37 Years of Quality Fruit & Memorable Experiences
Our 1st place 1/4 bushel prize peaches at the 2016 Gillespie County Peach Show
Closed for 2016!
Peach season is now over, and the orchard is closed for the rest of 2016, with the exception of customers calling the answering machine (830-997-9433), and making an appointment to come by to purchase any of the remaining produce that we may be continuing to harvest. For the latest information, read the dated postings below.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Today is the last day for the summer season Fredericksburg Farmers Market! We will be there. Come see us for wonderful Asian pears, a few apples, okra, cantaloupe, and maybe a few tomatoes. 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on the Marktplatz, downtown.
Although the orchard is now closed for the season, customers can still call, leave a message, and arrange a specific time to come by, when someone will be available to assist them.
We currently are harvesting our Asian pears, and we have a surplus! If you can use a lot, call us, and let's make a deal! We may have these for several more weeks in our walk-in cooler.
Due to lack of market, and labor demand, we will cease harvesting our okra around Sept. 3rd -- contact us quickly, if you would still like to get some!
We expect to have a very modest amount of tomatoes, and possibly cantaloupe, for another month or two. Call, and check to see what is still available, and when.
Pomegranates: Our one tree/bush will be ripening its crop around the end of October and early November. Call, and leave your name and number, if you would like to be notified when they are ready.
Friday, August 5, 2016, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday morning, 8:00 a.m. to noon, will be our last day for customers for this year! Warning: We may close earlier than noon, if we are sold out earlier! We have almost nothing left for pick-you-own....customers today picked most of the remaining very small, late ripening peaches. There will be only a very, very few of these late "second crop" available for customers to try to find on Saturday morning. (Read more about these peaches in some of my previous days postings below.)
We do also have some other produce for sale at our shed, but it is becoming much more limited in our daily harvest. Our terrific cantaloupe have dropped off in production to no more than 4 or 5 per day. Tomatoes and Asian pears are still giving us pretty good production.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 9:30 p.m.
Last week for the orchard to be open! This Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be the last days this season for the orchard to be open, and we will be open only for the morning hours on these days, 8:00 a.m. to noon. After August 6th, customers can call our answering machine (830-997-9433), and leave their name and phone number for us to call back, to arrange an appointment to come by the orchard, to make purchases of any of the produce which we may be continuing to harvest for several more weeks. We will not be open again, on a regular basis, until strawberry season next Spring.
Peach season is over. There are no more peaches on the trees from the "true crop". What we have now are a very few, very small, "second crop" peaches in the Dixiland and Fayette varieties. Peach trees don't truly have a second crop, but in come cases they will have some late ripening "runts". These small, late remnants are usually very flavorful, but require a lot of effort to find and pick. It looks like we will continue to have these little peaches ripening in these two varieties for about another week, and customers who are willing to search for 10 pounds or more are welcome to come out, and do so (best to make arrangements ahead of time with us).
Other than this exception, we no longer have any other produce for pick-your-own this year.
Produce from our farm that is still available at our shed: tomatoes, cantaloupe, Asian pears, okra, and onions
The Fredericksburg Farmers Market will again be this Thursday, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Marktplatz. It continues each Thursday, through the end of August, and I will continue to try to be there with our produce, so long as I have an adequate supply to do so. If you can't make it out to the orchard Thursday morning, catch us at the Market tomorrow afternoon.
Sunday, July 31 2016, 8:15 p.m.
The orchard will be open for just a few hours each morning this week, beginning at 8:00 a.m.
On Monday, there will be just a very few small, ripe peaches, that are the last remnants of this year's crop, available for anyone who wants to try doing pick-your-own....I do not expect to have the time to try to hunt for them, to have for sale at the shed, since I am now taking care of all tasks at the orchard, without other workers. There will probably continue to be a few more of these last peaches ripening each day this week, but searching for them will become more and more difficult.
I will continue to have other produce for sale at the shed this week, particularly wonderful cantaloupe, Asian pears, and tomatoes. Read my postings from last week, to get a full picture.
