Peaches are my all-time favorite fruit. Nothing says “Summer’s here!” like biting into a just-picked, juicy Texas peach. Here in Texas, peaches only ripen from mid-May to August, so every spring I eagerly start charting my peach-buying trips. My husband and I try to visit as many of our favorite peach orchards and festivals as possible, especially those within easy driving distance from our home in Dallas.
While luscious Texas peaches also grow in South Texas, especially around Fredericksburg, we limit our peach-buying trips to nearby North Texas and East Texas counties. Freestone County, Kaufman County, and Parker County all produce bountiful peach crops every summer. Parker County even holds a popular Peach Festival in downtown Weatherford every July (more on that below!).
1. Cooper Farms In Fairfield (Freestone County)
Cooper Farms is just under 90 miles south of Dallas, or about an hour and a half from our place, and easily accessible just off I-45 South. They grow 70 different varieties of peaches — including donut peaches — along with nectarines, plums, blackberries, figs, and vegetables on approximately 300 acres of land. Fairfield is centrally located between Dallas and Houston.
Co-owner Elizabeth Cooper says, “Our crop expectancy is looking to be Mother’s Day to Labor Day this year. The crop is looking really, really good! The farm is currently covered in blooms, and we will be in the thick of harvest before we know it. We plan to have lots of peaches for retail and wholesale customers this year.”
At the Cooper Farms Country Store in Fairfield, fresh peaches share the spotlight with peach ice cream, milkshakes, and ice cream floats. Gooey peach cobbler and hand-braided peach pies plus peach bread and other bakery goods are also big sellers there.
Pro Tip: While in Fairfield, we never miss a chance to stop for lunch at Sam’s Original Restaurant & BBQ, 390 East I-45. An oversized all-you-can-eat buffet spread features homemade Southern comfort food. Think chicken and dumplings, fried chicken, and chicken-fried steak plus melt-in-your-mouth barbecue brisket and sausage, fresh veggies, soups, and salads plus banana or bread pudding for dessert.
2. Ham Orchards In Kaufman County (Near Terrell)
Ham Orchards, the closest peach growers to our Dallas home, is about 45 minutes away by U. S. Highway 20 East, then cutting through the city of Terrell to 11939 County Road 309. The 200 acres feature five orchards and over 15,000 peach, apricot, plum, and nectarine trees. Owned and operated by the Ham family for 42 years, Ham Orchards has become a destination for peach (and barbecue) lovers around the country. They also feature an 8-acre “pick-your-own” blackberry patch behind their sprawling country store. Ham Orchards is open every day but Sunday during peach season, mid-May to mid-August.
Inside the bustling farmers market store you’ll find farm-fresh vegetables, including terrific-tasting tomatoes right off the vine. They also sell fruits, jams, jellies, preserves, local honey, East Texas Pecans, homemade fudge, and fried pies made daily in their own bakery. They also feature homemade breads, pies, cakes, and casseroles. Ham Orchards’ soft-serve peach ice cream and strawberry ice cream are deservedly famous. People start queuing up early for the delicious hand-made ice cream and the barbecue by Eddie Deen sold from a stand at the back of the store.
My favorite item on the barbecue menu is the peach pulled pork barbecue sandwich, served with sides of potato salad and coleslaw and a large glass of iced tea. After purchasing our food, we head for the covered pavilion out back that features plenty of picnic tables. The tables quickly fill with happy groups of barbecue- and peach-loving customers. Like us, many of them make Ham Orchards a family travel destination every summer.
Today, Ham Orchards is run by daughters Sharien and Karien Ham along with their husbands and families. They recently expanded the pavilion to accommodate even more people. Ham Orchards hires 90 employees for their busy summer season and provides summer jobs for a number of local students.
Co-owner Sharien Ham Strange says, “Each summer God brings us the most amazing
employees. We hire over 60 high school and college kids along with the most precious, hard-working women I know to work in the store with us.”
