I was just reminded that this month is National Peach month by a great article written by UF/IFAS Extension’s own Christine Kelly-Begazo in the TCPalm Newspaper (http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/aug/15/august-is-national-peach-month-enjoy-florida-peach/).
The largest peach that was ever grown weighed in at 25.6 ounces and was produced in Coloma, Michigan! The designation of August as National Peach month coincides with the largest production of peaches in the United States coming from both the east coast and the west coast.
Florida kicks everything off in late March and early April from orchards as far south as the Immokalee area. Many of the grocery stores have made room for our flavorful, tree-ripe product and promote “Fresh from Florida“. Some have even featured growers in the state on their marketing, which is very refreshing to see. We get to see the growers that work hard every day to bring a premium product to the marketplace and creates a connection between the consumer and producer.
As we increase the acreage and production of Florida peaches, we are seeing more product throughout Southeastern grocery stores. There has been fantastic response to the product, with consumers realizing fruit quality and flavor is as important as size and appearance. Research conducted by the National Peach Council found that if a consumer has a bad eating experience it takes about 2 weeks for them to try peaches again. Coincidentally, a new variety has probably rotated in by that point with differing fruit characteristics.
We all need to let consumers know that peaches from the U.S. are available in April, and they are from Florida!