The much-anticipated Palisade peach crop is not looking so peachy this year. Weather conditions back in April hurt the iconic crop.
“The Colorado Department of Agriculture estimated that there will be a 95 percent loss in Colorado peach production,” said Michele Ritchie, Local Food Systems program coordinator for Colorado State University (CSU) Extension. “That was due to the freezing weather in April.”
That means supplies are very limited. But the good news is that some will be available, along with ways to get them.
One is by preordering them through Ritchie’s office. However, there’s a wait list. People began signing up awhile back, quickly reaching the amount allotted by the farmer she was working with.
“However, there is a chance he can supply more once he starts harvesting,” Ritchie said. “So, I have a wait list … in the hopes that the farmer will be able to release additional peaches to me.”
Visit tinyurl.com/y7sfw6mz to get on the list.
Another place to try and get your hands on the precious Palisade peaches is Taste of Life, Natural Market and Prepared Meals, in Monument.
At her website, owner Donna Poelstra writes that she gets freestone peaches from Glenn Austin, “who has been farming in the Paonia/Palisade area for decades.” The peaches are not certified organic, but they “have never been sprayed with pesticides.”
You can place orders for a 20- to 22-pound box for $45 or a 10- to 11-pound box for $25. All orders must be prepaid; the pickup date (which will be announced later) will be around the third week of August. Visit tasteoflifestores.com/peaches.
Of course, you’ll see Colorado peaches at farmers markets, too. Smith Family Farm farmers market, 8310 Blue Gill Drive in Falcon, has some for $2.69 a pound.
In the Springs, Susan Spenser, with the family-owned Spencer’s Lawn and Garden Center, 1430 S. Tejon St., said, “We have three farmers who will have a limited amount of peaches this year. They will have about 50 percent of their crop. We are going over to the Western Slope July 19 and hope to have the short supply of peaches July 24 to 25.”
So, if you do manage to score some peaches, what do you do with them? The Extension Service is offering “Preserve the Season: Peach Class” on Aug. 24. It covers various ways of preserving peaches — such as canning, freezing and dehydrating them — as well as cooking them. For $10, you will be able to download the class presentation and a recipe booklet. The class will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. Visit tinyurl.com/ybrxsr2y to register.
Contact the writer: 636-0271.