Palisade Peach takes next step in bid to represent Colorado

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PALISADE, Colo. Colorado already has a couple dozen state symbols including the Blue Spruce as the official tree. and John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" as state song. But a Denver-based group is hoping to add a state fruit to the list and today the House voted on the issue.

Peach season is still a few months away, but western Colorado's most famous fruit was the topic of discussion at the Capitol today.

"This valley has been known for the last 100 years for its peaches, and into Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, they don't know much about what we do, but they do know about our peaches," said Bruce Talbott of Talbott Farms.

HB 14-1304 was proposed by a student-led campaign to name the Palisade peach as Colorado's official state fruit and was voted 10-1 in favor out of today's committee. It's a fitting proposal as about 75% of all fruit grown in Colarado are peaches.

"Potatoes max us out by eight or ten times in value, but peaches are one thing that people really remember, and Colorado does as well as anyone anywhere in the world."

And for western Colorado, that would bring a lot more pride and attention to the area, as leaders in peach production. Despite a tough period during December when temperatures dipped to dangerously cold levels, the upcoming season looks promising.

"Right now we have a full crop, we still have to get through the next 40 days until we know what we get to keep," Talbott said. "The weather patterns look good, i have every hope that we will keep that full crop. It will be the first one in a few years."

The next step for the bill will be in the House Appropriations Committee.

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