38 Years of Quality Fruit & Memorable Experiences
Pick-Your-Own strawberry customers (picture from a previous year)
Good strawberry and blackberry picking continues this week!
First few peaches for sale ... no pick-your-own!
For the latest information, read the dated postings below.
Tuesday evening, May 23, 2017, 6:50 p.m.
What a gorgeous day for picking today! And, it appears that tomorrow could be equally as nice. Then, look out for the next several days to feel like summer! We had cool north winds and storm clouds roll through late this afternoon.....but, again, no rain!
We had a very busy day, with lots of customers picking lots of beautiful, sweet strawberries and blackberries. I can't believe that we still have so many nice size strawberries this late in the season! They can't last much longer, especially when the weather finally turns hot! Don't miss the opportunity...it's a long time until the next crop, next February or March. That reminds me, I still don't have near enough put away in my own freezer!!!
(Continue reading previous updates below, for more information.)
Tuesday morning, May 23, 2017, 7:35 a.m.
We are waking up this morning at the orchard to clear, sunny skies, with a little fog in surrounding areas. A late night storm from the west broke up before arriving here, and we received no rain. It looks like picking conditions will be great this morning! Rain chances increase significantly this afternoon, with a windy, cool front arriving, which could potentially cause us to close early today.
Monday evening, May 22, 2017, 7:25 p.m.
Today was another good picking day...tomorrow should be much the same. There is a slightly better chance of rain tomorrow...50%...come prepared! Come in the morning...it appears that the north wind will be increasing during the afternoon.
Discounts again tomorrow for 12 pounds or more of either strawberries or blackberries!
A few peaches for sale on our counter. Also, other vegetables (including tomatoes!).
We expect to have enough berries Tuesday to stay open until 5:00 p.m. (but, remember, windy afternoon!).
Sunday evening, May 21, 2017, 8:55 p.m.
Great berry picking this past weekend ... more ahead this week! The strawberries have been remarkable in their late season production, and should continue to do well for a couple more weeks. The early season blackberry varieties are about to finish, but the Kiowa variety should be very good picking for another three weeks.
We have no pick-your-own in peaches this year, but today was the first day for us to pick a very limited amount of fruit in our earliest variety, Regal, and have them available to customers here at the shed. We expect to be able to continue to pick a few crates of these peaches each day for about the next 10 days, for sale to our customers.
Big, beautiful tomatoes are now being harvested....along with sweet onions, zucchini, and peppers.
The weather forecast looks great for picking this week! There is a slight chance of rain the next two days, but the temperature should be cool, and very comfortable.
Saturday evening, May 20, 2017, 7:55 p.m.
We will be open this Sunday at 1:00 p.m.! It is highly unusual for us to be open on Sunday, because we typically have so many customers picking on Saturday that there is not enough ripe fruit ready for picking the next day, on Sunday. What is different this weekend is the interruption by rain this morning, significantly reducing the number of customers. But, even with a lighter crowd, there were an incredible 200 pounds of strawberries, and 120 pounds of blackberries picked today! Strawberries, which would normally be producing only about 50 pounds per day this late in the season, are refusing to quit!
Pick-your-own tomorrow will be in strawberries and blackberries only .... there will be no pick-your-own in peaches this year! However, tomorrow will be the first day this year that we will have a very few peaches for sale at our shed, in small box quantities only. This will be our first attempt to pick very selectively only the earliest ripening fruit in our Regal variety. The amount ripe enough to pick should gradually increase each day this coming week, and finish in about one and a half weeks.
Saturday morning, May 20, 2017, 7:45 a.m.
Coming this morning? Hold up! It is raining fairly heavily here right now, and it's hard to tell when it will stop. We may have to open later this morning....10:00 or 11:00 a.m.?? ....depending on when the rain stops, and the water runs off.
Friday evening, May 19, 2017, 7:45 p.m.
We will be open at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning for strawberry and blackberry picking .... NO PEACHES! That is, we will be open, if it is not raining! If it is raining at 9:00 a.m., we may have to delay opening until it stops. If it begins raining later in the morning, and the rain comes in brief showers, we will probably ask customers to sit it out, and try to pick in between showers. Most of the areas in our orchard are mowed grass, and we can still get back in the fields to pick following light rain. Come prepared, with some raingear, just in case it does rain while you are here! We have had rain chances in our forecast the last several days, and we have received essentially none! But, tomorrow the chance goes up to 60% for light showers, cool, and windy.
There will probably be 150 to 200 pounds of ripe strawberries, and 100 pounds of blackberries for picking tomorrow. Those are very good amounts, but not enough to supply a huge number of customers. Therefore, anyone arriving at 9:00 a.m. will have no problem finding plenty of ripe berries to pick. Anyone arriving late morning will probably have a difficult time finding enough to pick, and anyone arriving later than that may find the gate closed! When we feel like there is no more ripe fruit available for picking for that day, we close the gate to any additional traffic, even though we may have customers in the orchard still finishing their picking.
