Peach Picking at The Southern Peach Company in Lithia, Florida is a fun family activity that results in so many beautiful ripe peaches. Get ready to take a big juicy bite.
One of the things I love about living in Florida is having so many fun things to do around us. Honestly, it feels like there are endless things to do in Tampa Bay area to keep you busy. A fun weekend activity is to go fruit picking. Recently, we had a wonderful time picking peaches The Southern Peach Company.
The Southern Peach Company
A friend told me about The Southern Peach Company They had just been there and brought home loads of peaches. Fresh, ripe, beautiful peaches! The had a great time, plus we ended up leaving with 2 big full buckets of peaches- just for $20!
The peach picking season is short at The Southern Peach Company, so we went at our next chance we could.
When we lived in New England, we used to go apple and pumpkin picking. I miss those crispy fall days getting apples and stuffing myself silly with apple cider donuts. But now we have so many more options of delicious things to pick. We’ve had fun picking tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, and oranges. Loads of ripe, beautiful fruit!
We arrived to small crowds because we arrived right at opening. Parking was easy and plentiful. (Just be careful of fire ant hills when you get our of your car.)
One bucket is $12 and two buckets cost $20. They estimated that 2 buckets is about 14 pounds. We handed over our $20 and got to quick work of filling them up.
Once we had our buckets, they directed us to the trees where we could pick the fruit ready for picking. The trees were full of plenty of fruit that were low enough for us to reach. We took our time picking but we could have have made the activity short and sweet by picking through a few trees. They were just so bountiful with fresh peaches. Instead, we wandered around the trees enjoying the beautiful weather and hoped around through the trees. So much fun!
I think that Hunter is officially hooked on peaches now.
He had enjoyed them before, but ripe peaches, fresh from the tree are 100x better than your store bought peach. It was fun to watch him dig into peaches, with sticky sweet peach juice run down his face.
One of the best things about picking fresh fruit is how amazing the orchards smell. There a a sweet fragrance of ripe peaches perfume the air. Then when you take a bite of a peach it just about knocks you off your feet.
How to Pick Peaches
When picking peaches you want to look for ones that are bright in color. Then tenderly feel how firm they are. They should have a slight give to them, not too hard. When picking them, have a firm grip on the fruit so you can easily twist it at the stem.
Give one a try but be respectful of not eating too many while you are there.
What you need to pick peaches
- Wear comfortable clothes and closed toe shoes. Sneakers will help you have better traction on the ground. Sometimes, fallen fruit can make the ground slippery. Plus, they can help protect your feet from bugs. You still need to watch out for those nasty fire ants. They can sneak into your shoes.
- Bug spray will help you with all sorts of pests. Seems like mosquitoes are a year round nuance, here in Tampa Bay.
- Sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat will help protect you from sun. Don’t get a sunburn!
- Baby wipes are great for wiping your hands off when you are done
- A bottle of water will help you stay refreshed
- Depending on the orchard, you might need to bring something for you to put your peaches in. Check with the orchard before going.
If you are taking young kids with you, I suggest bringing a baby carrier. This allows you the flexibility to carry your kids so they can keep up with you, then you can let them wander a bit. Plus, it gives you a chance to have some free hands to carry a bucket around.
The only really stinky part of the day was how I stepped in a big fire ants hill. I stepped out of the car, then started to get the baby carrier on when I ended up standing in the ant hill. They quickly, painfully let them know that my foot was no welcomed on their home.
Aside from that, we had a fun time together. Just watch out of those nasty fire ants!
The kids loved the whole experience so I know we will be back at The Southern Peach Company for next season.
When we got home, we immediately started to look up recipes that use fresh peaches. We wrote a list of things to make and made note to freeze some for smoothies.
Next time, I am definitely going to get 4 buckets and get right to work on making some jam!
How to Store Peaches
Keep peaches fresh by laying them out on your counter, stem side down. First, wipe them down to make sure they are not wet, as that will make them spoil quickly. They should stay fresh for a few days if you leave them in a cool, well ventilated area.
If you need to have them last a bit longer, then store some of them in the fridge. Just keep in mind that the refrigerator will dehydrate the peaches.
We had a wonderful morning at The Southern Peach Company. It definitely was a fun family activity. Delicious too!
Some Delicious Peach Recipes
Lithia, Florida 33547
Check their Facebook page for when picking is available and current pricing