Destination Chesco: Highland Orchards

Highland Orchards
Sandwiched between Downingtown and West Chester off of Marshallton Thorndale Road, and over 200 acres in size, Highland Orchards offers produce market, year-round orchard and a small petting zoo (Image via Rachel Stevenson)

By Rachel Stevenson

August is the most delicious time of year. From ripe red tomatoes growing in my garden to sweet corn and watermelon at the farmer’s market to peppers and yellow squash delivered by our local CSA, I can’t think of a better time of year to enjoy nature’s bounty.

This weekend, on a mission to find the perfect peaches and sweet corn for a Saturday evening barbeque, my wife Fay and I drove to Highland Orchards.

Sandwiched between Downingtown and West Chester, PA off of Marshallton Thorndale Road, and over 200 acres in size, Highland Orchards offers more than a produce market and year-round orchard.

Open daily, Highland Orchards features a farm, market, and bakery and provides retail, wholesale and pick-your-own purchasing options. They also offer family-friendly activities year round.

As usual, I had my camera in tow and wandered around the market looking for photo treasures as Fay picked corn and peaches for dinner.

We spoke with the staff about the market and facility. They insisted that we try their apple cider donuts, visit the goats, and grab a snack at the deli next door. While the donut sounded tempting, my gluten-free diet saved me from a newfound addiction and I opted for a photo instead.

After Fay grabbed what we needed for dinner, we placed our groceries in the car and headed across the street to visit the pick-your-own farm. We were told that we couldn’t pick without our picker’s permit, which visitors can register for on the Highland Orchards website, but we enjoyed the view.

Covered by green netting, the pick-your-own-farm featured blackberries, peaches, and sweet corn. Rows of produce rolled up and down the farmland hills.

I imagined what it would look like during Fall filled with apples and pumpkins. After all, Highland Orchards is the best place for apple picking and hayrides.

Before heading home, we visited the animal farm where kids fed and petted the goats. I learned through observation that goats like to cuddle!

Two groups of goats, varying in size and color, rested atop reclaimed wooden cable spools. It amazed me that while the majority of the goats slept, shaded by the trees, each group of goats included at least one or two that hovered in protection.

We watched a little girl dressed in pink feed a black and white kid (baby goat), then run to her mom in triumph. Her mom sat in the neighboring playground near the old metal seesaw, next to four large tractor tires and a wooden swing set.

If you are looking for year-round family outdoor fun, take a trip to Highland Orchards. You can grocery shop and entertain the kids all at the same time.

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