In 1938, H.L. Jones, known as Peach Orchard Jones, planted a peach orchard. His first crop was harvested 70 years ago, and he sold the fruit door to door. His peaches quickly garnered a tasty reputation, one that continues today as the second and third generations carry on the family business. (Related: How to Prune Peach Trees)
Located about 15 miles north of Memphis in Millington, Jones Orchard has blossomed into a multi-location enterprise, with their fruit sold at two farm markets, three farmers markets and a pick-your-own operation with a whopping 11,000 peach trees, along with strawberries in the spring and pumpkins in the fall.
Peach Orchard’s son, Lee, guides the fruit production. Lee’s wife, Juanita, runs the Jones Orchard Kitchen at the farm market on Highway 51 North, where she makes small batches of preserves – jelly, relish, salsa, chow-chow and more – from fruit grown on the farm, along with made-from-scratch baked goods, sandwiches and soups. Their son, Henry, and his wife, Dayna, are also involved with the operation, along with raising their four young children, who may one day continue the tradition started by their great-grandfather. (Related: Peach Recipes)
The pick-your-own operation on Big Creek Church Road is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the summer while the crops last. Visitors can also pick their own strawberries from April 20 to May 31, while peach season lasts from June to August. The Joneses grow both new and old kinds of peaches, including the Elberta, Georgia Belle and Redskin varieties they’ve offered for decades. “The older varieties are the most popular,” Henry says. “The original is always best.”
Enjoy a bite of peach cobbler or homemade ice cream at The Kitchen, which is open for lunch Monday through Friday and for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, or stop by the other farm market at 6850 Singleton Parkway for more baked goods, preserves and fresh produce.
You can also find Jones Orchard products in Memphis at the Agricenter Farmers Market from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; the Memphis Farmers Market from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays; and the Botanic Garden Farmers Market from 2-6 p.m. on Wednesdays. Learn more at www.jonesorchard.com or by calling (901) 873-3150.