Day Trip Report: Peach Picking in Brentwood
|Playing farmer, six feet off the ground.|
I'd been meaning to go peach and nectarine picking in Brentwood again ever since a scalding afternoon in 2005 that culminated in one perfect nectarine, plucked from the tree and still warm from the sun. I ate the fruit with a vampirish abandon, bent slightly over the ground, my lips and chin and hand and forearm soon sticky with juice.
So, on Saturday, some friends and I drove east again, using the Harvest Time in Brentwood map to hunt for open U-pick farms. We were fortunate ― the season should be almost over by now, one of the farmers told me, but the cold spring pushed it back.
|Part of the haul.|
It's not the smartest idea to pick fruit off the tree at the peak of its ripeness ― the white peaches, for example, bruised so easily and thoroughly that I had to eat them all in the 24 hours after I returned. The past two days, in fact, has been an exercise in excess: Peaches for breakfast, nectarines for lunch, a peach frangipane tart for friends, 10 pounds still ripening on the table for jam.
On August 15, Bay Area Green Tours is organizing a brunch at Berkeley's Gather restaurant followed by a bus tour of Brentwood's most celebrated farms, Frog Hollow and Knoll. But if you'd rather pick peaches yourself, there are still a few weeks left in the season. Bring a few boxes, a bottle of water, and all the self-restraint you can muster.