Peachy bounty celebrated at Outlook Farm

The Daily Hampshire Gazette, August 20, 2017, by Emily Cutts

WESTHAMPTON — The peach harvest last year was little to speak of, but everyone was talking Sunday at Outlook Farm.

The already-plentiful bounty was celebrated with music, laughter and food during the Main Road farm’s annual Peach Festival.

“It’s in midseaon, full-blown, zillions of peaches to pick,” said Brad Morse, the farm’s owner.

As of 1 p.m., Morse said 400 pounds of peaches had been sold.

That was a far cry from last year, when the farm wasn’t able to sell their own peaches.

“Last year, we didn’t have any crop so it was just a bummer to sell someone else’s peaches,” owner Erin Morse said.

The northeast’s peach crop was decimated by sub-zero temperatures in mid-February 2016. At that time, one fruit tree expert described it as the Valentine’s Day massacre of the peach blooms.

“People were heartbroken last year,” Brad Morse said.

This year’s crop is doing peachy by comparison. Although rains are causing a little bit of a problem, Morse said, they were still expecting a “big, full season.”

Sitting in the shade of one of the barn buildings, Westhampon resident Jasmine Gomez enjoyed the day with a flight of beer and wine with her friends. Living down the road from the farm, Gomez, 29, said she buys most of her produce at the farm.

In addition to a variety of produce, Outlook Farm also boasts a brewery and winery with handcrafted wines from fruit grown on the farm.

“The peach wine is a big seller,” said Jeff Morse, who runs the wine and beer business. “I might have to bottle a little more.”

For Easthampton resident Rose Lynch and her family, spending some time on the farm was a great way to pass a Sunday afternoon.

A former farm worker herself, Lynch said she was happy one of her favorites was back in season.

“Coming from last year with zero peaches, this year is just awesome,” Lynch said.

Even for those who don’t go wild for peaches, Sunday’s festival was the place to be.

Holyoke resident Joe Macsisak came to the farm with his 8-month-old daughter Brooklyn. After working on a peach farm himself, Macsisak said he was not a fan but came for the beer and food.

“I love this place,” he said.

Sunday was the first time Cc Major, 26, and Nia Ross, 24, had been to the farm. The pair, from Northampton and Holyoke, respectively, let their love for peaches guide them.

“What’s not to love?” Major asked. “They are such precious little babes.”

When asked about her favorite way to eat them, Major responded “like a wild animal.”

“Just dripping down the arms,” she said. “I’m too impatient to do that cooking. Just straight to the face.”