WHAT ARE PEACHES?
A round juicy stone fruit with a fuzzy cream or yellow skin
flushed with red. A stone fruit is a single seed enclosed in a
protective layer called a pit. The flesh that we eat is the pulp
that protects and nurtures the young seed. One of the most popular
types of peaches is the Freestone peach, so named as the flesh
easily separates from the pit. The most widely grown variety in BC
WHERE ARE PEACHES PRODUCED IN BC?
Peaches are grown in the southern areas of the Okanagan,
Similkameen, and Kootenay valleys. Peach trees are susceptible to
HOW MANY PEACHES DO WE PRODUCE?
BC produces 7 million kilograms of peaches, about 20% of the
Canadian production. 90% of the peaches grown are sold as fresh
peaches; 10% are sold to be processed. There are about 800 peach
growers in BC.
HOW ARE PEACHES PRODUCED?
Peaches are grown on trees that stand 3 to 5m tall. These trees
will begin to bear fruit at 2 to 3 years and will live only 10 to 20
years. Peaches are different from other tree fruits in that most of
the fruit is grown on one-year-old wood as opposed to long lived
spurs. Consequently peaches need heavy pruning every year to produce
good crops. Each growing season, the orchardist must prune;
fertilize; control weed growth, insects and disease; water and
replant trees to ensure the orchard is always healthy. Peaches to be
eaten fresh are harvested by hand. Semi-freestones are picked from
mid-July to mid-August. Freestones are picked from August to early
September. Most growers try to grow and harvest peaches with a
minimum of hired labour. Care must be taken to prevent bruising and
WHAT DOES A PEACH LOOK LIKE WHEN I USE IT?
Peaches can be eaten fresh; as broiled peach halves served with
meats; blended for fruit drinks or sauces; used for jams, pie
filling, yogurt flavouring or baby food; frozen; dried or canned.
Peaches are 89% water and high in vitamin A.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PEACH LEAVES THE FARM?
Peaches have a storage life of approximately 3 weeks. A lot of
peaches are sold directly from the orchards to consumers or to
independent buyers. Fruit stands are also an important sales outlet
for peaches. Part of the peach crop is sent to packinghouses where
the peaches are graded, packed and shipped to retailers throughout
Canada. Some of the peach crop is canned by commercial processors.
WHAT CHALLENGES DOES THE PEACH PRODUCER FACE?
Production and consumption of peaches in North America is stable.
New varieties with bright red skin colour and clear yellow flesh are
desirable to stimulate new interest. There is a revived interest in
white fleshed peaches, particularly for potential sale in the Far
WHO'S INVOLVED IN PRODUCING PEACHES?
- Orchard owner
- Orchard worker
- Fruit stand owner and operator
- Fresh fruit wholesaler
- Packinghouse workers
- Fruit processor
1 medium peach (98g)
||Calories from Fat 0
||% Daily Value*
|Total Fat 0g
|Saturated Fat 0g
|Total Carbohydrate 10g
|Dietary Fibre 2g
|Vitamin A 2%
||Vitamin C 10%
|*Percent Daily Values are based
on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Interesting Fact About Peaches:
Peaches are the most widely grown of the stone fruits. It is
native to China and was introduced to Europe 2000 years ago.
Spanish explorers brought peaches to North America in the 1500s.
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