We will again be trying to assist all of our customers Saturday morning with a very limited, but dedicated, staff and volunteers. Please be patient with us, as we first give you picking information in groups of no more than about 20 people at a time. Crowding us only interrupts and delays the process. It is our intention to provide you with the best guidance for picking some of the best berries you have ever had. Without this information, you may go home with fruit of no better quality than you get at the grocery store!
If all the ripe fruit on Saturday is picked as thoroughly as we expect that it will be, there will not be sufficient freshly ripened fruit on Sunday to justify being open. Therefore, at this time, we expect to be CLOSED SUNDAY.
Other vegetables now being harvested for sale at our shed (not for pick-your-own): sweet onions (4 varieties), tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers.
Thursday evening, May 18, 2017, 8:35 p.m.
Another great day of berry picking! No rain! Sunny, beautiful day, with lots of strawberries and blackberries....even after we picked a huge amount ourselves for our weekly Fredericksburg Farmers Market this afternoon!
It looks like the forecast rain for tonight is passing far to our north, and the 40% chance of rain for tomorrow morning has been reduced to only 20%. Friday morning is shaping up to be an exceptional time for strawberry and blackberry picking! And, with a 60% chance of our getting shut down by rain on Saturday, we are anxious to see as many of the ripe berries as possible get picked on Friday. For that reason, I am offering discounts of $.50 per pound to customers on Friday only, picking 2 boxes (12 pounds) or more of either blackberries or strawberries...much larger amounts can expect even greater discounts. A great opportunity to stock up!
Wednesday evening, May 17, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Lots of berries, and very few customers, today! We continue to have an abundance of strawberries and blackberries this week, and not very many people coming out to take advantage of the surplus! I highly recommend picking this Thursday and Friday, before the Saturday crowd returns! (Be here at 9:00 a.m., if you must come on Saturday.)
There is a forecast of chances of rain each of the next five days, but, right now, that chance is 50% or less each day, and the rainfall amounts predicted are fairly minimal. Don't let these slight chances of rain keep you from coming out, and getting in on some great berry picking....but, you might want to bring a little raingear...just in case!
The strawberries are still producing an unexpected quantity of fairly good size, sweet, ripe berries each day, but their season will soon come to an end for this year. Our entire blackberry patch is now producing lots of ripe berries each day, but that abundance will drop off sharply in less than a week, when half of the rows...our early season varieties...come to an end!
We do not have any ripe peaches yet! Our peach crop will be extremely limited this year, due to an unusually warm winter, resulting in the lack of required "chilling hours", or dormancy. Our first variety, Regal, will be ready to start harvesting sometime next week. However, there will be so few peaches that there will be no pick-your-own in peaches this year! We will pick ourselves, what little we have in all varieties, and sell them at our orchard sales shed, and the Fredericksburg Farmers Market, as they are available. All area growers, including ourselves, are expecting a very meager crop on our early peach varieties (now through mid-June), and essentially no crop on the more popular mid-June to late July varieties. Our advise, if you want any peaches at all this year....buy early, and take what you can get, when you can get it! Do not expect to be able to buy half bushel quantities....the sparse crop will be too valuable to sell in anything other than smaller box quantities. Some of our local growers will have some peaches for sale at their roadside stands this weekend (we will not!), but I suspect that they will sell out quickly! Beware: If you see anyone this year selling "Texas Peaches" anywhere other than a permanent, grower owned and operated fruit stand, those peaches are almost certainly "imported"!
If we have enough fruit tomorrow, we will try to keep the orchard open for pickers the entire day (until 5:00 p.m.), or until we run out. If you can't make it out to the orchard, or if you prefer not to pick-your-own, come see us Thursday afternoon at the Fredericksburg Farmers Market, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday morning, May 17, 2017, 7:45 a.m.
The rain has passed! Only .09" rainfall last night! Open for picking at 9:00 a.m.! Clearing skies....no additional rain expected today.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 8:40 p.m.
Terrific picking today! Mist and drizzle didn't keep the customers away today! With a steady flow of pickers most of the day, a total of 172 pounds of strawberries, and 91 pounds of blackberries were harvested....that is an amazing amount of strawberries for this late in the season, and the blackberries are now at their greatest abundance!
We are expecting another big day Wednesday....maybe not quite as much fruit as today, but more than enough to satisfy a goodly number of pickers!
Don't let the threat of rain keep you away, and, remember, even if it is raining where you live, it's not necessarily raining here at the same time...it may have rained here earlier, and cleared out by the time you arrive at the orchard!
