SATURDAY NIGHT: Cloudy, scattered showers over western counties. Low: 57. Winds: East 5-15 mph.
SUNDAY: Rain with embedded thunderstorms. Rain totals between 1/2 and 1". High: 68. Winds: West 5-15 mph.
Carlinville Orchard Ready for Peach Crop
As many farmers know, their crop relies on Mother Nature. Although last year's drought conditions didn't make it easy on peach farmers, this year's weather couldn't be better.
"The weather this year, every year is different, every year is different," Jeff Broom of Broom Orchard said. "I have been in it 30 years and there are no years the same."
With last year's drought and this year's overabundance of rain combined with heavy winds, it's rough for a delicate crop such as a peach.
"Our biggest nightmare would be hail," Broom said. "As the fruit hangs out there, and if it gets hailed on it's blemished and just doesn't heal."
Since there has been no significant hail this season, the saying "bruised like a peach" doesn't affect the peaches at Broom Orchard, which is why the peach season will be booming during the next couple of weeks.
"The bulk of our crop is going to come on the third and fourth week of July," Brook said. "That's when we'll get started. It's a Red Haven. It's the old standard peach which is the measuring stick for all other varieties."
With nearly 30 acres of peaches coming in during different times of the summer, employees at Broom Orchard are already busy picking and sorting.
"Peaches come from the orchard, they are picked tree ripened," employee Jennifer Heller said. "We have to go through them to make sure there are no bruised ones and any that are not top quality. And we take those out and box up the best peaches."
Each peach tree produces about four bushels of peaches, which is why picking only the best peaches all depends on timing.
"There's all different kinds of variety of peaches and ripen at different times," Broom said. "I pick the ones that I like that ripen the best and they ripen one after the other."
The different varieties of peaches at Broom Orchard will be available at various times throughout the summer.
Right now, they have Summer Serenade peaches and in a few weeks they will have Garnet Beauty peaches and Red Haven peaches.
Click here for the Broom Orchard website.