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The Cold Weather Is ‘Just Peachy’ For Hill Country’s Peach Growers

Jamey Vogel
Hill Country Fruit Growers

It is expected to be a prolific season for Texas Hill Country peaches, thanks to some ideal weather conditions this winter.  

Jamey Vogel, president of the Hill Country Fruit Council, said that the late cold weather has been good for Texas peaches. “We have had really good chilling hours this winter, which is really important for the buds to break out of dormancy, which they’re doing now,” he said.

Vogel said the last couple of cold snaps stopped premature blooms from bursting forth. That however, saved the peach crop this year and provided the trees with enough freezing days to create a plentiful crop. “We plant varieties in this area that generally need somewhere between 650 and 900 chilling hours, and this year, I think we’re over 1,000, maybe even 1,100 hours,” said Vogel. Now he’s hoping for just the right amount of rain for the rest of the season, to make the peaches sweeter.

Vogel said Hill Country peaches are not as readily available in large grocery stores as they once were, and the easiest way to get yours is to drive up to the orchards. “That’s the best way. We don’t really grow many commercially in this area anymore because our crop is not consistent enough to keep the big grocery stores happy. And it’s better anyway to come up because you can get them fresher by buying direct from the grower,” he said. 

The peaches will be ready in late May or early June to the end of July.

Find more at http://www.texaspeaches.com/index.htm

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.