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North Carolina Peaches

Cultivation of peaches began in China as early as 200 B.C. By the mid-1700s, peaches were so plentiful in the United States that botanists thought of them as native fruits. Today, sweet, juicy peaches in North Carolina are the symbol of summertime. North Carolina’s peach industry is unique in that it sells 90 percent of its crop on the fresh market, direct to the consumer just days from being picked ripe off the tree. Tree-ripened peaches are what make this great North Carolina commodity so special. These fresh market, tree ripened peaches are usually sweeter than the commercial product shipped and sold from surrounding states;  that’s what makes North Carolina peaches truly the “taste of summer.”

In 2014, North Carolina produced 4,380 tons of peaches totaling $5.9 million in value to the state’s economy. With 1,100 acres of peaches grown in the state, the peach industry in North Carolina may not be the biggest but it sure is one of the best.

So enjoy the taste of summer, and find local, tree-ripened North Carolina peaches at roadside stands, farmers markets and retail outlets near you.

NC peaches are available from around the end of May through August. For information on how to find them, how to pick and store them, just check out the information below. Also be sure to mark your calendar for peach-related events: the NCDA&CS Regional Farmers Markets Peach Event Days and the Candor Peach Festival! The schedule is below. Come out and help us celebrate the “taste of summer.”

More information about North Carolina’s peach industry is available on the N.C. Peach Growers Society’s website at

North Carolina peaches

  • North Carolina peaches are one of the best things about summer.
  • North Carolina peaches are available for just a short time - from around the first of June, through most of August.
  • North Carolina peaches are delicious as a snack or in a dessert. They’re bursting with flavor!
  • Summer just wouldn’t be the same without the sweet taste of North Carolina peaches.

Our State Peach Recipe Collection
Enjoy this collection of reader-submitted recipes that include fresh North Carolina peaches!  The Collection is presented exclusively by Our State and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 
Click here to download the booklet

2015 Peach Days at the market:

Free Peach Ice Cream
Fresh NC Peaches Available on the Markets!
Recipe Brochures, Nutritional Facts and Much More!
July 9, 2015
11 am to 1 pm
Peach Dessert Contest

July 17, 2015
11 am to 1 pm
Peach Dessert Contest

July 24, 2015
11 am to 1 pm

Peach Festival
Candor, NC
July 18, 2015
10 am to 5 pm


When Picking, handle fruit carefully because peaches bruise very easily and decay develops rapidly.

When Selecting, look for peaches with a creamy to gold undercolor that best indicates ripeness. The amount of red blush on fruit depends on the variety and is not always a sign of ripeness. Two other indicators of ripeness are a well-defined crease and a good fragrance. Select fruit that has begun to soften for immediate use. Firm, ripe fruit can be held a few days at room temperature to ripen further. Never pick peaches with a green undercolor since they will not ripen well. They will shrivel, become flabby and never achieve a good flavor.

When Storing, peaches should be held at 32-35°F in high humidity. Fully ripened peaches should be refrigerated immediately and kept there until ready for consumption. Sound and mature, but not overripe, peaches can be expected to hold 1-2 weeks at 32-35° F with little adverse effects. Peaches deteriorate rapidly when stored for longer periods.

When Ripening, a room temperature of 65-70°F is best for mature peaches. There is no gain in sugar content once a peach is picked from a tree. Its ripening process consists primarily of softening, developing juiciness, and developing flavor. So the riper a peach is at harvest, the more sugar it will contain. Remember, once a mature peach begins to ripen, it never stops; but you can slow the rate of ripening by storing it in low temperatures.

When Preparing, wash peaches gently, peel, and remove pits. Handle carefully to avoid bruising. To peel a peach, dip it in boiling water for 30 seconds, then in cold water. The peel should slide off easily. To keep sliced peaches from darkening, dip in lemon juice or ascorbic acid.


A medium-sized fresh peach is full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, and beta carotene. Peaches are also low in calories, fat-free, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free.

Serving Size 1 Medium Peach
Calories 40
Protein 0.6g
Carbohydrates 10g
Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 0mg
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
Vitamin A 47RE



NCDA&CS Markets Division, Joe Sanderson, Director
Mailing Address: 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1020
Physical Address: 2 W. Edenton Street, Room 402, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3100; FAX: (919) 733-0999