Kentucky Living, Versailles

Back on the Farm – Eckert’s Orchard

My relationship with the orchard…

When I was younger, my childhood was spent here when it was once Boyd’s Orchard. It was the place where all the kids knew it for the huge slide while the parents and adults knew it for the place with not only cider donuts but apple cider. I remember in elementary school we got to visit this place and witnessed the apple cider process and such.

A New Leaf – Eckert’s Orchard

Eckert’s Orchard gave me the chance to come out and experience the atmosphere once again during its summer season. I also had the chance to interview the manager at the Versailles location, Morgan Fields who grew up in Woodford Co. so later on down the blog we will get to learn more about not only the farm but Morgan as well!

Eckert’s Orchard in the summertime was not what I expected, it’s way better!

Summer Time Fruit

In this season, the fruit at the orchard includes the top two sellers: peaches, and blackberries. When we walked down the blackberry paths, it was insane! They were huge, and the bushes made for a magical experience as well as a great photo opt.!

The pictures here don’t do justice, so don’t forget to not only check out Eckert’s website, but also my Instagram for edited photos! Both will be linked at the bottom.

Blackberries that were picked at Eckert’s Orchard

We were told we could taste them while we were out picking the blackberries and it took everything for me to keep myself from eating them as I pluck them from their bush! They were so delicious, and my sweet tooth was going crazy. We managed to feel two baskets full! Not only were and are blackberries delicious, but there are so many health benefits that come with the amazing berry! Such as them being high in fiber, boosting brain health, providing us vitamin C, as well as acting as an antioxidant! Careful though, not all berries you pick will be sweet; here’s a tip on how to pick the sweet ones: feel for softness, not hardness. The harder the berry, the less likely it will be sweet once you bite into it. You can also go to pick, and if it basically falls into your hands as you do so, it is definitely a fully ripened berry! If you feel for texture, the super sweet ones will feel as if they are, “bubbly”, as my sister would describe them. Another tip, pick them yourself! Grocery stores have them, but you aren’t guaranteed completely the freshness nor the taste of a good berry. Every time I go to the grocery store to get a pack full, I end up not getting any cause (this is why you wash your fruit no matter what) I feel for the sweet ones! That is why after experiencing blackberry picking for myself, I recommend it going to a nearby Orchard. If you are in Kentucky, then you should definitely come check out the blackberries over at Eckert’s Orchard!

Elizabeth (my sister) is to the far left, the middle is my fiance Jake, and I am the far right.

After picking (and eating) some blackberries we hitched a ride on the tractor to go pick some peaches!

I never picked peaches from trees prior to this trip either, so it was another enjoyable experience! The same rule applies to peaches as well as blackberries, the softer, the sweeter!

Only one row (as of June 22nd) was ready to be plucked! So I would wait until around the beginning of July to come after their peaches! Their peaches make for a good cobbler, as well as the blackberries!

Photo taken and owned by Caitie Perry

Now on to the fun stuff…

Some activities you can find here include but are not limited to: Humongous slide with more slides to choose from attached, Gem Mining for the kids, play area, resting/eating area with picnic tables, a goat farm, and even tiny train rides for the kids!

Unfortunately, they wouldn’t let me on the slide, even though, I am a five foot adult in a child’s body (haha). But as a kid, I remember this slide being the main reason all the kids including myself wanted to come! We would just grab a potato sack, and slide on down!

Gem Mining is such an underrated activity. Many adults don’t want their kids to play in it, but why not? It is such an educating experience and a fun one for the kids! Plus they feel good when they take their ‘gems’ home!

Photo Creds: Elizabeth

The goat farm is my favourite (now that I am too old for the slide) due to the cuteness overload! I wish I had pictures of the goats to share! But I guess you’ll have to go pet them for yourselves.

The Market Place and Treats…

There are so many sweet treats to choose from! I had the chance to taste the Cider Doughnut Sundae which features a cider donuts at the bottom, with vanilla ice cream, whip cream, and whatever toppings your heart desires! They have so many other sundaes to choose from including Brownie Cobbler!

Their market also sells popcorn, apple cider, syrups and homegrown veggies, as well as jam! There is so much you can purchase here including a section of Kentucky locally owned items! I bought their cider donuts, and a jar of strawberry jam as well!

Short Interview with Morgan Fields:

At first I wanted to get a feel for her and wondered why she chose to work here, her response summed up: “I grew up here in Woodford county about 10 min away from the farm, which was owned by different people and was a much smaller orchard. I used to come here to this farm to pick apples as a little girl. In 2013, I needed a part-time- job so I came here and now I am a manager.”

I then asked her what her favourite treat was here at the farm which she replied, “probably the fruit, definitely the fruit.”

Their best seller in the summer? “Peaches”. She continued to explain that, “this is the first year we done the blackberry trellis. We always had them, but we never raised a half acre. We have expanded that.”

The best seller in the fall? “It is a split between the pumpkins, donuts, and the apples!”

It is a great family atmosphere and it is fun for folks and young folks like you to come and hang out. It’s peaceful and you’re away from the hustle and business.

Morgan Fields

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