The sweet cherries are in and ready to pick at Levering Orchard. As far as I know, Levering’s is the nearest pick-your-own cherry orchard to Floyd.
Michael and I went picking yesterday. The trees are loaded! We picked 20 lbs in about an hour or so (a little over a 3 liquid gallon bucket full) from the ground reaching into the trees. There are ladders into the trees and staff to move and set them as you wish if you’re into climbing. Cherries were $2.50/lb at the orchard as compared with $6/lb at the market yesterday. Hours are: Monday thru Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
If you go, wear comfortable clothes for bending and stretching, good supportive shoes with traction, sun screen/bug repellent (although the bugs weren’t bad yesterday), hat/bandana, and maybe a raincoat. Take along a water bottle too.
To get there: Go south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to just past milepost 193. Turn left on to Orchard Gap Road. Rap’s Convenience Store is right there on the corner. Drive approximately 2 miles down the mountain. Take your time, the road winds and is steep! You’ll see the large sign for the turn off to the orchard on your right. It took us about 45 minutes to get there from Floyd. Maybe not that long.
On my cherry preserving list:
Dehydrated cherries (currently in the dehydrator)
Cherry Pie Filling
Black Forest Preserves
I'll be preserving these over the next week and will have recipes and photos.