting the duplications. If you think you should be getting an e-mail when you are not, first be patient--it may not yet be the appropriate time for notices to go out on that particular crop. If you are not getting a notice when the crop has started, check with us to be sure we have your correct e-mail address.
Important change in notifications: I am no longer mailing out
With almost everyone now using e-mail, the printing, labeling, and mailing of cards is no longer cost or time effective.
There may be additional e-mail notices
under special circumstances, such as unusual crop abundance, or limited
We will not give your e-mail address to anyone else, and we will try to use this method of communication sparingly. We do not want to become another source of annoying spam mail for you!
If you choose not to sign up for notices from us, you can simply check back here on our website on a regular basis. We attempt to post current updates as frequently as necessary during the harvest season to keep our customers aware of changing conditions.
click here for Spring 2010 peach bloom pictures
(Spring 2010 strawberry pictures)
(2008 Pictures at Marburger Orchard)
Marburger Orchard is a member of the Hill Country Fruit Council. We have been a Hill Country peach tradition for 37 years! You know it's fresh when you pick your own peaches, strawberries and blackberries! Your vacation or outing to the Texas Hill Country just isn't complete until you've tasted the fresh fruits of our Gillespie County orchard. Primarily pick-your-own, but sometimes we have already picked fruit available. All our fruit is the best quality fruit nature can provide. We take great pride in our well maintained orchard, which provides the greatest ease of picking and family enjoyment!
Click here to go to the Hill Country Fruit Council