Wednesday, July 27 2016, 7:45 p.m.
Without peaches, customer traffic at the the orchard has become very quiet! In addition, our field crew is "on leave" for the next several weeks, spending time with family in Mexico, and our sales team members have now finished their seasonal positions. This leaves the "boss" in charge of all continuing tasks, including harvesting, irrigating, weed control, and sales....careful, if you come out for some of our on-going produce, you could get recruited!
Although the "legitimate" peach season is finished, we are still finding a very, very few "seconds" peaches continuing to ripen in several of the last varieties of the season. These "pee wee" peaches are very small, have a tiny seed, are usually very sweet (when ripe), and typically mature about two to three weeks after the true crop. We usually do not try to pick these peaches ourselves, but customers who would like to pick 10 pounds, or more, of these can call, and pre-arrange a time to come pick.
We are still harvesting other great produce: tomatoes, cantaloupe, okra, pickling cucumbers, onions, yellow squash, seeded table grapes, and Asian pears. Our Sugar Queen cantaloupe is exceptionally sweet, and has been highly popular for many years. We are also now picking from two varieties of Asian pears, which are particularly outstanding this year. We should continue to have both the cantaloupe and the pears for the next several weeks. All of this produce will be available for sale at our shed, Monday through Saturday, opening at 8:00 a.m., and closing by noon, for another week or two. But, because I will have to be attending to many tasks, and may be in the orchard, or running errands to town, at times, it would be best to call a day or two ahead of coming, and make arrangements for the time when I can expect you. Of this produce, the only thing that is usually available for pick-your-own is tomatoes.
Monday, July 25 2016, 6:00 a.m.
The orchard will be open at 8:00 a.m. this morning, and each morning this week....mostly to sell pre-picked produce that we are still harvesting each day from our farm. Although we will be searching for "leftover peaches" in our Dixiland variety the next few days, our peach season is now finished! Other than the vegetables that we are picking ourselves each day, we have nothing available for pick-your-own....if you want to do your own picking in any of these, be here early....we try to get everything picked very early, before the day gets hot, and you can join us in doing so!
Available produce will include tomatoes, cantaloupe, okra, pickling cucumbers, onions, yellow squash, seeded table grapes, and Asian pears.
Friday, July 22 2016, 3:15 p.m.
Even though we know it is coming, it always feels like a surprise to us and our customers, when the peach season seems to come to an abrupt end! That's where we are today! We essentially have no more peaches for this year! Out of the very, very few peaches still hanging in our Dixiland and Fayette varieties, we do not expect to have any ripe enough to pick tomorrow, following thorough customer picking today. The last peaches may be ripe enough to search for, and be picked Monday or Tuesday.
We will be open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, until about noon, for customers who want to make purchases at our shed. Available produce will include tomatoes, cantaloupe, okra, pickling cucumbers, onions, yellow squash, seeded table grapes, and Asian pears.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Saturday morning, April 2, 2016, 8:00 a.m.
NO FREEZE! Clear skies, bright sunshine, very little wind, and an estimated temperature of 50° at our 9:00 a.m. opening time! Perfect strawberry picking weather!
Friday, March 25, 2016, 5:00 p.m.
As expected, today was HUGE! In less than 3 hours, just over 600 lbs. of strawberries were picked ... the most in any one day, so far, this season! Looking at the lighter color of many of the last berries to be picked, my workers believe that we stayed open too long, and let customers pick 200 more pounds of berries than we should have allowed. Instead of having an estimated 400 lbs. of berries for customers to pick on Saturday, we are now guessing we will have only 200 to 250 pounds of ripe berries. And, if we are rushed with as many customers as we had early today, we will most likely be finished picking, and have the gate closed by 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, January 28, 2016 (Earliest ever opening for PYO strawberries at Marburger Orchard!)
