July 1, 2014
Virginians looking for the perfect peach to sweeten their summer won’t have to wait much longer.
According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), the state’s peach season has started with the first early varieties.
Although there may be slightly fewer early peaches due to the very cold winter season, growers are expecting a great crop starting in mid-July. In Central Virginia, growers report that weather conditions have been a little dry, which is perfect for bringing out the fruit’s sugar to develop a sweet-tasting peach. An abundant supply of peaches is expected through early September.
Peach fans are encouraged to visit VirginiaGrown.com to locate pick-your-own orchards and markets selling tree-ripened Virginia peaches. Many neighborhood markets, grocery stores and supermarkets also offer Virginia Grown peaches.
According to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture, Virginia has 244 peach farms with a total 1,375 bearing-age acres. In 2012, Virginia produced 6,500 tons of peaches valued at almost $6 million.