Locally grown trend boosts Colorado fruits

08/01/2011 09:30:00 AM
Tara Schupner

Cherry acreage for the company is up in 2011, but weather early in the growing season took a toll on Rogers Mesa’s cherry and apricot crops, Kinser said.

“Frost and winter kill took out about 80% of the cherries, the ’cots probably more,” he said.

Peaches, the next crop off the tree for Rogers Mesa, were looking considerably better, Kinser said. Harvest was expected to start about Aug. 1 and continue through Sept. 1.

“We’re about a week behind because of the cold weather, but we have a fair crop,” he said.

The company’s peach acreage also is up some this year, though pear acreage is similar to last year, Kinser said.

As the season progresses, things just get better and better, Kinser said.

“We have an excellent pear crop,” he said, that should begin shipping in late August or early September and wind down after about two weeks.

The company’s apple deal, its longest of the season, is expected to begin around the same time as pears, Kinser said. Apples will likely ship through September or into early October.

Rogers Mesa will offer a full line of galas, jonagolds, braeburns, honeycrisp, jonathans, jonamacs, red delicious, golden delicious, romes, winesaps, fujis and other varieties this season.

Among those volumes gaining in volume, compared to previous years, are honeycrips, jonagolds and a new cultivar, the sun crisp, Kinser said.

Red delicious, golden delicious and braeburns are among the varieties of which Rogers Mesa is growing less.

The company’s growers have planted pink lady trees, but fruit will not be ready for this season, Kinser said.

For the most part, Rogers Mesa expects its fruit to stay in Colorado, though the company is equipped to handle out-of-state distribution as well.

“The lion’s share is consumed on the Front Range, but we’ll ship in any direction,” he said.


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