40 Years of Quality Fruit & Memorable Experiences
Blackberries abundant, most days!
CLOSED SUNDAY. More great blackberry and strawberry picking Monday. (No peach picking)
We again this year have excellent quality Nicaraguan coffee (supporting Young Life programs, both there and in the U.S.).
For the latest information, read the dated postings below.
Saturday, May 26, 2018, 9:30 p.m.
As suspected, we had so many customers picking blackberries and strawberries this morning, that we were picked out of ripe fruit by noon, and, therefore, closed for the rest of the day. We will be closed all day on Sunday, giving additional time for more berries to ripen, and be ready for picking on Monday, when we again expect a large crowd. After checking the fields late this afternoon, I believe that we will have an abundant amount of both blackberries and strawberries ready for picking on Monday. Knowing that the weather will again be very hot on Monday afternoon, we will attempt to open the gate a little after 8:00 a.m., in order to allow customers to get an early start.
There will still be NO PICK-YOUR-OWN PEACHES on Monday! However, we do expect to be able to find a few ripe peaches, ourselves, in our Sentinel variety, and have a limited supply of small boxes of peaches for sale on our counter at the shed. We expect to have enough ripe peaches, for customers to pick, starting Wednesday.
In our vegetables, we now have an abundance of sweet onions, and vine-ripe tomatoes, for sale at the shed, and also available for pick-your-own. Our yellow squash and zucchini have just begun, and are for sale at the shed.
(Continue reading earlier postings, below, for more details.)
Friday, May 25, 2018, 8:45 p.m.
We will be open Saturday morning for blackberry and strawberry picking only!!! We had another huge day of berry picking today...156 lbs. of blackberries, and 257 lbs. of strawberries. This will not be the case tomorrow! We are anticipating no more than half these amounts of ripe berries, ready for picking on Saturday. Our early season blackberry varieties are now declining significantly in their daily production, and the strawberries are rapidly approaching the end of a long season, which began in February.
There will be NO PICK-YOUR-OWN PEACHES tomorrow! We will, however, have a very limited supply of small boxes of peaches for sale, that we were able to find in our first picking of the Sentinel variety today. It looks like the earliest that we will have an adequate amount of ripe peaches in this variety for customer pick-your-own will be approximately next Wednesday, followed by about 2 to 3 weeks of very good picking, including the Gala and Harvester varieties.
If you want to be assured of being able to find enough berries to pick on Saturday morning, and/or you want to get your hands on one of the few boxes of peaches, be at the gate, waiting for it to open (possibly by 8:15 a.m.). When we feel like we have received all the customers that we can adequately supply with the amount of fruit that we have available for the day, we will close the gate to any additional traffic. I suspect that could happen in less than two hours.
We will be closed Sunday, but will be open again on Monday morning, Memorial Day, with the same conditions that we expect on Saturday. If you can avoid coming this weekend, I highly recommend that you wait to come on a weekday, next week, when there should still be an adequate supply of blackberries, strawberries, and peaches....and a lesser abundance of people!
Thursday, May 24, 2018, 9:55 p.m.
We will be open no later than 9:00 a.m. Friday morning....possibly as early as 8:30. Come early! We expect the afternoon to be very hot, and, if we have as many customers tomorrow morning as we had this morning, you may find the selection of ripe fruit very limited by noontime! The berry picking today was, again, excellent! There were 148 lbs. of blackberries picked, and 155 lbs. of strawberries....both incredible amounts, especially considering how late we are in the strawberry season! There were also 112 lbs. of tomatoes, and 49 lbs. of onions harvested.
If you have a choice between coming Friday, Saturday, or Monday (we expect to be closed on Sunday), come Friday, even if you must come in the heat of Friday afternoon! We expect both Saturday and Monday to be a madhouse of customers, and probably not enough ripe fruit to last more than a few hours, with many people trying to pick! Or, you may want to consider waiting until Tuesday through Friday of next week, when there will be a lot fewer people, and the beginning of pick-your-own in our next peach variety, Sentinel.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 10:50 p.m.
Another big day of berry picking! More of the same the next several days. For the best picking, come out early in the day. The number of customers is increasing, and the afternoons are getting hotter! Our crew will also be picking, and preparing fruit Thursday morning, for our local Fredericksburg Farmers Market, Thursday, 4:00-7:00 p.m. Because of the additional activity, the availability of ripe berries could become a little scarce by mid-day....another reason to come early! Also, due to reduced staffing in the afternoon, it may be necessary for us to close early. If you are planning to come out after 12:00 noon, call first, to see how long we expect to be open.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 8:55 p.m.
