Mark Schnepf suggests that Queen Creek has a mini-Sonoma Valley feel with the multiple agri-tainment farms clustered close by. And, of course, the most well-known is Schnepf Farms. Considered one of the first farms to open to the public in Arizona, Schnepf Farms certainly was not the last, and other farm families continue to find that prime farm corner and turn into a place for families to explore farm life.
But, it’s peach season on Schnepf farm so that’s the sweet story to tell right now.
Peaches from Schnepf Farms have been named and featured in Wine Spectator Magazine as the best in the country and for over 50 years, the Schnepfs have continued to extend their season by planting more orchards with different varieties. Peaches like Earligrande, Springcrest, Florida Prince, Florida King are all popular varieties that grow extremely well in the Desert climate.
Schnepf’s Peach Season begins before any other location in the United States. It’s an incredible season that typically lasts six to seven weeks! The different varieties ripen at different times which means you’ll want to plan accordingly. Or, regardless just come back for more.
The Schnepf Farm peaches are their number one crop. So, they are very particular about the way they care for their trees and even open the farm up to the public. They used to have a “Peach Festival.” In the first year, they picked the orchard clean in three hours. It got so big, and the peaches become ripe at various times thanks to mother nature, they decided to spread it out and not feature a festival (more details in the podcast segments below).
The Farm provides bags & boxes
Peach Picking Details
- When the UPICK orchards open (*On or around May 1st), you can drive to the farm and follow signs to the orchard.
- Schnepf Farms has peaches already picked available in the Country Store if you do not want to drive to the orchard.
- Farm staff only pick peaches early in the morning when they are the sweetest, so once they run out at the store, they will be available the next day.
- Peaches are sold by the pound.
Curious to hear more of the Schnepf Farm story including how the family farm began? They were recently featured on Rosie on the House and Mark tells all sorts of interesting things about their farm.
First Segment: Mark gives the history of Schnepf Farms. Hold many events throughout the year, including a U PICK seasonal event picking your own peaches and other fruits in season. They are one of the largest Agri-tainment and Agri-tourism farms in the country. Their goal is to get visitors to reconnect to farms.
Second Segment: Discussion of modern-day cattle rustling with a recent story. Cattle rustling exists today. For years, Schnepf Farms held a Peach Festival. But decided to stop doing it. Mark explains why.
Third Segment: Mark talks about the many varieties of peaches they grow. The two most popular peaches. And a mystery variety they named the Schnepf Peach. How big can a peach tree get and the trimming/thinning process? How long it takes for a peach tree to produce from planting and the life of a tree. Orchards are staggered to ripening times for various fruits. Their bakery and Airstream trailers on the farm for overnight stays.
Fourth Segment: Research showing the benefits of peaches. Queen Creek Olive Mill is their neighbor. Explains the growing industry of Agri-tainment. Farm Bureau President Stephanie Smallwood talks about the latest at the bureau.
Want to listen to the entire Farm Fresh all at once? Enjoy here: