Juicy Palisade peaches are now for sale at local fruit stands and farmer's markets, but as Brant Harrison of Kokopelli Farms explains, getting to that point wasn't easy, “We'll we had a freeze clear back in March, in fact at our other farm we had to light up our propane heaters six nights out of seven in March. Lost quite a bit of fruit up there but all together we're hoping for a 65%-70% crop.”
You would think that recent rainstorms in the valley would have helped this year's crop, but that's not the case for the organic peaches at Kokopelli Farms, “With the rains that we've been having, since they come at inopportune times and have been wet on the trees for quite some time we are having problems with Coryneum Blight, a disease that affects the peaches,” says Harrison.
Farmer Bob with Alida's Fruit had better luck, “The freeze damaged some of the orchards significantly in the valley, my personal orchards I have probably a 75%-80% crop, pretty normal year,” says Bob.
While the first round of peaches are tasty, the best could be yet to come, “The ones were picking right now are good, but they get so much better. Here in the next week or two every variety, the flavor gets more vibrant,” says Harrison.
It’s a good thing the weather this spring didn’t damage too much of this year’s crop, the Palisade Peach Festival is coming up in about a month; it runs august 13th through 16th.