August is New Jersey Peach Month!

August is New Jersey Peach Month, and growers are reporting a good season, with strong crops, despite the April freeze, and, they expect that peaches will be available well into September (Send a peach to school with your child this fall ! :).

The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council sponsored special peach events and peach pie contests throughout the state at farmers markets, farms, ShopRite stores and restaurants. Now winding down, final events are happening on August 20th, 21st,  23rd-25th, and 27th.  Places and details are on The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council website: jerseypeaches.com, and, our Facebook page.

Finalists at “Perfect Peach Pie” competitions are now eligible to bake for two grand prizes, of $300 each - one in south Jersey; one in north Jersey. Judging will take place in September at The Frog and The Peach in New Brunswick for North Jersey finalists; Tortilla Press in Collingswood for South Jersey finalists.  To date, North Jersey finalists are ... Nutley:  Barbara Johnson, West Windsor: Kit Haines-Bornheimer. Ramsey: Miki Takano and Nicholas Venturini,  Edison: Sarah Deller. South Jersey finalists names are not all in, but so far:  Margate:  Sandi Zakheim-Nord.

Did you know that New Jersey is the fourth largest peach-producing state in the country? Not bad for a small state! A few other peach facts may surprise you (more facts follow the below peach event schedule):

  • New Jersey ranks 4th nationally for peach production, after California, South Carolina & Georgia.
  • Peaches have been cultivated in New Jersey since the 1600s.
  • 98%of New Jersey’s peach crop is sold to the fresh market via supermarkets, farm markets, specialty produce stores, U-pick operations, community farmers markets. A small percentage is sold to restaurants and as value added processed products like peach cider, peach wine, jams, jellies, pies
  • Jersey peaches are shipped all over the eastern US and eastern Canada.
  • Jersey peaches are all picked by hand.
  • Jersey’s average peach production: approximately 24,000 tons. (2015)
  • Average total wholesale production value of New Jersey peaches is $30-million*

*Figures from USDA National Ag Statistics Service & USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
*Peaches are grown & packed within 250 miles of 45-million consumers

The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council sponsors special peach events and a Perfect Peach Pie amateur baking contest, with two grand prizes of $300 each—one in south Jersey; one in north Jersey. Following are upcoming events and amateur peach pie contests through August, celebrating the fruit throughout the state:

New Jersey’s fresh peach season

Late June through September

Total acreage in peach orchards

5,000 acres throughout the state.

Number NJ peach orchards

75 orchards

Where the orchards are

The southern district-- Gloucester, Cumberland, Camden, Atlantic and Salem Counties-- is the state's major growing area.  Gloucester County has the state's most peach trees, but peach orchards are located throughout New Jersey.  

Farm markets and stands and pick-your own are located mainly in central, northern and western regions.  There are also many of these in the southern part of the state.  Several peach growers take their peaches to community farmers markets located in cities and towns in the tri-state area. Details are on www.jerseypeaches.com

Over 100 Varieties of New Jersey peaches

Yellow-fleshed peaches comprise 84% of Jersey peaches.
White-fleshed peaches comprise 6% of Jersey peaches.
Yellow and white-fleshed nectarines comprise 9%.
Something new! Doughnut or flat peaches, less than 1%.
New varieties are regularly introduced for planting by the Rutgers NJ Agricultural Experiment Station Fruit Breeding Program

Most popular, Long-standing Varieties

Desiree, Sentry, John Boy, Flamin Fury PF 17, Flamin Fury PF 24-007, and Gloria long- most popular yellow-fleshed peaches.
White Lady, still the Queen of low-acid white-fleshed peaches.
Lady Nancy, the aromatic white fleshed peach.
Easternglo,  Flamin Fury PF 11, Redgold and Fantasia most popular yellow fleshed nectarines

Jersey Fresh Standards

To be labeled "Jersey Fresh," peaches must be US Extra No.1 grade, sized at least 2.25" diameter.

Products from peaches

Fresh freestone peaches can also be used to produce peach cider, peach syrup, peach jam, peach salsa, peach preserves, peach jelly, peach ice cream, canned and frozen peaches and a wide variety of peach baked goods.

Labeling of peaches

"Jersey Fresh Premium Peaches" is a label of increasing importance and prestige. Twenty one peach shippers, located mainly in southern New Jersey, use brands that include Jersey Fruit, Atlantic Sunrise, Top Crop, CircleM Fruit Farms, Holtzhauser Farms, Mood's Orchard, Just Picked, Sun Valley Orchards, Melicks Town Farm, Nichols Orchard, Sunny Slope, Wm Schober.

Peach-related events

Peach Parties -special peach-featured events at farmers markets, restaurants and supermarkets during July & August, Jersey Fresh Peach Month.

Perfect Peach Pie contests for amateur bakers-at selected farmers markets, with two first prizes:  one in south Jersey; one in north Jersey

Nutritious dishes with Jersey peaches, demos at various supermarkets.

Peach-related organizations

New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, ·New Jersey Department of Agriculture, New Jersey Peach Festival Association, New Jersey State Horticultural Society, New Jersey Farm Bureau, Rutgers Cooperative Extension at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, ·New Jersey Peach Council

Peach pests & controlling them

The biggest pest problem is brown rot. Additionally, chewing and sucking insects, birds, wood chuck and deer all compete with each other and damage peach fruit and foliage. Through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices, peach growers have significantly reduced both the amounts and the costs of pesticides needed to control pests.

Brief history of New Jersey peach industry

Peaches have been produced in New Jersey since the 1600s when the first peaches were grown from seed.  Today, New Jersey has approximately two million peach trees. New varieties of peaches and nectarines are extending the season both early and late.  New Jersey soils and climate are ideal for maximum production of quality peaches.

New Jersey Peach Promotion Council

The New Jersey Peach Promotional Council is a non-profit voluntary organization of growers, shippers, wholesalers and associated industries dedicated to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State through the orderly marketing and promotion of NJ peaches.

For further information, email the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council information office at  info@jerseypeaches.com, or, visit their website: www.jerseypeaches.com.

Find Jersey peaches on facebook.com/newjerseypeaches. Follow us on Twitter: @NJ_Peaches.

The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is a non-profit voluntary organization of growers, shippers, wholesalers and associated industries dedicated to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State for the purpose of preserving farmers and farmland; and to 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 75 orchards on 5,000 acres, producing approximately 24,000 tons, valued at approximately $30-million.

NJPPC grower-members selling direct to consumers: Alstede Farms, Chester; Battleview Orchards, Freehold; Demarest Farms, Hillsboro; Eastmont Orchards, Colts Neck; Grasso Girls Farm Markets in, Mullica Hill and West Deptford; Fruit Valley Farms, Mullica Hill; Hauser Hill Farm, Old Bridge; Heilig Orchards, Mullica Hill; Holtzhauser Farms, Mullica Hill; Larchmont Farms, Elmer; Melick Town Farms, Califon and Oldwick; Moods Farm Market, Mullica Hill; Pastore Orchards, Hammonton; Ripple Hill Farm, Basking Ridge; Russo’s Fruit and Vegetable Farm, Tabernacle; Sickles Market, Little Silver; Summit City Farms, Glassboro; Sunny Slope Farms, Bridgeton; Terhune Orchards, Princeton; The Market Basket, Franklin Lakes; Wm. Schober & Sons, Monroeville.  Many of these growers also sell at community farmers' markets. Grower-members on jerseypeaches.com.