Pickin’ Peaches at Pickett’s Harbor Farms: Get ‘Em Now!
By SARAH GOLIBART
Cape Charles Wave
August 9, 2013
With a large gleaming peach in each hand, Tammie Nottingham stands regally in her orchard on Pickett’s Harbor Farms just south of the Town of Cape Charles. With tears in her eyes but a smile that never seems to leave her face, she admires her peach trees as she tells the girls that pick for her to “sculpt the baskets” and “have fun” in the orchard that she and her husband, W.T., planted 13 years ago.
Tammie began picking peaches when she was 10 years old in South Carolina. From around 1990 until about five years ago, she picked the entire peach orchard at Pickett’s Harbor. By that time the farm’s bounty exceeded even her veteran picking abilities.
“It all happened by word of mouth,” explained Tammie. Her first helper was a local, Christine Tankard, and over the years more have signed on to help harvest. There are 500-600 peach trees in the orchard, with more than 10 varieties that begin ripening in early summer and last until the first week of September.
“Five years ago, we moved from the corner of my porch and my kitchen to the farm shed,” Tammie noted. That’s where they now sell all their locally grown produce including tomatoes, watermelon, blackberries, and cantaloupe, to name a few.
Tammie, however, does not take credit for the farm’s success. “I would like to give the glory to my husband W.T.” she said. “He takes care of everything on this farm.”
“Both W.T.’s and my family are generational here on the Shore,” Tammie continued. “We’ve been here since people first came here.” She went on to relate that both her and W.T.’s families can be traced back to Martha Custis Washington. She and W.T. are the fifth generation of Nottinghams to work the farm, with their son Josh Nottingham being the sixth and granddaughter Carlee Parker the seventh.
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The farm keeps the family busy, so trips into the Town of Cape Charles are infrequent. But Tammie expressed appreciation on behalf of the Nottingham family for the support of local restaurants including Aqua, Cape Charles Coffee House, Kelly’s Gingernut Pub, and the Shanty – all of which serve fresh Pickett’s Harbor Farms produce.
The first two weeks of August are the height of the season for most varieties of peaches, and Pickett’s Harbor Farms has peaches for eating, baking, freezing, or canning that should best be purchased now before the harvest begins to taper off. Tammie and her family welcome everyone to come on down to Pickett’s Harbor – and hopefully, buy some peaches.