Pro Tip: Take along a cooler so you can safely transport those pints of peach ice cream you’re going to want to take back home — especially if you live or are staying an hour or so away like we do. If you’re like us, you’ve probably bought more peaches than you’ll ever eat, but your family, friends, and neighbors will be more than happy to take a few of these luscious gems off your hands.
3. Peachy Peel Farm In Scurry (Kaufman County)
Located at 10800 County Road 4090, Peachy Peel Farm produces tree-ripened cling and
cling-free peach varieties June through August. From mid-May to July they offer thornless blackberries for their customers to pick themselves, or they’ll be happy to pick them for you. Peaches are sold in small and large baskets, along with their ripe plums. They also sell jams and salsas made from their fruit.
Seasonal tomatoes and other vegetables and fruits are also available, along with
homemade peach and blackberry cobblers and cakes. They make their own vanilla, peach, and strawberry ice cream as well.
Pro Tip: Peachy Peel Farm offers special dinners served in the orchard, starting with appetizers on their beautiful garden patio. Guests stroll down to the orchard to enjoy fresh cuisine in a peach-inspired meal. They also hold weddings and receptions in the orchard by special request.
4. Parker County Peach Orchards
Parker County boasts three peach orchards, starting with Hutton Peach Farm at 210
Greenwood Cut Off Road in Weatherford. Pop’s Peaches at 701 N. Main Street in Weatherford, and Rees’s Peaches at 6017 SFM 5 in Aledo also grow peaches. Peaches are also sold at Weatherford Farmers Market on Fort Worth Highway. The best time to visit any of these is right after they open.
The all-day Parker County Peach Festival returns in 2022 and is expected to draw large crowds to downtown Weatherford on Saturday, July 9 for a day packed with activities and entertainment. Parker County residents are extremely proud of their peaches, and start planning for the annual July Peach Festival early in the year. Before the festival, the Parker County Peach Pageant held in June draws girls from infants to age 21. The queen and princess ride in the June Rodeo Parade, and also in the December Christmas parade.
More On The Parker County Peach Festival
The 37th-annual Parker County Peach Festival is expanding this year and will feature more than 200 arts and craft, food, and activity vendors in booths scattered all around the
historic Weatherford Courthouse Square. Visitors can expect to get their fill of homemade peach ice cream, peach cobbler, peach pie, peach tea, peach smoothies, or ice cream topped with fresh peaches. Parker County’s juicy peaches are a sweet treat all on their own, even with the fuzz still on.
Two entertainment stages invite Peach Festival guests to sit back and relax while enjoying continuous performances by local entertainers. A highlight of the festival is the Food Competition, an event that has become a crowd favorite. A number of antique and specialty stores around the downtown area will also feature specials all day, and visitors are warmly invited to visit these downtown merchants before or after the festival.
The Peach Pedal Bike Ride draws over 2,200 cyclists for a fun event that benefits United Way of Parker County and the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce. Riders start from the Weatherford High School parking lot at 2121 Bethel Road in Weatherford. The 61-mile ride starts at 7:30 a.m., the 39-mile ride starts at 7:45 a.m., and the less strenuous 28-mile and 8-mile rides start at 8 a.m.
Free transportation to the festival on an air-conditioned shuttle runs all day from the 9th Grade Center, Weatherford College, and Heritage Park. The shuttles drop passengers off at and pick them up from the festival entrances. The Parker County Peach Festival runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Weatherford. Tickets are available for pre-purchase only at
peachfestivaltx.com for easier hands-free entry. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 5 to 12 (those under 5 are free).
Pro Tips: It’s hot outside, so Festival-goers should dress casually and wear walking shoes. We recommend going early and then stopping for lunch at The Mesquite Pit on Weatherford’s Fort Worth Highway. Expect friendly service, downhome ambiance, and affordable prices for great barbecue, grilled or chicken-fried steaks, veggies, and cornbread.