Six Northeast orchards that comprise the Eco Peach program now have fruit available at farm stands and supermarkets in the region.
The growers have reported a strong crop, according to a news release from Plainville, Mass.-based produce distributor Red Tomato, which manages the program.
“We know that everyone is extra hungry for these jewels of summer because last year’s spring freezes eliminated the local crop throughout the Northeast,” Laura Edwards-Orr, executive director of Red Tomato, said in the release.
Eco Peach orchards are not certified organic but prioritize sustainable practices, including pest control with beneficial insects, mating disruption and trapping, with pesticides used only as a last resort.
“Being Eco certified helps us communicate these practices to our customers, for whom a peach might otherwise just be a peach,” Josh Morgenthau, owner of Hopewell Junction, N.Y.-based Fishkill Farms, said in the release.
Morgenthau described organic growing as basically out of reach for orchards in the region.
“The Northeast climate and its unique complex of orchard pests make it nearly impossible,” Morgenthau said.