From May until December, taste and tour the places that grow the freshest fruits and berries in Nelson County. Select from a wide variety of apples, Asian pears, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, strawberries, sweet cider, fruit jams, jellies, and more! From pre-picked (fruit) or pick-your-own (fruit or berries), find your favorites while enjoying spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
When it comes to school, nothing beats a field trip. Studies prove that hands-on learning is the most effective, especially for young schoolchildren. Combine school and a road trip for some road schooling experiences in the green gem called Nelson County. Nelson’s one-of-a-kind Fruit Loop trail teaches kids history and agribusiness. What’s more, you and the children can choose from pre-picked or pick-your-own fruit or berries to take home. It’s a well-known fact that eating fresh, healthy ingredients help children learn, too.
Saunders Brothers farm market has a unique claim to fame: for years, Saunders Brothers has supplied foliage for The White House Rose Garden. This year, Saunders was the sole supplier of boxwoods to The White House. Saunders Brothers boasts one of the largest privately-owned collection of farm antiques in the state of Virginia. Indian artifacts and much more can be observed at the museum.
Breathtaking views almost steal the show from the bright red strawberries at Critzer Family Farm, a fifth-generation family farm. Dickie Brothers is a Century Farm, which is a farm that has been recognized officially as being continuous owned by a single family for 100 years or longer. Drumheller’s Orchard holds festivals in the fall. Pick up a bushel of apples at Fitzgerald’s orchard and let the kids gaze in awe at Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery’s indoor beehive- they can watch the bees come and go through a tube that leads out of the building!
Summertime means peaches, so load up a bushel. Pick-your-own options are available for blackberries, blueberries, cherries and strawberries at select locations. Apples are delicious in the fall, from traditional to heirloom. Nelson County Orchard locations offer local apples like Albemarle Pippin, Piney River Gold and Ginger Gold, in addition to varieties like Fuji, Stayman, Pink Lady, Rome, Golden and Red Delicious, Gala and more.
Pick-your-own at select orchards, or choose from fresh-picked varieties in produce bins, and pick up your favorite jam or jelly, apple cider, pumpkins, sweet potatoes or other produce while you’re there!
Our local Nelson County Farms produce fresh fruits, vegetables, local organic meats, honey, cider, apple butter, jellies, jams, mushrooms, flowers, and so much more. Pick-your-own opportunities are available at select farms during the growing season and several farms feature choose and cut Christmas Trees in winter. Other unique locations feature products like lavender & herbs, goats & sheep, alpacas, edible plants, hops, vinegars, baked goods, and more.
Be sure to visit the NELSON FARMERS MARKET on Saturday mornings, May through October, where a community of farmers and artisans showcase their products under the big white tent in the village of Nellysford. Out of season, visit the INDOOR COMMUNITY MARKET at Rockfish Valley Community Center, featuring local produce, meats, cheeses, jams, baked goods, plants, greenery, and arts and crafts items. (First Saturdays in Nov., Dec., Feb. Mar. and April).