Blackberries and strawberries continue to be very abundant! Fewer customers picking today, means plenty of berries that didn't get picked today, added to more berries ripening overnight, increasing the amount available tomorrow!
Some of our strawberry varieties are having a resurgence here just before the end of their season, producing some nice size, sweet berries in fairly good quantity. All of our blackberry varieties are now simultaneously in production, with lots of berries! The early season varieties...Brazos, Roseborough, and Womack...are now at the peak of production, and loaded with ripe berries every day. Our larger, later season variety, Kiowa, is rapidly increasing in production, also now providing a huge amount of fruit daily.
Our next peach variety will be Sentinel, a semi-freestone. Our workers may be able to find a very few early ripening peaches in this variety beginning sometime in the next few days, but I still do not believe there will be enough ripe peaches for customers to pick-your-own until early next week. Allowing customers to try to pick too soon usually means that a lot of immature fruit gets picked, before it is properly ripe, and sweet, making for a bad experience for everyone. Until then, whatever mature fruit we can find, we will have available for sale at our shed, until it is gone each day.
Monday, May 21, 2018, 11:05 a.m.
Great day for berry picking! There are lots and lots of blackberries and strawberries available for harvest today! Customer traffic has been steady, but light. So, it looks like we should have enough ripe berries to last all day today..., and I expect that should be the same every day this week, through Friday. But, a word of caution, if you are coming out to pick in the afternoon, it would be best to call just before coming, to see if we expect to be open all afternoon (we do close early when we have run out of ripe fruit for the day). It did rain here yesterday, but we received so little, that it has not hampered picking today. The weather for the entire day looks like it will be partly cloudy, cooler than normal, and almost no chance of additional rain.
We do not have any peaches for pick-your-own this week, but we do still have a few that we have picked, available to purchase at our shed, for the next couple of days, out of our Regal variety, which is now finished for this year. Our next varieties will not be ripe enough to start picking until about one week from now (probably not in time for Memorial Day).
Our sweet onions continue to be available for sale at our shed, as well as PYO. And, our tomatoes are now plentiful enough to also sell both ways, on most days, if you are here early.
Saturday, May 19, 2018, 5:30 p.m.
We had a great crowd of customers out picking peaches, blackberries and strawberries this morning....thank you to those of you who were here, and who patiently and diligently searched for, and picked, an amazing amount of fruit! As we had predicted, there were not many peaches, in our Regal variety, still on the trees when we opened today, because they were coming to the end of their two week season. As a result, it only took the first customers here this morning about one hour to "clean" the trees! There are still a very few unripe peaches left on the trees, and we will pick them, as they ripen, over the next several days, and have them to sell in small quantities at our sales shed the first few days of this coming week. It will be at least another week before our next peach varieties start ripening the beginning of their crop. In the meantime, if you are anxious to find peaches with other local growers, check the Hill Country Fruit Growers website: www.texaspeaches.com. I checked with the Eckhardt Orchard this afternoon, just up Hwy. 87, toward Fredericksburg, not far from us, and they told me that they expected to have Regal and June Gold peaches for sale at their stand every day this coming week, Sunday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. I also see on Facebook that the Jenschke Orchard is again open for PYO, a situation which could change from day to day.
As I said, we closed PYO peaches very early this morning. Blackberries were picked out, and closed before noon, and strawberries were getting very difficult to find by 2:00 p.m. Therefore, we closed the orchard entirely about mid-afternoon, and we will be closed all day this Sunday, allowing more fruit to ripen for Monday.
Customers picked an incredible amount of berries today....134 pounds of blackberries, and 336 pounds of strawberries! Given extra ripening time (while we are closed tomorrow), the berry picking should again be very abundant on Monday...and every day this coming week. This coming week will probably be the best blackberry week of the season. If you are looking to pick a large quantity, this is the time. Call us, if you would like to make an early morning appointment for blackberry picking, and have us reserve a row for you.
I could not believe how many strawberries customers were able to pick today! The strawberries are coming to the end of their season. The berries are much smaller, and not near as abundant as they were just a few weeks ago. However, customers were still able to fill up their boxes with small, red-ripe, sweet berries!
Friday, May 18, 2018, 6:58 p.m.
