Frequently Asked Questions

When are you open?

April 18th -  May 18th

Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 10-5

Thursday Night Sunsets Begins May 15th - open 4P-9P on May 15 and May 22

May 23rd – August 24th

Open Monday-Saturday 9-6, Sundays 10-5
Thursdays open til 9:00PM

August 25th – November 1st
Open Daily 9-6  (open 8A-7P on 10/4, 11, and 18)

Thursday open 9A-9P through Sept 25

November 2nd – November 30th

Open Daily 9-5

December 5th – December 21st
Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 10-5


Can we come to Carter Mountain at other times?

Carter Mountain Orchard is a working farm, and is not open to the public other than during our posted public dates and hours.  Please respect our hours of operation and do not drive up the mountain outside these hours - it's trespassing.

When do apples (nectarines, peaches, etc) get ripe?

Please see our Fruit Availability Chart for general ripening dates. Remember that ripening dates can vary due to weather; please call or check the Today at the Orchard section on the homepage for current information.

We want to pick our own – what do we do when we get there?

Great!  Come on inside the barn and we will get you started.  Bring bags or baskets from home if you have them; otherwise, we will have plastic bags available.  We will let you know what is ripe, how to pick it, and where to pick!  Please respect our farm and only pick in the designated areas. When you finish picking, bring your fruit back to the barn – we will weigh it and charge you accordingly. You are responsible for paying for everything you pick; please keep this in mind, and please watch your children!

Can we bring our dog with us?

We love dogs too.  However, please keep in mind that there are often large crowds at Carter Mountain and some dogs may not do well around a lot of people.  Also, there are folks that aren't fond of dogs.  It's recommended that you leave your pets at home for the comfort and safety of all guests (and pets!).

Can we taste the fruit in the orchard?

If you must, you may sample one.  Keep in mind we always recommend washing your fruit before eating it.  Please do not be wasteful.

Can I just pick any fruit I see?

Not all varieties are ripe at the same time.  We carefully monitor the orchards and only open for picking the areas that have ripe fruit.  Our staff will direct you to the current picking areas – please respect our property and stay in these areas. To see our other farm policies, please click here.

Can I smoke while at the orchard?

Carter Mountain Orchard is a non-smoking, tobacco-free farm. Please do not smoke, chew tobacco, or use electronic cigarettes anywhere on our property.

Can I bring my own food and alcohol to your Thursday Night Sunset Series?

We are providing a free venue and music; please support us by purchasing food and drink from us.  Otherwise, we'll have to discontinue the events.  Our current ABC license does not allow for outside alcohol on our property.  Please do not bring food, coolers, or any alcohol on our private property.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and good ole cash.

What is the difference between a clingstone and a freestone peach?

Peaches and nectarines are either cling-stone (which means the fruit does not come away from the seed easily), semi-cling-stone (which means that some of the fruit will come away from the seed), or free-stone (which means the seed breaks away easily from the fruit). Generally, the earlier varieties are cling-stone. Many people like to use cling-stone peaches for pickling. For canning and freezing, most people prefer free-stone fruit, as it is much easier to work with. By late July and into August, all the varieties will be free-stone.

What is the best apple to use for a pie (or applesauce, or salad, etc)?

Please click here for our Apple Use Chart.

Can I freeze cider?

Cider freezes beautifully – just open the container, let about 1 cup out (to make room for expansion), re-cap, and put in the freezer. It will taste just the same when you bring it out to thaw! Stock up so you will have plenty for the holidays and the winter ahead.

Can we book a photography session at your orchard?

Please click here for our Photography Policy.

I'm interested in booking a private event with you. What do I do?

We are able to host private events such as weddings, reunions, picnics, etc. during certain times of year.  Please note, we are NOT available for private events from mid-September through October, as this is our busiest time of year!.  Please e-mail to inquire about booking a private event.

What is your connection with Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet?

Both Carter Mountain and Chiles Peach Orchard are owned and operated by the Chiles Family. You can pick strawberries, sweet cherries, peaches, apples, and pumpkins at Chiles Peach Orchard. Click here to learn more!

What do you do in the winter? Go to Hawaii??

Doesn’t that sound great? However, there is much to be done in the orchard in the non-harvest season! Each and every tree must be pruned for maximum production and tree performance. This process begins immediately after harvest and takes 3-4 months to complete. We also repair equipment and buildings. Once the fruit starts blooming, we carefully monitor the weather – if the forecast is for below-freezing temperatures, we must use frost-prevention methods. We will be up all night checking temperatures, running wind machines, using overhead irrigation, and many other procedures to protect our crops as best we can. After bloom, the trees must be thinned (mostly done by hand) so that the fruit will be of good size. New trees must be planted in the late winter and early spring. Finally, there are several conferences and meetings to attend, so that we stay current in the latest technology and industry trends. And before you know it, it’s harvest time again!


Check our Fruit Availability Chart to find out
when your favorite fruit is ripe!

Fruit Availability Chart

What's going on at Carter Mountain Orchard? Check out our Calendar of Events to find out.

Calendar of Events

1435 Carters Mountain Trail
Charlottesville, VA

Join Our Mailing List