RALEIGH – July is Peach Month in North Carolina, and one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting a great peach is to buy directly from growers at orchards, roadside stands and farmers markets.
“Unlike in other states, the vast majority of North Carolina peaches are sold directly to consumers within a few days of harvesting,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Buying peaches that soon after harvest ensures you are getting a quality, tree-ripened peach that has had time to mature and is full of flavor.”
North Carolina growers produce as many as 70 different varieties, each with its own unique flavor. In 2014, North Carolina produced 4,380 tons of peaches on 1,100 acres. Although the Sandhills region is known for peach production, consumers can find growers across the state. Mid-season and late-season varieties should be available in most areas through August.
Consumers can find peach growers near them by using www.ncfarmfresh.com, an online directory of farms, roadside stands and farmers markets. In addition to visiting a farm, peach lovers can take part in the following special events planned in July to celebrate the season:
July 9 – Peach Day at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh;
July 17 – Peach Day at the Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax;
July 18 – N.C. Peach Festival in Candor;
July 24 – Peach Day at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Charlotte.