Levering Orchard
Recreation > Historical/Museums > Levering Orchard

163 Levering Lane
Ararat, VA 24053

CherryLevering Orchard was primarily an apple orchard until the 1970s when Sam Levering had a major insight -- the several cherry trees planted near his and Miriam's home drew flocks of pick-your-own customers just as surely as the multitudes of hungry birds. There were never enough cherries to meet demand. So, despite the conventional wisdom that cherries couldn't be grown commercially in this region, in 1972, Sam boldly pushed out a large block of apple trees and went into the cherry business in a big way. Sam's risky experiment turned out to be the then-floundering orchard's salvation. Today Levering Orchard's primary crop is cherries.

On a good season, the cherries start as early as late May and can extend to the Fourth of July and sometimes beyond. Almost 30 years after Sam's planting, Levering Orchard claims the title as the largest cherry orchard in the South and draws customers from as far as Washington DC and Atlanta to pick its 43 varieties of sweet and sour cherries. As Deane Kern wrote for a recent issue of Blue Ridge Country magazine, "Every June, Levering Orchard welcomes more than 20,000 visitors from the Blue Ridge and beyond.... Frank always encourages visitors to bring picnic lunches and take time to savor the clear mountain breezes and breathtaking scenic views. He declares that his delicious fruit cannot be found in grocery stores at even twice the price."

The orchard maintains its ties with the past and continues to have a smaller operation with peaches, nectarines and pears in July and August and apples in the fall. Tour buses, church and school groups are also welcome and if you can catch Frank or Wanda, they're happy to give tours!

View Map and Driving Directions

Cherry Hotline: (276) 755-4837

Email: franklevering@simplelivingtv.net

Website: http://leveringorchard.com/

 

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