Our first attempt to allow customers to do pick-your-own strawberries for this season will be at 2:00 p.m. this Saturday, January 30th. We anticipate having no more than 50 to 100 lbs. of ripe berries for the day....that would be only 10 to 15 full berry boxes. We will allow picking until we feel like there are no more berries ripe enough to pick, or until 5:00 p.m., whichever comes first.
Although not very plentiful, these early berries are exceptionally large, and definitely sweet. With this earlier start, we are expecting a much longer than normal season, and we are hoping for more leveling out of the crop, rather than the extreme peak of volume that we have experienced most years from late March to mid-April.
***June 23, 2016: Lucile Marburger, 98 year old mother of Gary Marburger, ringing the opening bell for the weekly Fredericksburg Farmers Market
***We are experimenting with a fairly new agricultural concept....the use of "high tunnels" to alter the climate conditions for growing crops. A high tunnel is similar to a huge greenhouse, but normally without the advantage of heating or cooling, other than by closing or venting. Currently, we have a very small portion of our strawberries in one of these structures, and tomato plants in the other one. I will try to post pictures, as time permits.
***Again this year, we will have for you excellent quality Nicaraguan coffee -- check back here in the coming weeks for more information about my family's involvement where it is grown, about the new "branding" of the coffee, and about the larger selection of products, which we will have available.
* * * * * * *
Hours of Operation
Now closed for the rest of this year--call for an appointment to come by for any remaining produce.
Our "peach season hours" -- ripe fruit and weather conditions permitting -- are normally as follows (with frequent exceptions): open at 8:00 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and at 1:00 p.m. on Sundays, and close at 5:00 p.m., if not earlier. We will always close early (or entirely) on any day when we feel like the remaining fruit is not ripe enough to be picked. We strongly recommend coming early in the day to have the best selection, and to avoid arriving after we have had to close. Occasionally, we must close a full day or more, in order to assure that our customers will have the ripest, best tasting fruit. It is a good idea to check here, or call our answering machine (830-997-9433), the night before you plan to come, and also if you cannot make it out until later in the day, to be sure that we will be open,
Very often we are closed on Sunday, because we have had so many customers on Saturday that the fields need an extra day of rest to catch up on ripening.
Dixiland: **** Reduced for "clean out" **** $20.00 per ½ bushel (apx. 25 lbs.),
or $1.00/lb. for smaller quantities
($10.00 minimum purchase)
Fayette: **** Reduced for "clean out" **** $20.00 per ½ bushel (apx. 25 lbs.),
or $1.00/lb. for smaller quantities
($10.00 minimum purchase)
(Our preferred method of payment is cash or check. However, we are now equipped to accept credit or debit cards, when customers are unprepared to pay otherwise.)
* * * * * * *
Typical happenings at Marburger Orchard from previous years
(I will attempt to post current pictures and happenings as time permits!)
Our peach trees blooming in March, 2014!
(full bloom in 2015 was about one week later--around March 22-26)
Bounty peach trees in bloom 3/18/14
"2015 Peach Prospects"
(May 3, 2015)
It is still too early to try to estimate when the first peaches will be ripe this year. Our first variety is Regal, and so far it is not giving us any predictable indicators. My best guess is that it may start about May 20th, and last for one and a half to two weeks. When the peach season begins, I will start posting here my best estimates of when each variety will be ripening. Watch for those estimated dates to continually change week by week, as we observe changing conditions.
We had a severe freeze on March 6th, when the peach flower buds were still tightly closed, giving them some protection from a killing freeze. In spite of that protection, there still was a high percentage of damage. However, since peach trees produce far more blooms than the amount of ripe fruit the tree can comfortably carry, and still make good size, we could stand to lose a lot of that bloom, and essentially have a "full crop". Initially, I thought that we would still have a "fairly good" crop this year. However, during the last few weeks, we have seen some of the very small, developing peaches "shed", or drop off. My current assessment is that we will have a "light" peach crop this year. We have 10 different varieties, each ripening in its particular two week time period, from late May until early August. The amount of fruit is not consistent on all varieties. Some varieties may have a nearly full crop (like Regal), while other varieties may have an extremely light crop. Customers will need to be very vigilant about choosing their time to come pick!
