Move over Georgia peaches. Virginia peach growers say this summer's unusual weather is creating a spectacularly delicious crop.
It turns out all the rain and sweltering heat this summer has brought is the perfect recipe for peaches in central Virginia. Peach growers like Saunders Brothers in Nelson County are celebrating a delicious crop. Jim Saunders' family has been farming 60 acres in Nelson County since 1914, so he knows an unusual season when he sees it.
"We had a very cool March, it delayed the bloom on our peach trees and when you delay the bloom you delay the peach ripening schedule," he said.
That delay had Saunders on edge, but what came next -- pouring rain and sweltering heat -- made many farmers downright worried.
"We had a tremendous amount of rainfall this year, more than I've seen about 20 years in the fruit business," Saunders said.
The National Weather Service reports - in the last eight weeks alone- central Virginia has had four more inches of rain than the average. Virginia's peaches are loving every drop.
"The size is much better and the peaches are more juicy this year than they've ever been," Saunders said.
Saunders says the sugar content is higher in this crop and that means a sweeter peach.
"The beauty of it as we can pick them at a later stage and they are in a tree ripened stage," he said.
It works out well for farmers and peach connoisseurs.
"They've been going fast. We went to the market this morning and sold-out. We generally sell out around twelve o'clock and we sold out this morning around ten o'clock. The fruit flavor is tremendous," James Saunders, Jim's brother, said.
Saunders says you will notice a difference in cobblers and peach pies this season too.
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