…Because our peaches are grown and nurtured and picked ready for sale. This keeps them firm and juicy, not mushy and dry like peaches shipped from across the country.
You can buy Jersey peaches in supermarkets, community farmers markets and on farms. You can even pick your own at many farms throughout the state, this year beginning in early July. August is officially ‘New Jersey Peach Month,’ when peaches are at their height.
According to the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, which has been tracking peach growing and selling for many years, New Jersey peach growers have gotten very creative. “Our growers continue plant new and better varieties (currently more than 100 varieties of yellow, white, flat and nectarines). They’re using them in new ways to satisfy consumers’ constant search for something different,” says Jerry Frecon, Rutgers professor emeritus. Several years ago, Circle M Farms in Salem developed a peach cider drink now sold in groceries, farm markets and specialty stores. Wm Schober Sons in Monroeville not only markets Circle M peach cider drink, but also peach salsa, peach honey and jarred spiced peaches. Terhune Orchards has gone beyond peach cider drink by producing award-winning “Just Peachy” wine. At Alstede Farms in Chester, the goal is to utilize all produce in any way possible. They use their peaches in jams, salsas, baked goods and their famous ice cream.
Don’t forget the pies and other baked goods made on the farms from fresh-picked peaches and sold from the farm stores and farmers markets. “Peach pies are our top sellers; customers don’t bake like they used to, especially since our own home-made pies are so good,” says John Melick of Melick’s Town Farm, where peaches will be ready for picking about July 4th, with a full season of white and yellowfleshed peaches and nectarines.
Maybe it’s suburban claustrophobia and too many convenience foods that spur residents to want to make things from scratch the way their parents or grandparents did. Who knows? But Pam Mount of Terhune Orchards says her lessons in freezing and canning peaches are growing in popularity, so much that she now recommends customers make advance reservations. This year’s free demonstration is Saturday Aug 13 at 10am; registration requested.
Of course, pick-your-own peaches continues to grow in popularity, especially with families seeking an outdoor activity that’s not only something different, but also lets kids see where their food comes from, other than supermarket shelves Among pick-your-own farms are Demarest Farms, Hillsdale; Giamarese Farm and Orchards, East Brunswick; Battleview Orchards, Freehold; Eastmont Orchards, Colts Neck ; Alstede Farms, Chester; Stoneyfield Orchards, Belvidere; Melick’s Town Farm, Califon; Wightman's Farms, Morristown; and others. Check the NJ Peach Promotion Council Website at www.jerseypeaches.com
Celebrate Jersey Peaches at special ‘Peach Days’
Farmers markets, farms and restaurants are offering a range of peach items, along with music, pie contests, special kids’ activities and menus. Following is a partial calendar of peachy events. Check the individual websites for all the details. Of each event.
2022 EVENT DATE
Blue plate restaurant, Mullica Hill
Just Peachy-4 courses featuring Holtzhauser Farm peaches
West End Farmers Market, Long Branch
Handouts—reusable peach bags, magnets, recipe brochures and more
Bernardsville Farmers Market
Peach Festival. Free peach cake and peach ice cream
Drawing --a basket of farm-fresh peaches.
Terhune Orchards, Lawrence
Pam’s Peach canning/freezing class
-Aug 4-Aug 7
Gladstone Tavern, Gladstone
Community Presbyterian Church, Chester
Peach Festival: peach pie by the slice or whole pie to go, homemade peach ice cream, other peach treats, peaches for sale
-August 6 & 7,
Terhune Orchards, Lawrence
Just Peachy Festival. “Everything peachy” Kids (and kids of all ages) will enjoy fun all around the farm. Live country music every day from 12-4 p.m.
Ramsey Farmers Market, Ramsey
The Woman's Club of Ramsey will serve up complimentary tastings of peach cobbler, Ms. Lorraine will have a special peach-themed scavenger hunt for children. Over 50 farms and food purveyors will feature something "peachy", including cakes, pies, cobblers, peach balsamic, tea, lemonades, cashew milk, ice cream sandwiches, chilled peach soup, and much more. Music by Will Hinck.
Rain date Aug 14
Jersey City Farms in the Heights
live music and other fun events We hope to potentially hand out free peaches (sourced from our farmers) for that day, and our vendors usually sell special peach items (e.g. peach sausage).
Chatham Borough Farmers Market, Chatham
Peach tastings, give-aways, more
Dates to come
Melick’s Town Farm,
Peach event will be listed on facebook
www.jerseypeaches.com facebook.com/newjerseypeaches Instagram.com/newjerseypeaches
The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is a voluntary organization of growers, shippers, wholesalers and allied industries dedicated to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State for the purpose of preserving farmers and farmland and providing the highest quality and best tasting fresh peaches for consumers. New Jersey is the fourth largest peach producing state in the country, with approximately 50 orchards on 3,500 acres.