DENVER (KDVR) — Starting next week, Palisade peaches should start popping up in more grocery stores and farmers markets along the Front Range.
Peach growers are feeling more optimistic about a healthy harvest this year after dealing with a less than ideal growing situation last season.
In fact, farmers out in Palisade on Colorado’s Western Slope started picking “Rising Star” and “Garnet Beauty” peaches this week.
They’re some of the earliest varieties we’ll see here in metro-area markets.
While this season is by no means perfect, it’s definitely a step up from 2020.
Last year, peach farmers dealt with a severe frost in the valley, leaving them incredibly light on fruit.
They only came through with about 25% to 30% of a crop.
Right now, the Western Slope, which includes Mesa County, is in a drought.
It’s hot out there, but farmers say they have plenty of water available for this season.
While wildfire flare-ups have presented some concern, folks who grow peaches say they’re remaining hopeful.
“It looks to be a good year. There are some areas within the valley that might be a little lighter. We had a winter or October event last year that did a little damage to some of the produce and some fruit. But overall, I would say this crop is 80-90% of a peach crop in the valley,” said Dennis Clark with Clark Orchards in Palisade.
Overall, Clark figures the peach crop is at 80%-90% this season.
As for what you can expect to pay this season for Palisade peaches, farmers tell the Problem Solvers it will roughly be the same as last season’s prices, perhaps a fraction higher.