This is a good year for peaches in Colorado. Ruth & I stopped to shop in Leadville and bought our first batch of Palisades from a young man who was working for a local man with land to grow peaches but too aged to harvest them. The young man did the harvesting and was selling the current peach crop just outside a Safeway store. The eight peaches Ruth bought ended up being served with Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream, a delicious combo in a good year, at a dinner party in Denver that evening.
Palisade peaches, when they have a good season, are harvested from June through October. This year, 2021, is a banner year, so we were able to find them just outside the town of Leadville in mid July. Palisade peaches tend to be smaller than California peaches, but they are extremely juicy, sweet, and soft. This is due to long summer days and ideal conditions for growing them. Palisades are yellow peaches, and they can be bought all over the state this year in places like Fort Collins. They can even be found outside of Colorado this season in Kansas and other places.
John Harlow was among the first Palisade peach producers in the town of Palisade, which is now part of the Gand Junction complex just east of Colorado’s touristy wine producing area. This year Ruth and I found Palisades everywhere we went in Colorado, even in Whole Foods. We delighted in eating them with Blue Bell Vanilla every chance we got, but roadside stands were the best place to buy them fresh and peachy. Even the Glenwood Canyon mudslides did not keep Palisades from being bought and sold all over this state.
Fruita, Colorado, is on the other side of Grand Junction from Palisade. Fruita was once known for producing the best fruit, mostly apples and pears, early in its existence as a town. Today it is more known for good-weather outdoor sports thanks to its proximity to the Colorado River and the Colorado National Monument.
Even with fires and drought California remains the biggest peach producing state. It regularly grows about 650 thousand tons of them. The states of Washington and South Carolina both produce lots of peaches. The latter is sometimes known to grow more peaches than Georgia does.
After we got home, we heard from our family that just moved to Colorado. They sent us a photo of what they were eating at the time. It was an icing covered fruit pizza that looked delicious.