(The following was posted late Spring 2013.)
The major orchard task from January through March was getting all of the peach trees pruned before they bloomed in mid-March.
Peach trees need an accumulation of "chilling hours" during the winter months in order to grow vigorously and produce a good crop in the spring and summer. Because of a mostly mild winter, our trees had inadequate chilling. Therefore, we did a chemical spray of the trees during the second week of February, which we hoped would enhance this chilling requirement. It appeared that this spray did help. However, there were some varieties, and some individual trees, that showed the effects of inadequate chilling by being slow to "leaf out". This delayed start in the spring was probably responsible for some of the delayed ripening that we saw on some of our peach varieties.
Other ongoing orchard tasks include mowing, spraying weeds, irrigating, fertilizing, and monitoring for insect pests.
Normally, in April and May we devote the majority of our time to "thinning" excessive fruit off of the peach trees, so that the remaining fruit can grow larger in size. Of course, with the loss of most of this crop to the severe freeze in late March, there was very little need for thinning this year.
Once there was very little chance of additional late freezes, during the first week of April we planted our tomato plants and most of the seeds for our summer vegetables.
After the orchard is closed to customers in late summer, we do not re-open until strawberry season begins in late February or early March. During that off time, we stay busy with planting and caring for the new strawberry plants, and maintaining the peach trees, which includes cutting out dead limbs and trees, irrigating, and controlling weeds, plus equipment repair and maintenance.
* * * * * * *
Pictures of Events During Past Years
January 4, 2013 -- snow pictures!
Fayette peach trees
Strawberry field -- peach orchard in the background
A blanket of snow on a strawberry plant
October 18, 2012 -- strawberry planting time
Our 16,000 strawberry plants arriving, in preparation for planting the next week.
The beds were built in September, and in this picture we are connecting the irrigation, in preparation for planting.
October 16, 2014 Planting strawberries!
Strawberry season is primarily March and April. In June/July we remove the old plants, take out the old plastic and irrigation lines, and plow up the field. In September we rebuild the plastic-covered beds, and in October we plant new plants.
Peaches are our primary crop!
We have 10 varieties, normally ripening between mid-May and early August. Each variety lasts approximately two weeks, with the peak of production being in the middle of that two weeks. Since the ripening dates for each variety vary from one year to the next, based on constantly changing weather conditions, I can only estimate the ripening dates for the varieties. I continue to revise these estimated dates during the harvest season.
January through early March is the time when each tree in the orchard is meticulously hand-pruned, to create the most desirable structure for a healthy crop. Peach trees produce best when they have had adequate "chilling hours" during their winter dormancy, from November through February. During this dormancy, freezes do not usually cause any harm to the trees. The trees bloom and set their fruit in March, followed by the emergence of the new foliage. In April, our workers begin the tedious work of thinning. Thinning is the task of removing excessive fruit, so that the remaining peaches can grow to larger size. This work is done almost exclusively by hand, one peach at a time, and is usually not completed in all varieties until late May!
From late February to early April, we are always vulnerable to freezing weather, which can result in either a partial or total loss of the year's peach crop. Springtime is also when there is the threat of thunderstorms, accompanied by hail, which may scar or devastate the crop.
A lot of pruning, irrigating, fertilizing, insect prevention and weeding goes on year-round, in order to maintain healthy peach trees, and to produce good quality fruit.
Blackberry season is May and June. We have four varieties, that ripen at different times over that two month period. The plants are tied up on trellis wires, with grass walkways between, for ease of picking.
Because of the threat of killing freezes, most of our summer vegetables can not be planted until early April, which results in harvest being mostly in June and July. The exception is our onion crop, which we normally start digging by the end of April or early May. We try to have a good assortment of vegetables each year.
Although we allow some pick-your-own, we do most of the picking of the vegetables ourselves, so that we can be sure that they will be harvested at their freshest and best early each morning--tomatoes, green beans and southern field peas are usually the exception. The vegetables are available for sale at our orchard stand, until they are sold out for that day.
