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They're all gone...


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The Easter freeze has killed off practically all of South Carolina's peaches and other tree fruit. And Georgia's, Tennessee's, N Carolina's, Alabama's and Virginia's fruit too. I am sooo depressed. The highlight of my culinary year is the arrival of peach season. The peaches are followed by plums, nectarines, apples, figs and apricots but we will be lucky to see 10 to 20 % of the typical harvest.

I can't believe this. It may be June of 2008 before there is enough peaches to go around.

I need to go and smoke some pork ribs to console myself.....

John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

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This is bad news indeed as I particularly look forward to these peaches in the summer.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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John,

I heard this when I was driving and was so shaken it nearly caused dire results! We will likely have peaches (although we've had cold enough weather to adversely affect, if not destroy, our crop here) but I'm unaware of anyone growing any of the other stone fruits.

It will be a rather sad season for lack of them. Ribs are an interesting substitute . . . after you smoke them do you put them in a cobbler or a buckle or ? :wink:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Does anyone know if New Jersey and/or Pennsylvania fruit has been affected?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I haven't heard from the Southwest Georgia peach farmer's yet, but the central Georgia Farmers are singing the blues.

Sad. I do look forward to a spring drive up every year, and a case back home with me.

About five years ago, it seems they set well then late Spring hail took the fruit out. Mother Nature. I guess she makes sure we don't take anything for granted.

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Don't forget about the farm workers. We went through Peach County (Georgia) last year during peach season - and saw hundreds of workers (mostly Mexican). I can go without peaches more easily than they can go without work. Robyn

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<sadness>

I am consoling myself with the flat of strawberries I picked up at the farmers' market yesterday.

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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As of last Friday the South Carolina Peach Council estimates crop losses of 90 to 95 percent. I cannot stand the thought of having to wait another 14 months before I can savor a South Carolina Peach. The scary part is the possiblity of several peach farmers throwing up their hands and selling their orchards over to a developer.

My 2 favorite apple orchards in western North Carolina are finished off as well.

The only good news seems to be from the blueberry guys and the strawberry fields. We may have 25% of the estimated blueberry crop which is better than nothing and strawberries are rebounding quickly.

I sure hope that the peach & apple guys have proper insurance to get through this year. The Blueberry & balckberry guys typically have small patches of land but in order to farm tree fruit you really need a bunch of land which means greater exposure to financial stress.

I think this may be worse than California's spring of 2006 because the peach orchards are small, family owned operations whereas CA has lots of corporate money involved in farming. Just my opinion though.

I cannot imagine what I would do if tomorrow I had absolutely no product to sell to my customers and I had to wait a full year until that product was coming back.

John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

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I would hope that the effected farmers have more variety than a single crop to bring to harvest and sell, although few would have the cache in that particular region that peaches have. The problems in the south may prove to be a boon for farmers in other areas like California as peach prices are likely to be high.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I would hope that the effected farmers have more variety than a single crop to bring to harvest and sell, although few would have the cache in that particular region that peaches have. The problems in the south may prove to be a boon for farmers in other areas like California as peach prices are likely to be high.

The peach place we went to in Peach County (very large place) had 3 crops - peaches - strawberries - and pecans - different seasons. The biggest problem IMO will be the thousands of Mexican farm workers who will be out of work. I don't think Georgia is prepared to take care of them.

The peaches from the southeast come here in Florida at times different than those from California - the ones from from the southeast in the early summer - those from Californiia in the late summer. The seasons are just totally different. Robyn

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I would hope that the effected farmers have more variety than a single crop to bring to harvest and sell, although few would have the cache in that particular region that peaches have. The problems in the south may prove to be a boon for farmers in other areas like California as peach prices are likely to be high.

The peach place we went to in Peach County (very large place) had 3 crops - peaches - strawberries - and pecans - different seasons. The biggest problem IMO will be the thousands of Mexican farm workers who will be out of work. I don't think Georgia is prepared to take care of them.

