On The Road With Doug: Peaches and Apples in Waverly, Missouri
Our Labor Day plans didn't exactly go according to plan since my son Gabriel was diagnosed with pneumonia. We spent it mostly at home. I decided to have a father/daughter outing on Sunday. I told her it would a surprise, and we got into the car and trekked to Waverly, Mo. to get some peaches.
For those that are unfamiliar with Waverly, it is 48 miles miles northwest of Sedalia. Waverly is very well known for their apple growing, since 80% of the apples grown in Missouri come from Waverly. They have great peaches are up there too.
The allure of 69 cents per pound peaches at Peter's Market is what brought my attention to go this weekend. I was greatly impressed by the peach selections because I thought this was the end of the peach growing season, but Peter's Market had plenty of Contendor, Coralstar, Glowingstar and Encore Peaches for people to grab. When I was there, the parking lot was full and so was the store. My daughter and I decided to buy the peaches by the "Peck," which is about 6 pounds of peaches. We sampled each of the peaches and loved them all.
I talked with a lot of people that were buying the peaches and they all seemed to have different intentions. Some wanted to just go ahead and eat the peaches, others wanted to make peach pie, others were going to freeze them.The apple harvesting season just started, but I did manage to score a 10 pound bag of Jonathan Apples from Peter's Market. I also bought this amazing toasted pecan syrup for breakfast the next day. My daughter loved the peach, apple and cherry cider they had for sampling and we brought some of that home too.
In addition to the store, Peter's Market has a playground where kids can go down two slides, sit on a wooden train and ride trikes. Lillibeth played with other kids, who happened to be from Sedalia too, and all had a great time.
I decided to drive around in Waverly and was impressed by all the markets that sold peaches and apples. I saw tons of farms that were selling peaches, Schreiman Orchards, Mother Earth Market, J's Market and several others.
I think what most amazed me was in this one city, there are so many different varieties of peaches and apples to sample. I ended up buying another "peck" of peaches from Mother Earth Market. It is owned by Sheri and Matthew Thorpe, who are celebrating 10 years in operation. They told me it used to be an apple orchard, but they turned it into peaches as they did better with those. I bought the Jerseyglow peaches and they were really sweet.
From there, I decided to stop in at Baltimore Bend Vineyard. They have about 20 different wines. They were kind enough to let me sample some wine and gave my daughter some tasty grape juice. I ran into a couple from Kansas, who said they were just looking for something to do a day's drive away and they love wine. They bought the Just Peachy Wine based on my recommendation of a sweet wine. I brought some home too, of course, and bought some Arrowhead Red too.
All in all, my daughter and I had a great time in Waverly and I think we're going to head back up for the Waverly Apple Jubilee, held from Sept. 12-14.