Monday night, May 15, 2017
Blackberry pickers, now is the time! Our early season varieties still have a tremendous amount of fruit ripe for picking each day....but not for long....probably finishing in less than a week from now! And, the Kiowa variety is just now coming into heavy production. That means that there are more berries ripe each day than are getting picked! Because of this surplus, we expect to be able to stay open until 5:00 p.m. each day the rest of this week, through Friday.
The strawberries are still producing a fairly good amount of ripe fruit each day, but probably not enough to last all day....be here early in the morning, if you want to be sure to find enough strawberries to pick, without having to search too hard.
Weather alert! The forecast is for a passing rainstorm late Tuesday night, with only a slight chance of rain during the day on Wednesday. More rainstorms are expected Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Customers can easily get back into the fields for picking, following rains of 1 inch or less, because of our grassy pathways, but if we start getting heavier, and more persistent rains, as it sounds like for later in the week, we may have to close partial or full days. Therefore, I would strongly recommend coming to pick either Tuesday or Wednesday!
Saturday, May 13, 2017, 5:25 p.m.
Wow! What a beautiful day for picking strawberries and blackberries! We had lots of wonderful customers, who arrived early, to enjoy the day! Our meager staff of four is very appreciative of the great co-operation we had from everyone, making an otherwise very intense day run quite smoothly! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all those customers!!
We strive each day to make accurate predictions of the next day's crop, to help our customers make their plans for coming to pick. Today, we nailed it! (read yesterday's forecast) Customers today picked 253 pounds of strawberries, and 157 pounds of blackberries (beyond our expectation)!! Pickers arrived early, and kept coming all morning. We ran out of ripe strawberries, and had to quit picking about 11:00 a.m., and the last customers struggled to fill their box of blackberries around 1:00 p.m. We were closed before 2:00 p.m.!
Because everything was picked so thoroughly, there will not be sufficiently fruit ripe enough for picking tomorrow, and therefore we will be closed Sunday. By Monday morning, there should again be a good quantity of ripe fruit, ready for customers to pick. By then, there should be another 100 to 150 pounds of strawberries, and 75 to 100 pounds of blackberries. Picking in both should be very good all week, but the best weather will be early in the week, with rain chances increasing mid to late week.
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Our peach crop will be extremely limited this year, due to an unusually warm winter, resulting in the lack of required "chilling hours", or dormancy. Our first variety, Regal, will be ready for harvest in about two weeks. However, there will be so few peaches that there will be no pick-your-own in peaches this year! We will pick ourselves, what little we have in all varieties, and sell them at our orchard sales shed, and the Fredericksburg Farmers Market, as they are available. All area growers, including ourselves, are expecting a very meager crop on our early peach varieties (now through mid-June), and essentially no crop on the more popular mid-June to late July varieties. Our advise, if you want any peaches at all this year....buy early, and take what you can get, when you can get it! Do not expect to be able to buy half bushel quantities....the sparse crop will be too valuable to sell in anything other than smaller box quantities. Some of our local growers will have some very early season peaches for sale at their roadside stands this weekend (we will not!), but I suspect that they will sell out quickly! Beware: If you see anyone this year selling "Texas Peaches" anywhere other than a permanent, grower owned and operated fruit stand, those peaches are almost certainly "imported"!
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***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 about 10% of our strawberries in these structures, and we have planted a few tomato plants in remaining available space. I will try to post pictures, as time permits.
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***We wish to thank the following Fredericksburg restaurants for using our strawberries in their menus:
The Peach Tree
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Pick-your-own price: $3.00 per pound ($10.00 minimum purchase), plus a one time $.75 charge for the re-usable berry box (6 to 7 pound capacity).
Pre-picked prices (when available): $6.00 for quart containers; $4.00 per pound for 5 pounds or more in loose, bulk containers (best to order ahead)
(When we have pre-picked strawberries, the price is usually at least a dollar a pound more, unless they are discounted because they are smaller, less attractive, or over-ripe.)
Pick-your-own price: $3.50 per pound ($5.00 minimum purchase), plus a one time $.75 charge for the re-usable berry box (6 to 7 pound capacity).
Pre-picked prices (when available): $8.00 for quart containers; $4.50 for pint containers; $5.50 per pound for 5 pounds or more in loose, bulk containers (best to order ahead)
Our preferred method of payment is cash or check. However, we are now also equipped to accept credit or debit cards (for a small fee).
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Hours of Operation
Our "strawberry season hours" -- ripe fruit and weather conditions permitting -- are normally as follows (with frequent exceptions): open at 9:00 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.
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***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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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
Orchard tasks, year-round!
(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
(Note: It has become more and more difficult for me to find time to add new "sign-ups" to our email list, and to keep that list updated. Also, it has become less necessary to send out reminder notices to our customers, with the growing number of customers, and the "shrinking" size of the orchard. Therefore, you are welcome to add your name to the email list, but know that the best means to staying informed is to check this website on a regular basis, where I post updates on what is happening several times a week, during the harvest season.)
The best way for us to send 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 38 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