Lots of pickers showed up at the orchard again today! If we have the crowd that we expect for Saturday, we may be sold out, and closed by noon! There are probably less than 10 half bushels (25 pounds per half bushel) of peaches left to be picked in our Regal variety. Assuming that most people will want to pick less than a half bushel, there will be peaches for no more that the first 10 to 20 customers. Our regular opening time, right now, is 9:00 a.m., but we will attempt to open the gate a little earlier tomorrow. We will close pick-your-own in the peaches as soon as we see that customers are having difficulty finding any more fruit. We will also have a few peaches to sell in small quantities on the counter at our sales shed, until they are sold out. After the completion of this variety, we do not anticipate having peaches again for another week or more, when our next three varieties...Sentinel, Gala, and Harvester...begin to ripen.
Blackberries will be very plentiful for picking, when we start out in the morning. However, they could also be picked out, and closed by mid-day.
Strawberries will have more ripe berries for picking again tomorrow, but they will require a good bit of searching, being that they are far beyond the peak of their season.
There will also be more sweet onions, and vine-ripe tomatoes for sale at our shed.
Although we won't decide until Saturday evening (after evaluating Saturday's fruit harvest), there is very little chance that we will be open this Sunday. When there is not enough ripe fruit the next day, after a heavy picking...as we expect this Saturday...there is no justification for trying to be open that following day. With one extra day of no picking (Sunday), there should again be an abundant amount of blackberries ready to be picked on Monday, along with a moderate crop of freshly ripened strawberries. However, as I said earlier, there will be no peaches for picking next week.
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Hours of Operation
Check the daily updates, at the top of this page, for current estimated hours.
Our "strawberry season hours" -- ripe fruit and weather conditions permitting -- are normally as follows (with frequent exceptions): open at 9:00 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.
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$42.00 per ½ bushel (apx. 25 lbs.), or $2.10/lb. for smaller quantities
($20.00 minimum purchase per family)
Sentinel: Starting apx. May 30th
Gala: Starting apx. June 2nd
Harvester: Starting apx. June 5th
$3.50/lb. ($5.00 minimum), plus a one time $.75 charge for the re-usable berry box.
$3.00/lb. ($10.00 minimum), plus a one time $.75 charge for the re-usable berry box.
In addition to cash or checks, we are now equipped to accept credit or debit cards (with a $1.00 transaction fee).
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Peach Harvest -- 2017 (last year)
Our peach crop will be extremely limited this year, due to an unusually warm winter, resulting in the lack of required "chilling hours", or dormancy. There will be so few peaches that there will be no pick-your-own in peaches this year! We will pick ourselves, what little we have in all varieties, and sell them at our orchard sales shed, and at the Fredericksburg Farmers Market, as they are available. All area growers, including ourselves, are expecting a very meager crop on our early peach varieties (now through mid-June), and essentially no crop on the more popular mid-June to late July varieties. Our advise, if you want any peaches at all this year....buy early, and take what you can get, when you can get it! Do not expect to be able to buy half bushel quantities....the sparse crop will be too valuable to sell in anything other than smaller box quantities.
We will finish harvesting our first variety, Regal, in the next couple of days. Over a 10 day period, we will harvest only approximately 60 half bushels (25 pounds per half bushel). This is an average of 150 pounds per day. In a "good" year, our peach crop averages about 1250 pounds, daily, for about two months, from our ten varieties! Regal has had more peaches per tree than any of our other varieties will have this year! Many trees will have absolutely no fruit! I'm expecting less than 50 pounds per day, average, for the June varieties, with virtually no crop at all on the July varieties. And, there will be many days when we have no peaches, whatsoever, to sell!
Beware: If you see anyone this year selling "Texas Peaches" anywhere other than a permanent, grower owned and operated fruit stand, those peaches are almost certainly "imported"!
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***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 about 10% of our strawberries in these structures, and we have planted a few tomato plants in remaining available space. I will try to post pictures, as time permits.
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***We wish to thank the following Fredericksburg restaurants for using our strawberries in their menus:
The Peach Tree
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***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.
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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
Orchard tasks, year-round!
(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.
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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.
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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.
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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
(Note: It has become more and more difficult for me to find time to add new "sign-ups" to our email list, and to keep that list updated. Also, it has become less necessary to send out reminder notices to our customers, with the growing number of customers, and the "shrinking" size of the orchard. Therefore, you are welcome to add your name to the email list, but know that the best means to staying informed is to check this website on a regular basis, where I post updates on what is happening several times a week, during the harvest season.)
The best way for us to send 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 40 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