Maryland is well known for its agriculture, with over 32% of the state’s land used for farming. Dairy and livestock farms, crops like winter wheat, corn, soybeans and barely, a wide variety of vegetables, melons and potatoes are all multi-million dollar enterprises throughout the Old Line State. Fruit and berry orchards, in particular, cover almost 4,000 acres throughout Maryland, some of which you can find right here in Frederick County. Spending a day at a working orchard is a tasty way to have a lot of fun! Below are four of Frederick’s many orchards where you can visit, pick fruits and see the workings of their farms.
Located in Thurmont, MD, Pryor’s Orchards is a 3rd generation farm specialize in cherries, plums, apricots, pears, peaches, blueberries, apples, and nectarines. The farm is open to the public from June through November, with their fruit and vegetable seasons varying slightly each year. They offers ‘pick your own’ dates during certain weeks that are listed on their website.
Catoctin Mountain Orchard is one of the few farms and orchards that remain open to the public almost the entire year. From May through January, there is something tasty available at the orchard. Also located in Thurmont, MD, they specialize in multiple varieties of apples and pears, as well as plums, grapes, nectarines, vegetables and a half-acre flower garden offering ‘pick your own bouquets’. They proudly contract with Frederick County Public Schools supplying fruit to local schools. Throughout the growing seasons, the orchard has Pick Your Own fruit weeks, and their retail market features an on-site bakery featuring pies and pound cakes in just about every flavor you can imagine!
In southern Frederick County, you’ll find Gaver Farm in Mount Airy. The youngest orchard on this list, Gaver Farm opened in the 1970s and produces mostly cattle, grains and trees. They are opened to the public from September through December every year for apple and pumpkin picking as well as ‘Cut Your Own’ Christmas trees. During November and December, their retail market offers wreaths, arrangements, garland, bows, swags, Christmas and home decor in addition to their apple area with an excellent selection of apples, apple cider, jellies, jams, butters and honey.
Tucked away near the scenic Catoctin Mountains, and close to Camp David in Sabillasville, MD is Scenic View Orchards. This farm, operating since the 1800’s, produces grains, vegetables, and flowers in addition to their 20 year old orchard of fruits and berries. They are a produce and fruit supplier to a national supermarket chain and are active in area farmers markets nearly year round in Frederick and Montgomery Counties. Their Retail Farm Market is open May through November every day and features jams, jellies, fresh cut and dried flower bouquets and a wide variety of gift items including birdhouses and gift baskets.