We do not grow fall and winter vegetables.
General information about our pricing: Since our products are not manufactured, and are at the mercy of nature, the quality, size, and quantity can easily vary from week to week, especially in our many peach varieties. Therefore, our pricing is also flexible, reflecting those changing conditions. Our strawberry and blackberry prices generally remain the same throughout most of their respective seasons. Prices for pick-your-own are less than if we do the picking for you. However, due to the need for competent employees to assist customers with picking instructions and supervision, the prices are only moderately different. We occasionally offer discounts when we want to encourage customers to come out and help us pick an over-abundance of ripe fruit, before it becomes a loss. Since the demand for our fruit is usually greater than the supply, we rarely have the need to wholesale our products, nor offer reduced prices for customers picking larger quantities.
* * * * * *
Looking for something else to do while you are in Fredericksburg?
For other activities in the area, click on the link to the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce at the bottom of this page.
* * * * * *
If you are looking for a place to stay overnight in Fredericksburg, a little out of the ordinary, click on the links below to bed and breakfast accommodations available with "friends of Marburger Orchard".
Meusebach Creek Farm
Austin Street Retreat
Directions to Marburger Orchard
Take U.S. Highway 87
5¼ miles south of Fredericksburg
Watch for our sign.
559 Kuhlmann Rd.
Mapquest and Google Earth now have us accurately located! (Other GPS programs apparently are still trying to say we are someplace else!)
Call or check back here for current information.
Click below on pictures of Peaches, Strawberries, and Blackberries
The best way for us to get notices to you about what is happening at
Marburger Orchard is by e-mail. In addition to being the quickest
method, it allows us to get information to you more specific to your
interests, and is a less costly way for us to stay in touch with our
growing list of customers. It also allows us to notify you anytime we
might have a special going, such as during an unexpected surplus of
overripe fruit. If you are a new customer, or have never
before registered with us, please go to “Join Our
this page, and register. Be sure the e-mail address you enter on the
form is current, and 100% correct--we do get back a fair number of
"undeliverable" e-mails. Recently, we seem to be
getting our e-mail notices blocked by more of our customers.
Be sure your spam filter allows messages from: email@example.com
If you are a previous customer, and are already on our mailing list, we would still like for you to fill out this form, if you have never before done so, especially if you would like to start getting e-mail notices, instead of our traditional cards. Please, please, please, do not fill out this form more than once!!! That only creates more unnecessary work for me, deleting the duplications. If you think you should be getting an e-mail when you are not, first be patient--it may not yet be the appropriate time for notices to go out on that particular crop. If you are not getting a notice when the crop has started, check with us to be sure we have your correct e-mail address.
Important change in notifications: I am no longer mailing out
With almost everyone now using e-mail, the printing, labeling, and mailing of cards is no longer cost or time effective.
There may be additional e-mail notices
under special circumstances, such as unusual crop abundance, or limited
We will not give your e-mail address to anyone else, and we will try to use this method of communication sparingly. We do not want to become another source of annoying spam mail for you!
If you choose not to sign up for notices from us, you can simply check back here on our website on a regular basis. We attempt to post current updates as frequently as necessary during the harvest season to keep our customers aware of changing conditions.
click here for Spring 2010 peach bloom pictures
(Spring 2010 strawberry pictures)
(2008 Pictures at Marburger Orchard)
Marburger Orchard is a member of the Hill Country Fruit Council. We have been a Hill Country peach tradition for 37 years! You know it's fresh when you pick your own peaches, strawberries and blackberries! Your vacation or outing to the Texas Hill Country just isn't complete until you've tasted the fresh fruits of our Gillespie County orchard. Primarily pick-your-own, but sometimes we have already picked fruit available. All our fruit is the best quality fruit nature can provide. We take great pride in our well maintained orchard, which provides the greatest ease of picking and family enjoyment!
Click here to go to the Hill Country Fruit Council