As gas prices continue to climb this summer, it’s a great time to appreciate all we have close at hand. Those in the Front Royal area have plenty of fun to enjoy without travelling too far, and in the summer there’s also lots of food being produced close to home. No need to buy in food from far away and pay for the costs of transporting it!
Here at Discover Front Royal, we’re providing a guide to some of the fantastic local food that’s produced right in our area. Today, we’ve rounded up three local favorites that all begin with a “P”: peaches, peanuts, and . . . pies! Read on to learn more about these classic local foods, and how to enjoy them in the Front Royal area.
Pick your Own Peaches in Front Royal
Biting into a delicious, juicy peach is one of the pleasures of summertime, and if you have a freshly picked, local peach in hand, it’s going to taste all the better. Virginia has a great climate for peach production, and has ranked as the fourteenth largest peach producer in the United States. In a rural area like Front Royal, it’s not too hard to find orchards with delicious fresh peaches ready to pick and eat! Peach season runs through July, August, and sometimes into early September, so most of the summer is a great time to eat fresh, local peaches.
To pick your own peaches, head to one of Front Royal’s nearby fruit farms. Hartland Orchard is a popular option, and conveniently close to I-66. To get a bit more off the beaten path, try Valley View Farm. After peach picking, you can enjoy wine and cider tasting as well as exploring the extensive “locavore farm market" filled with local products. Hollin Farms is another great peach-picking option, where you can also pick in-season fresh vegetables. Stock up on summer garden classics like corn, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, peppers, and more, including some you may never have heard of.
To ensure availability, always call ahead before heading out on a pick you own expedition.
Front Royal’s Virginia Peanuts
From peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to roasted peanuts and peanut butter cups, it’s safe to say peanuts are a favorite staple of the American diet. But did you know that Front Royal’s own state of Virginia was the first known U.S. location where peanuts were planted, and remains one of the nation’s top producers of peanuts? First arriving in Virginia in the early 1900s, peanut plants thrived in Virginia’s warm summers and sandy, loamy soil. Today, Virginia’s peanuts are an exciting and delicious local product.
If you’re thinking of peanuts as a nut growing on a tree, think again. Despite their nutty name, peanuts are actually legumes that grow beneath the soil. In the Front Royal area, you can enjoy a close encounter with a peanut plant at Hollin Farms, where dig-your-own peanuts are typically available in September and October. Bring the kids for a fun and unique outing, and make some homemade peanut butter when you get home!
To find Virginia Peanuts that you don’t have to dig up in Front Royal, check out the gift shop at the Apple House, where you’ll find shelves full of local products, including peanuts and lots more. Or explore Dusty’s Country Store where you’ll find delicious, small-batch made peanut butter made with peanuts from the great state of Virginia.
Enjoy a Local Pie in Front Royal
“As American as Apple Pie” is how the saying goes, and it’s true that pies are a classic favorite American dessert. During the summer and fall, using in-season fruit for a pie is a great way to make an easy, crowd-pleasing dessert, and give a fresh, local touch to your table. To make pie-making a snap, try this easy “no-roll” pie crust recipe. Make the crust right in your pie dish, add your filling, and you’ll be cooking up a delicious pie before you know it.
Want the pie without the work? Find delicious local-made pies in Front Royal at Down Home Comfort Bakery. Freshly made with all-natural ingredients, Down Home Comfort Bakery’s baked goods are sure to put a smile on your face and leave your guests asking for more.
There’s so much delicious local bounty to enjoy around Front Royal in the summer. Explore the “P’s” of local produce this summer and celebrate all that the great state of Virginia has to offer.
With local farms in full swing, grapes starting to weigh down the vines, and pick your own farms all over the map, summer in Virginia is a time of plenty. It’s a great time to enjoy some fresh, local produce, and heading to a rural area like Front Royal definitely brings you closer to where your food is coming from. Discover Front Royal is will be featuring our local foods throughout the season, with tips on where to find them and how to enjoy them.
Today we’re giving you the run down on two fantastic local products, as well as a recipe to combine them for a delicious summer drink to enjoy on a balmy summer evening. Read on to discover Front Royal’s strawberries, wine, and Strawberry Sangria!
Finding Local Strawberries around Front Royal
In the category of popular, early summer produce, strawberries are high on the list. Fun to pick, delicious to eat, and at the center of countless summer dishes and desserts, strawberries are a summer staple. They also boast numerous health benefits including vitamin C and antioxidants. Strawberries are available in grocery stores all year round, but did you know that food grown in your local area and freshly picked in season has been shown to boast greater nutritional value than food shipped from far away? It tastes better too! Taking advantage of some locally grown strawberries this summer is fun and healthy at the same time!
Wondering where to find farm fresh strawberries? Head to Front Royal! Picking your own is lots of fun for all the family and you can do it here. In the Front Royal area, strawberry picking season can start as early as mid-May, and typically continues through June. Hartland Orchard/Green Truck Farms and Hollin Farms are popular locations for pick your own strawberries. Farming and weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to check ahead and make sure picking is available before heading to the farm. Don’t have time to pick? At Hartland, you can purchase strawberries pre-picked for your convenience.
Sip on Virginia Wines
Strawberries taste great with another outstanding product of the Front Royal area: wine! Many wines pair well with strawberries. If you head to one of Front Royal’s wineries for a strawberry picnic, the staff can help you pick out the perfect bottle.
Why not make a day of it, with strawberry picking in the morning followed by a relaxing afternoon at a local winery? If you’re planning on picking at Hartland Orchard or Hollin Farms, Arterra Wines is an amazing winery option close by. Here you’ll find unique wines created with no additives. Even the yeasts used to ferment the wine are those naturally occurring on the grape skins. If you’re sensitive to some of the additives typically found in wines, or if you’re simply looking to clean up your diet (while still enjoying wine!), this winery is a must-visit!
Valley View Farm (though not a winery) is another convenient option for berry pickers where you can enjoy locally produced wines in a beautiful setting. Or check out Aspen Dale Winery for another amazing winery close by. With beautiful, extensive grounds to explore, it’s a great place for the whole family to relax and enjoy a picnic.
See a more extensive list of the Front Royal area’s wineries here.
Bring it Home and Enjoy Strawberry Sangria
Enjoying Front Royal’s fantastic local fare doesn’t have to stop when you get home. Bring a bottle of wine (or a few!) and some strawberries home and combine them to make a classic summer drink: Strawberry Sangria! Recipes for this summer favorite can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but this one’s a good place to start. Featuring just wine, strawberries, and a few other simple ingredients, it’s a sangria recipe that’s easy to make with primarily Front Royal-sourced ingredients! Plan ahead and chill overnight for best results. Enjoying this refreshing summer beverage is a great way to experience a taste of the Shenandoah Valley!
A wine and strawberries day in Front Royal Virginia is a perfect way to experience local produce and summer in the Shenandoah Valley all at once. Enjoy the fruits of the season and the stunning countryside, and leave with a tasty treat to enjoy at home.
Discover Front Royal