Growers only fashionably late with bumper crop of peaches

They may be a little late, but at least they’ll be plentiful.

Farmers at the downtown Palisade Sunday Market said certain peach varieties are one to three weeks behind because of chilly weather this spring. Early varieties are already for sale, and farmers, including Z’s Orchards owner Carol Zadrozny, said there will be plenty of juicy peaches to choose from in time for the Palisade Peach Festival on Aug. 18-21.

“We’ve had 13 years of bumper crops,” Zadrozny said. “I’ve talked to some growers and they’ve said there are plenty of peaches.”

Recent rain and humidity at Z’s, 315 33 3/4 Road, haven’t changed the timing of this year’s crop, she said, because the rain was balanced with hot days. But frost this spring delayed some varieties of peaches two to three weeks, said Zadrozny’s husband, Richard Skaer. The couple had to run wind machines for nine nights this spring. They didn’t run the machines at all in spring 2010.

Cloudy and wet weather this spring delayed Steven Sherer’s peaches by 10 days, he said. The owner of Aloha Organic Fruit at 3525 G Road said six or seven hot days in a row can help an orchard get back on schedule, so a delay may not be inevitable for all varieties.

Sherer said he, too, has a bumper crop this year.

“Last year I didn’t have nearly as many peaches as this year,” he said.

This is a good year for lettuce, cabbage and peaches, according to Emily Resick, an intern at Rancho Durazno, 3938 G 2/10 Road. Some produce, including peppers and tomatoes, are late, but at least they survived. The same cannot be said for some cherry and apricot harvests, according to Resick.

“We lost about a third of the cherries we expected to have,” she said, adding, “Last year was awesome for apricots but we barely got to try them this year. They were all taken to market.”


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