FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JULY 2, 2009
Kevin Hardison, marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
It's shaping up to be a peach of a season
RALEIGH -- Peach growers are predicting it could be a peach of a season, thanks to Mother Nature.
"Because of warm weather and ample rains, peach growers are looking forward to a banner year," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "Peach lovers can find many varieties of peaches this time of year at farmers markets, roadside stands and grocery stores. Be sure to pick some up to enjoy during your Fourth of July holiday events."
North Carolina's peach season runs from the end of May through September. More than 70 different varieties are grown in the state, some bearing names of towns in North Carolina's peach-growing belt - including Biscoe, Candor, Troy and Ellerbe. Freestone peaches, ones that separate easily from their pits, are starting to come off now, joining the clingstone peaches already on the market.
"The timing of the warm weather has been almost ideal," said Kevin Hardison, marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "The heat is helping concentrate the sugar in the peaches, likely making for extra-sweet fruit."
To celebrate the peach-growing season, the following events are planned across the state:
- July 10 - Peach Day at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, Colfax, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.;
- July 18 - Peach Festival, Candor, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.;
- July 23 - Peach Day and Peach Recipe Contest at the State Farmers Market, Raleigh, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.;
- July 25 - Peach Day at the Southeastern N.C. Farmers Market, Lumberton, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
For additional recipe contest information, nutritional facts, recipes and tips for selecting, handling and preparing peaches, go to www.ncpeach.com.