Jun 30, 2023
New Jersey kicks off peach season

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher visited Larchmont Farms in Salem County to highlight the state’s peach harvest.

The June 29 visit coincided with the start of the season, and was Fisher’s last official farm visit as agriculture secretary, just before his June 30 retirement.

“The New Jersey peach industry is having a great crop this year and we encourage people to ask for this fabulous fruit at their favorite farm stand, farm market or supermarket,” Fisher said, according to a news release. “When you buy Jersey Fresh you are showing your support of our farmers in the Garden State.”

New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher, right, meets with Larchmont Farms co-owner Charles Haines to highlight the start of the NJ peach season. Photo courtesy of NJ Department of Agriculture.

Larchmont Farms is a 12th-generation farm owned by Tom Dunn and Charles and Keith Haines, growing more than 800 acres of peaches and other fruit in Upper Pittsgrove. Larchmont Farms runs its entire operation on solar power and all of its fruit is packed in boxes made from 100% recycled paper.

“The season is off to a great start, and we are anticipating an outstanding year,” Charles Haines said, according to the release. “The weather we have had so far has been what we need. We take great pride in the steps we’ve taken in making our operation environmentally friendly and plan to continue a family business that started in colonial times.”

New Jersey is one of the nation’s top growers of peaches, ranking in the top five in production most years, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Producers annually harvest approximately 60 million pounds with a wholesale value of about $35 million on nearly 4,000 acres.

New Jersey’s peach crop is sold to the fresh market via supermarkets, farm markets, specialty produce stores, U-pick operations and community farmers markets. Jersey peaches are shipped all over the Eastern U.S. and Eastern Canada.

According to the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, yellow flesh comprises 90% of Jersey peaches, white flesh makes up 4%, yellow and white flesh nectarines are 6%, and the newer doughnut, or flat peaches, make up less than 1%.

The first peach variety of New Jersey’s season is Sentry, followed by Gala, Flavorcrest, Loring and Red Haven. Next is the John Boy season, followed by the Crest Haven, Gloria, Jersey Queen and Fayette varieties. The Encore and Laurol varieties wrap up the state’s peach season in mid- to late-September. White peaches are expected to begin shipping around the end of July and continue through mid-September.

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