I'm a published wedding and portrait photographer located in a small town outside of Charlottesville. In addition to capturing beautiful images, I love spending time with my family, am freakishly good at word games (Hey Wheelmobile!), love an ice cold can of Coke or Dr. Pepper, know every line to Hocus Pocus and can never pass up a Chick-fil-A waffle fry or a trip to HomeGoods.
I’m a huge summer fan and one of my favorite things to do in the warmer weather is pick fruits and vegetables. A great local place to do that is The Market at Grelen. Located on the 600-acre Grelen nursery in Somerset, the market offers a cafe, garden shop, workshops, pick-your-own fruit and more. It’s also a gorgeous wedding destination for anyone looking for a beautiful outdoor ceremony and reception space.
Recently, a 3.9 mile trail from Grelen to Montpelier (James Madison’s home) was designated a Virginia Treasure so if you’re up for a hike, the market also offers that.
Personally, I’m waiting for fruit to come in season. Blueberries will be ready to pick next month, along with black, red and yellow raspberries. Grelen also has peaches which will be ready periodically June through August depending on the type and blackberries beginning in July. A variety of apples will also be ready for picking August through October.
Last year, Ron and I picked blueberries and raspberries. I used the blueberries for muffins and turned the black raspberries into homemade ice cream. Both recipes turned out fairly fantastic. However, if you don’t have a lot of time or patience, don’t attempt the ice cream. It’s absolutely worth it, but isn’t the easiest, quickest recipe. The muffins on the other hand are pretty simple.
There’s also something nice in knowing exactly where your ice cream and muffins came from. Hand picking the fruit just makes it more special. I know exactly what bush those berries came from and turning them into something tasty is a rewarding experience. I can’t wait to do it again this year. I hope to make it out to some strawberry fields this weekend and then will head to Grelen next month for the blueberries and blackberries before picking peaches in August. Stay tuned to see what recipes I come up.