Staying Stylish in Suburbia

Peach and Blackberry Picking at Hollin Farm

Thursday, July 17, 2014

We spent the loveliest afternoon yesterday picking blackberry's and peaches at Hollin Farm in Delaplane. Northern Virginia is teaming with fertile farmland. As I've mentioned a time or two before on here, I'm a huge fan of local and seasonal eating. What better way to know exactly where your food comes from than by picking it yourself!? I had never been to this particular farm before, but it did not disappoint.  

It was early morning when we left the house. On our way there, we drove through rolling hills, sun dappled and dotted with round hay bales and grazing cattle. There were several wineries along the drive too with rows of lush, leafy, green grape vines crisscrossing the countryside.

We turned off the main road and onto a single lane gravel drive, curving up, up, up to the top of the highest hill. I parked and we got out. The day was unseasonably cool, a perfect 70 degrees in July, and we were excited to meet up with our friends. The view of the valley below was breathtaking, like something out of a storybook.  

Once everyone was all sunscreened up and ready to roll, we headed toward the main stand. They gave us bags that equalled a "peck" and sent us on our way towards the peaches. I couldn't stop humming "I love you, a bushel and a peck! A bushel and a peck, and a kiss around the neck!" as we walked into the trees.

Traversing the orchard with a bunch of kiddos was quite entertaining. They went scampering around looking for the perfect peaches, squabbling over sticks, giggling, wining and generally acting like little wild ones.

Esmae insisted on giving each peach a sniff test before deeming it acceptable and placing it in the bag. 

On the way back from the orchard we spotted fat juicy blackberry bushes, heavy with berries bigger than Esmae's thumb. With the blackberries beckoning we couldn't resist making a pass through, plopping them into our containers and our mouths as we went. 

By the time we emerged from the berry bushes, smeared with pink juice and tired, we were ready for some lunch. We had packed a picnic and spread our blankets out on the top of a hill with a view of the valley below.  The chaos of feeding seven hungry children ensued, but once everyone was full, they ran around picking clover and playing tag. We watched them play and talked about the highs and lows or motherhood, scheming for an evening out together without children at one of the nearby wineries.

All in all it was a day to remember. The girls fell asleep almost instantly on the ride home and I enjoyed the quiet, taking in the sights as I drove. For dessert that night I served blackberries with a plop of whipped cream on top. It was delicious! 


  1. Sometimes i think people living outside big metro areas arent aware that "fresh" is so close by. Excellent day for the kids too !!!