The peaches from the southeast come here in Florida at times different than those from California - the ones from from the southeast in the early summer - those from Californiia in the late summer. The seasons are just totally different. Robyn

My experience in northeastern NY is that California peaches are around throughout the summer with Southern peaches arriving in mid-July and extending through mid-August at which time Northern peaches are available.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Hmmmm. I'm going to have to make sure to spray and otherwise take care of the peach tree in my yard... Here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the trees haven't begun to flower yet because of the cold snap... the magnolia even survived because it had not opened up yet by the time the nights got below freezing. A very late spring indeed.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Does anyone know if New Jersey and/or Pennsylvania fruit has been affected?

Statistics put out this week by Pennsylvania would seem to indicate we're okay. The blooming is late this year (as noted by cdh), so that means the would-be fruit wasn't harmed. The Ag Agent for Gloucester County NJ (the state's largest peach producing county) says there was very little damage due to the cold. Blooming is later than last year, but it's pretty much on a par with the average of recent years, so unless something else happens it should be a good year for Jersey peaches and other stone fruits. Given the state of the crop down south, the Jersey orchardists should be getting a pretty penny for their output this year.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Kathy Purvis of the Charlotte Observer had an article discussing the effects of the cold weather on North Carolina's growing wine industry: Click here for the article

Agriculture agents in grape-growing counties, particularly around the Yadkin Valley, report heavy losses in white-wine grapes such as chardonnay, pinot gris, viognier and riesling. Those vines break into buds early, and warm temperatures before the freeze pushed them as much as two weeks ahead.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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  • 2 months later...

We're getting South Carolina peaches around here. I've seen absolutely zero NC peaches. It's quite depressing, but I'm happy that we have some of my favorite fruit. Blueberries haven't been a problem around here.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Just found out today that 100% of the blueberry crop at the farm we went picking at last year was lost during the Easter frost....what a bummer.

-Mike

our blue berries are just beginning to ripen. I went and chased a cardinal off one of the bushes yesterday and there were almost a dozen just about ready to go. It seems awfully late this year but I suppose w/ the late frost and the drought I should be happy to be fighting the birds for what I have.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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I have not seen any peaches at the farmer's market yet (I hit the Saturday Durham market). I have seen "local peaches" at the Earth Fare, not sure if NC or SC. They were mighty fine, however, and wonderfully fragrant - a little bruised, but I'll take flavor + bruising over no-flavor + no-bruising.

The blackberries have been phenomenal. I've eaten 3 pints since Saturday. <urf>

Edited by viva (log)

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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The peaches I bought were the so-called "ice cream peaches." Those are the ones that have a bruise or two and are fully ripe. If these were the regular peaches, it would have cost me over $30. Because of their condition, these peaches cost me $5. I love a bargain. And boy, were they fantastic!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Yeah, I bought five "local" peaches on Saturday at Earth Fare and they were gone by Sunday afternoon. They were definitely cheaper than their other "organic" or "donut" or whathaveyou peaches. If I've got juice running down my chin while eating a peach, that's a good sign. I'll have to go back and see where they're from. I might just do that tonight.

Edit: They're from SC. Monetta, SC. I don't know that I'd call 270 miles away "local" - but they're good nonetheless. And, I might add, only $1.49/lb.

Edited by viva (log)

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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The peaches I bought were the so-called "ice cream peaches."  Those are the ones that have a bruise or two and are fully ripe.  If these were the regular peaches, it would have cost me over $30.  Because of their condition, these peaches cost me $5.  I love a bargain.  And boy, were they fantastic!

It's kind of a really long trip for you - but people in the Atlanta area might try Lane Packing Co. in Peach County Georgia (about an hour south of Atlanta). It's a grower - but it also has a restaurant - a gift shop full of peaches and peach things - and a packing plant (which you can tour when it's open - interesting operation). It is not exactly quaint - or undiscovered - but it does have plenty of peaches (everything from the ice cream peaches you mentioned to the kind you pack very very carefully :smile: ). I'd call ahead and check to see how peach season is doing there now (I think it's kind of a bit late for peaches in Georgia). Our growing season is now over (too hot) - except for basil. Robyn

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