Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
This is the time of year when farmers markets across the state start to really hit a peak in terms of availability of products at the market. Corn, watermelon, cantaloupes, peppers, tomatoes, greens, blackberries and peaches are among the offerings. It looks to be a good year for North Carolina’s peach crop, but you can judge for yourself by picking some up where you shop!
Summary of talking points:
One of the things I love about summertime is the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season this time of year.
Farmers markets really start to hit their peak. You can find lots in season, including corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers, tomatoes, greens, blackberries and peaches.
I encourage you to look for local products wherever you shop. You can definitely taste the freshness of these products.
Like clockwork, we are now seeing both freestone and clingstone peaches at the market, which gives consumers options.
Freestone varieties usually start arriving at the beginning of July.
I am told it looks like it will be a good season for peaches, and shoppers should be able to find plenty through Labor Day.
Peach production contributes around $7 million to the economy from 1,200 acres. North Carolina is the 7th largest producer of peaches in the United States.
North Carolina farmers grow more than two dozen varieties of peaches, and each has distinct flavors and fans.
One of the results of COVID-19, is that markets have had to discontinue sampling of products.
I recommend you talk with the farmer or seller about any varieties you are interested in. They can usually tell you about the flavor and juiciness of certain varieties in light of not being able to sample one.
You might also tell them how you plan to use the peaches and how soon you plan to use them. They can help make sure you get the right peaches for a cobbler or ice cream for example.
The majority of peaches are grown in the Sandhills of the state, but interestingly, you can find peach orchards in two-thirds of the state’s counties, which means most consumers should be able to find local peaches in season. You can find a local orchard by going to www.buyncpeaches.com.