It is always a pleasure when peach season returns. I purchased my first fresh, local yellow peach of the season today at the Carytown Ukrop's. My favorite aspect of the peach is its versatility. It's delightful in a pork dish, on top of cereal or baked in a cobbler. And of course picked straight from the tree.
When I took the job at Richmond magazine, I moved from Charlottesville, where peaches are plentiful. Chiles Orchard in Crozet offers a pick-your-own deal and, one weekend a year, sells homemade peach ice cream benefiting a local women's group. Although it's nice to be back in my hometown, I'd best not think too much about missing out on that ice cream. It's that good.
After extensive research (checking state agricultural Web sites), I realized that peaches straight from the tree are a little difficult to come by in Richmond. But beyond the weekly farmers' markets, here are two semi-nearby suggestions: Bush Neck Farm in James City County, where you can pluck peaches from the trees, and All Good Things Farm Market in Dinwiddie County, offering "juicy peaches" from mid-June to September.
OK, now I'm getting hungry.