Pick Your Own NJ Peaches

In the right-hand section of this page, you’ll see links to a lot of different things: Blogs we read, blogs written by our members, music Leonard participates in, and “Food Producers We Love”. (Quick digression: If you blog and we don’t have yours listed, let me know.)

The second link in Food Producers is to Melick’s Town Farm, one of New Jersey’s oldest family farms. Melick ancestors arrived in Hunterdon county some time between 1725 and 1735, and the family now farms in Oldwick and Califon. The latter of these two locations is the one you want to focus on if you want to participate in a quintessentially New Jersey summer activity–picking your own peaches. I found my way here a few years back, after getting lost on a supposedly well-marked detour to someplace else entirely. The kids now look forward to peach picking every year, and last year picked a record 66 pounds!

The Melicks grow white and yellow peaches in Califon, as well as apples and Asian pears, which are tart like Granny Smith apples. The cost is $1.09 per pound during the week and $1.19 per pound on weekends and holidays. They have wagons to help you haul your peaches back from the orchard to the cash register, though you do have to give a $10 (refundable) deposit. The Melicks are not certified organic growers, but pretty close to it. They practice what is known as “integrated pest management”, which means that they spray as little as possible as infrequently as possible.

The results are delicious. So if you want to taste a peach that has travelled fewer miles than you have this year, take a trip to Califon.

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