Palisade is known around the country for its peaches, but just because they're grown and sold at home doesn't mean you'll want to hold off on buying them. Procrastination could lead you to miss out on the summer's hottest fruit.
Local growers say there are between 80 and 125 different varieties of peaches grown in the Valley each year. That's great news if you're a fan of any and all peaches, but if there's a specific type you enjoy more than others every year, you'll want to snatch them up now. That’s because chances are they won't be around next week.
Peach trees are only picked for one to two weeks. That means once they're gone and sold off, they're done for the year and it's on to the next variety.
The good news is many peach farmers around the Valley grow multiple types of peaches, and different varieties are harvested at different times of the year, perfect for the farmer and the customer.
"By spreading out your season, you pick all summer, you can utilize your help more, and it doesn't take as much help at one time. You have more of a selection for your customers, it makes it easier to market them, and you don't flood the market all at one time with your produce," Alida Fruits’ Robert “Farmer Bob” Helmer said of growing a variety of peaches.
This week, people at the farmer's market will be seeing cling-on peach varieties. They're a bit smaller and the fruit clings to the seed but they're great for eating. If you wait a couple of weeks, you'll have free stone peaches. Those peaches are popular for canning.
Farmers also say the longer you wait, the bigger and juicer the peaches get.
Helmer says last year the peach season ran to the end of September, but if you wait that long this year, chances are you'll miss out completely and be disappointed.
Peaches came two to three weeks early this year. That's compared to peaches last year that were about two to three weeks late.