By: Crystal Hessong
There’s nothing like fresh summer produce, and Texas has a bounty of it. If you want fruit right from the farm, these are some of the best places to go to sink your teeth into peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, and other summer fruits from the Lone Star State.
3217 Spring Cypress Road
Spring, Texas 77388
For the freshest fruit around town, you can’t beat going to the farm itself for your produce. Atkinson Farms is a family-run farm conveniently located on Spring Cypress for those on the north and northwest sides of town. Through October 31, you can come and pick your own produce, depending on the season. If you just want to purchase fruit or vegetables, you can buy them by the pound from the market at the farm. Check out the products listing to see what the farm will be selling the month you decide to go, and if you have something specific in mind, call the farm to make sure they have it available because a sudden change in weather can drastically affect the amount of produce available. For mid to late summer, you’re likely to find watermelon, cantaloupe, and some blackberries in addition to various vegetables.
Harvest Natural Market
25600 Westheimer Parkway
Katy, Texas 77494
Harvest Natural Market is the secret of Houston’s suburbanites. There are two locations of this small grocery store. One is in Katy, and the other is south of The Woodlands. If you live near one of these stores, stop by for a local alternative to larger chain natural stores. The produce section features great-looking fruits and vegetables. The draw for many to this store is how many types of fruits are available, even hard to find items. If you cannot locate something, feel free to make a request. In addition to helping you to purchase some of the freshest fruit around, Harvest Natural Market also helps you to make the most of it by providing recipes for many of the fruits and vegetables found in the produce section. That’s a service you won’t be able to get from a farm.
Related: 3 Ways to Enjoy Summer Peaches
Phoenicia Specialty Foods
12141 Westheimer Road
Houston, Texas 77077
If fresh, exotic fruits are what you crave, you must travel to one of Houston’s largest specialty foods market, Phoenicia. The Westheimer location, which was the original, features 50,000 square feet of space with more than 10,000 products, including fresh fruits. Some of the unusual fruits you may be able to find, depending on season, include guavas, sour plums, kumquats, passion fruits, dates, figs, fresh pistachios, and much more. If you cannot get to the westside to the Westheimer location, there is a downtown outlet, though it has a smaller grocery and produce section, though the quality is just as high.
Wood Duck Farm
270 Pine Valley Road
Cleveland, Texas 77328
If you can’t get to the farm but still want the freshest fruits possible, consider signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), like the one with Wood Duck Farm. This CSA makes it more convenient than others because it has so many pickup locations and even home delivery in The Woodlands. The produce offered in the shares includes fruits and vegetables grown at Wood Duck Farm and in nearby areas, so you will know that you’re getting fresh, local fruits. Check out the harvest calendar to see what might be in your CSA box during a given month. For instance, you’re likely to see watermelon and cantaloupe in the summer, and citrus starting in October. Since Wood Duck Farm either grows or locally sources all the fruits and vegetables in its CSA shares, you can be assured of the freshness of the contents of your box.
11351 County Road 203
Plantersville, Texas 77363
Located in the appropriately named Plantersville, Jollisant Farm has numerous pick your own fruit and vegetable options, depending on the season. This is a great place to get fresh fruit because it’s not only a working farm for produce lovers but also an educational resource for your family. In addition to providing fresh fruits for you to pick, Jollisant Farm also has seasonal activities for the kids, including a year-round playground and autumn corn maze. Since you are picking the fruit, you can get the freshest, ready-to-eat produce possible. You may find cantaloupe and watermelon in the later summer, and berries in the spring and early summer. Aside from fresh vegetables and fruits, you can also purchase preserved fruits and jams at the store on the farm. It’s a great way to get fruit for now and some for later, too.