Local peaches scarce due to freezes

Almost four months after the freezes in early April, several area farmers are feeling the hurt on their apples and peaches.

Several farmers in Shenandoah County southward lost all of their peaches to the frost, along with their early blooming apple varieties.

Jaime Williams, president of Turkey Knob Apples in Timberville, said his farm is effectively peachless.

“Our peaches all froze out,” he said. “It was a rough year.”

However, he said his apples weren’t hit nearly as hard, and he would guess he only lost about 15 percent of his crop.

Another farmer, Yvette Bullock, who runs the market at Mowery Orchards in Woodstock, said she’s dealing with the same problem.

“All our peaches froze out,” she said.

Farther south, Harold Paugh, owner of Paugh’s Orchard in Quicksburg, said while he wasn’t wiped clean, he’s down roughly 80 percent.

“Our peach crop was way, way off this year,” he said. “We only had about 20 percent of our peach crop.”

He added that he had to buy peaches from elsewhere in the state to keep his shelves stocked.

Paugh’s apples are faring better than his peaches, although they were hurt by the freeze as well.

Early April held two days in which temperatures in Winchester hit lows that stressed the crops.

John Marker of Marker-Miller Orchards said his apples came in well, but about 90 percent of his peaches died off.

“There wasn’t many of them,” he said. “What we had were nice, but there just wasn’t many of them. All gone.”

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com

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