“Easiest way to tell is to look at it for color,” says Jerry Hearn, post-harvest manager at Eckert’s Orchards. “You’re going to look up here for color and feel around for which one is ready to eat.”
It’s said that nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. And at Eckert’s family farm in Belleville, Mother Nature has provided just what these peaches have needed this summer.
“Cool spring, which helped with the size of the peaches, because it gives them a little more time to develop,” Hearn says. “With all this rain it’s really made them swell into big beautiful peaches, it’s been great for our peach crop.”
So great, in fact, that Jerry Hearn says this could be the best peach crop they’ve ever seen at Eckert’s.
“Right now, we’re in the middle of our season picking Loren peaches, which are some of our biggest and best peaches of the summer,” Hearn says. “This is the last weekend coming up for Loren peaches.”
There were plenty of pickers Thursday afternoon making their way through the hillsides, trying the true definition of fresh fruit.
And one last bit of professional advice for picking peaches?
“So what you’re looking for is color and also touch,” Hearn says. “You can touch them and if they give a little bit. But color is the biggest thing. Don’t pick peaches with sunglasses on because you’ll always pick ‘em green.”