35 Years of Quality Fruit & Memorable Experiences
16,000 strawberry plants arriving at Marburger Orchard on Oct. 2, 2014.
Closed until strawberries are ready for picking in March
February 14, 2015
We are not yet open for strawberry picking for this year. However, we may be able to open two to three weeks from now, which would be earlier than our average opening date. We currently have blooms and a few small, green berries developing on the plants, but we will not open for customers until we feel like we have enough berries ripening each day to make the picking worth the effort of looking for those few berries. Typically, the production peaks from late March through most of April, when the amount of berries ripening each day is very abundant.
Please keep checking back here for an announcement of our opening date, and after that for frequent postings of the current picking conditions.
Hope to see you soon!
October 16, 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014
We do not grow any fall or winter crops for customer harvest. Therefore, the orchard is closed until our strawberries are ready to start picking in late February or early March. Watch this website, as we get close to that time, for an announcement of our specific date of re-opening.
Our strawberry plants (for harvest next spring) arrived this morning. They will be planted around mid-October, get their roots well established this fall and winter, and start blooming in January/February. The plants are fairly freeze-hardy, but the flowers and fruit will require protection with huge floating row covers, starting sometime in January.
Although there are no crops for us to harvest this time of year, there are still plenty of orchard maintenance tasks to be done, in addition to planting, weeding and caring for our strawberry plants. In the peach orchard we are constantly working at controlling weeds, particularly with all the wonderful rain we have had in the last month! Although most of our tree pruning is done in late winter, when the peach trees are fully dormant, we do work at removing dead or weak trees and limbs, and broken branches during the fall. Another very time-consuming task this time of year is removing all the old dead canes in the blackberries, tangled amongst the new canes, which will produce fruit next May and June.
If you are in Fredericksburg on a Thursday afternoon (4:00 p.m. to dark), between Oct. 2 and Nov. 20, visit the Fredericksburg Farmer's Market. During the fall, it is located on the grounds of the Pioneer Museum 2 blocks west of the courthouse on Main St. We do not expect to have anything there from Marburger Orchard, unless we need to sell anything from our three Fuji apple trees, one lonely pomegranate bush, or our "never-ending" okra plants. However, there will be an assortment of other producers there with their wonderful products.
(If you have livestock, we currently have some small hay round bales for sale at $35.00 each.)
Saturday, August 16, 2014
We have no more peaches for this year, and the orchard is closed, except for pre-arranged times, when customers want to come by for what little remaining produce we may have for a few more weeks.
Thursday evening, August 14, 2014
The orchard will be open on Friday from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. only. We have just a few peaches left to sell at our shed -- no pick-your-own.
Wednesday afternoon, August 13, 2014
We picked the last peaches from the trees this morning! Therefore, our pick-your-own is finished for this year -- we will have no other produce for picking until February or March of next year, when our strawberry season begins.
For the next several days, until they are all sold, we will have some peaches for sale at our orchard stand. These will primarily be "seconds", or "number 2's" -- fruit with slight blemishes, but still very tasty and useable.
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Hours of Operation
Closed for the season, due to lack of products -- call for an appointment.
Pick-Your-Own Peach Prices
To be determined according to variety and other factors at harvest time.
(Sorry, we do not accept credit or debit cards -- cash or check only.)
What else is happening at Marburger Orchard?
Our peach trees blooming in March!
Bounty peach trees in bloom 3/18/14
"2014 Peach Prospects"
(posted April 2014)
We had a severe freeze on March 3rd, 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 can stand to lose a lot of that bloom, and essentially have a "full crop". Right now it is "wait and see". The trees finished blooming about three weeks ago, and are now leafing out. We are now waiting to see how many of those flowers will have viable ovaries, that were pollinated, will start growing, and eventually produce ripe fruit. Also, there is still the possibility for another freeze, and once we get into May and June, we will have the further concern of hail (If we ever start getting rainstorms again!). In other words, we will have a much better idea about the 2014 peach crop by late April.
(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.
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 12 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. 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.
(Sorry, we do not accept credit or debit cards -- cash or check only.)
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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".
Commanders Place/Nevels House
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
!!!!! Special directions if you are approaching Fredericksburg on U.S. Hwy. 290 from the east (Austin, etc.): Don't plan on turning south on the Grapetown/Old San Antonio Road, even if your GPS tells you to do so! This road is temporarily closed, in order to replace the bridge crossing the Pedernales River. Instead, continue about 1 mile on U.S. 290 to the first traffic signal (Friendship Lane), and turn left. Take Friendship Lane about 1.4 miles to the intersection of U.S. 87 (Washington St.). Turn left (south), and go 4 miles to Meusebach Creek Rd., turn left, and follow our signs another 1.25 miles to the orchard entrance.
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. Rest assured that if you have checked your name off on our printed customer list here at the orchard anytime in the last couple of years, you are considered an "active customer", and you will get a notice from us (provided you don't have a change of address). If you think you should be getting a card or 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 address.
If you would rather get a card notice, instead of an e-mail, please indicate that preference on the mailing list form. We will notify you by only one method or the other, not by both. At this time, we are sending out only two cards each year, according to your expressed interests, one at the beginning of strawberry season, and the other at the beginning of peach season. There may be additional e-mail notices under special circumstances, such as unusual crop abundance, or limited time discounts.
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 36 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