Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Colorado Day Fun Facts: Peaches

The first peach trees were planted in 1883 in the Grand Junction area of Colorado. Prior to this time farming was not achievable in the Grand Valley due to the higher temperatures and lower rain fall. Irrigation lines were first built in 1882 by running channels off the Colorado River. By 1912 irrigation of the Grand Valley could support up to 15,000 acres of crops.

The harsh winters of 1883 killed what would have been one the largest peach orchards in Colorado. The peach business next appeared some years later near Palisade, where the canyon breeze from east of town protected the trees and blossoms.

The peach industry in Colorado remains mostly a family business. Many growers live and work on orchards surrounding their homes, within communities that include similar farms and families. Often, the fruit in the orchard is a staple at the  family dinner table.

Fun Facts

  • Peaches originated from China where they were considered a symbol of long life.
  • Colorado ranks sixth in peach production in the U.S. with over 2,400 acres of peach orchards.
  • The prime locations for peach growing in Colorado are Mesa, Delta, Montrose and Montezuma counties.
  •  Peaches account for over 75 percent of fruit production in Colorado.
  •  There are two types of peaches, freestone and clingstone. Freestone peaches are used for the fresh market, whereas clingstone peaches are typically used for canning and processing.

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