163 Levering Lane
Ararat, VA 24053
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
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!
Map and Driving Directions
Cherry Hotline: (276) 755-4837