Why You Might Have a Hard Time Finding Local Peaches This Year

August  3, 2016

Very sad news for Northeastern peaches, peach farmers, and peach pies this year: The arctic blast of the weekend of February 14 didn't send shivers only down your spine—it also decimated the buds on peach trees, which were, thanks to weeks of peculiarly mild weather, coming up prematurely. A cruel bait and switch!

The damages span from New Jersey to Massachusetts, with one farmer at Lyman Orchards in Connecticut telling the New York Times that he was expecting $400,000 in losses.

On a bright-but-still-kind-of-dim side, other summer fruits—like blueberries and even stone fruit like nectarines and plums—are having a fine summer. And, as Grub Street reports, the spring weather has been kind to apples and pears—"fall fruits that, by necessity or not, orchards now say they plan to promote 'pretty heavily'." Almost time for an early apple pie?

Shop the Story

Looking farther into the future, this year's peach shortage means next year's peach-a-poolaza: According to the Times, "the dearth of peaches this year means that trees will have many more places for buds in 2017—as long as the current dry spell doesn’t worsen and winter doesn’t bring another debacle." Keep your fingers crossed!

For now, support local farmers by buying the produce you can find. Here are some recipes to start with:

Or fast-forward a bit and help support the sale of the early fall crops:

How are the peaches in your neck of the woods? Give us the peach 411 in the comments.

Listen Now

On Black & Highly Flavored, co-hosts Derek Kirk and Tamara Celeste shine a light on the need-to-know movers and shakers of our food & beverage industry.

Listen Now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Cindy Foreman
    Cindy Foreman
  • 702551
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


Cindy F. August 4, 2016
Peaches are great in Colorado this year.
702551 August 3, 2016
No problem finding local peaches here in California although they will be gone soon since the season is coming to a close.

The weather this spring/summer has been pretty even here in California. Generally speaking, many stone fruits arrived a bit early and had shorter seasons. Without a doubt, this is due to the multi-year drought.

In particular the donut peaches came up short and their season was very brief.

Blenheim apricots arrived three weeks earlier than normal, in mid-June rather than the more normal first weekend in July.

Of course, here at the tail end of the season, many cultivars are long gone.