With summer in full swing, car club events are more frequent. We are enjoying our warm days, abundant sunshine and not too hot temps in the mountains. We met early at a visitor center on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a nice drive though some back roads down to South Carolina. There were so many cars for the event, we had to split into three groups! We were in the first group to roll out with the two others following at 15-20 minute intervals.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is green everywhere, with tall trees creating arbors over the road in places, and in others sunshine reaches to the road. You can see the sign on the right indicating a twisty section ahead.
Through occasional breaks in the trees, the mountains can be seen.
Sometimes getting the photo was difficult, with the cars in the shade and the mountain in the distance in full sun. I like to get a bunch of us in line on the road for the members to enjoy. Here, we had left the BRP and were cruising down Hwy 9 towards Lake Lure.
It was a lovely clear day, no fog and very few clouds in the sky. I took this picture on the fly as we zipped past a break in the trees.
We went through the tiny tourist town of Chimney Rock, grown up around the entrance to the state park for the attraction. The rock looks like a chimney on the roof of a house, with the flag on top. There is an observation deck on top, but we motored on by this day.
We wound around Hwy 9 and a couple more back roads, then got on Hwy 11 in South Carolina to reach our destination, Strawberry Hill cafe and market in Chesnee. Along the way we passed acres and acres of peach trees heavy with fruit. The farm has 800 acres of peach trees in 30 varieties, so they have peaches all spring and summer with different varieties ripening at different times of the year.
Large fields of strawberry plants had pickers busy. The farm has 115 acres of strawberry fields.
There is a large pavilion where they sell their locally grown peaches and strawberries, along with a local farmers market of vegetables. Across the road is the Strawberry Hill Cafe where we had BLT sandwiches piled high with fresh tomatoes from their gardens. The cafe is known for its country style breakfasts and fresh churned ice cream with farm fruits.
After lunch, we could shop. It was tempting to take home way more than we can eat.
Just look at these fabulous baskets of strawberries, all perfect without bruises or blemishes, and just a short way from the field where they were carefully picked by hand earlier in the day.
Peaches were abundant too, in two varieties at the time we were there. I don’t remember which variety this one was with its darker reddish color.
This variety was Harvester, a large clingstone peach.
I came home with a small basket of strawberries, and a few peaches from a large basket another couple purchased and shared with us.
I cleaned the strawberries, adding just a touch of sugar to bring out their juices. These were sweet sun-ripened beauties that didn’t need much. I served them on the Fourth of July holiday on pound cake with some blueberries. Fresh whipped cream finished off the dessert. Yum!
Do you have any large farms to get fresh produce, or a favorite farmer’s market?