Fruit is in danger once again

By: Stacia Strong Email
By: Stacia Strong Email

PALISADE, Colo. Thousands of people come to the Grand Valley every year for its famous peaches, apricots, grapes, and wine.

But the festivals and market’s which help to bring in millions of dollars in revenue are in jeopardy once again due to the freeze watches and warnings that blanket most of the area.

Carol Zadrozny, owner of Z Orchard, said it’s a guessing game when it comes to whether or not it will freeze, “we're going to wait and see. It's a waiting game, it's a big gamble, spring’s tough on fruit growers."

The only defenses growers have against the cold are wind machines, which bring the warmer air down to the fruit trees. However, if heavy winds keep up then they won’t be able to use the machines since the wind can break their motors.

"We have remote monitor's that set off alarms and network of growers that once it gets cold most of the other growers in the area are aware it's cold because they get a call," said Bruce Talbott from Talbott farms in Palisade.

Over the past few weeks several hard freezes and cold temperatures have threatened many types of fruit but apricots were hit the hardest and many farmers say they only have a hand-full of trees left with fruit on them.

Cherries are also seeing the harsh effects of the cold weather and farmers don’t expect to have many of them left after this week.

Only time will tell and the Visitor and Convention Bureau said they plan on keeping in touch with local farmers to know what fruit will be available to visitors as we head into the summer season.

"it’s our job at the at the VCB to make sure all the information is correct so we will need to promote what's available, when it's available, and where they can get it," said Mistalynn Meyerann from the Visitor’s Center.

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