A Time Of Diversity for NJ Peaches and Nectarines
A Time Of Diversity As New And Better Peach and Nectarine Varieties Are Planted By NJ Peach Growers
New varieties give growers the opportunity to garner more shelf space in retail establishments. Growers in New Jersey continue to make new plantings not only of the best varieties of yellow -fleshed peaches but also of flat peaches, white-fleshed peaches, and nectarines. “New Jersey peach farmers are also growing not only peaches with traditional peach flavor, but new, sweet varieties with a sub-acid flavor,” said Jerry Frecon, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University. “This flavor range can be found in both yellow and white-fleshed varieties. Young consumers, a shrinking market for peach sellers, seem to prefer these sub acid types,” said Mr. Frecon, a technical consultant for the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council. "Certain groups of consumers particularly like the white-fleshed, sub-acid varieties, like White Lady, Klondike, Sugar Giant, and Snow Giant, the most popular,” said Mr. Frecon.
Santo John Maccherone, owner of Circle M Farms near Salem, NJ, has long been a marketer of many types and varieties of peaches and nectarines. “We grow a full season of sub-acid white-fleshed peaches starting with Spring Snow and ending with Snow Giant," said Mr. Maccherone, who is also Chair of the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council. Circle M also offers a full season of yellow and white-fleshed nectarines, some with sub-acid flavor, but most with that more traditional sweet nectarine taste. "Of course, the backbone of our sale offering is the yellow-fleshed peaches, throughout July, August and September. We were one of the first NJ growers to offer flat peaches, or what enterprising marketers call 'Donut' peaches,” said Mr. Maccherone. Maccherone, who grows and markets various peach products like peach cider drink and canned peaches, said, "We find that by having an extensive list of all types of peaches and nectarines we can encourage more people to handle our main yellow-fleshed varieties."
Larchmont Farms, NJ's largest peach grower, continues to make new plantings of all type and varieties of peach and nectarines. Owner Charles Haines said, “We operate our own variety blocks to test new varieties before making planting in our orchards. These newer varieties have improved size, more red color and higher sugar content (Brix). We have made new plantings of two new white-fleshed nectarines from France; Jade and Emeraude, and a white fleshed peach from the same experiment station, Manon. Eleven generations of our family have been farming in New Jersey, and, we have planted many varieties developed here in New Jersey from the Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station fruit breeding program. Two new white-fleshed sub-acid peach varieties have recently been planted: July Rose and August Rose, and, we have one of the largest plantings of a beautiful early variety called Scarlet Rose.”
Most of Larchmont peaches are yellow-fleshed varieties like the Flamin Fury series from Michigan and established varieties from the NJ program like Messina, Gloria and Jerseyqueen. “We are also developing new plantings of the USDA Kearneysville variety Summerfest.This variety was introduced because of its exceptional traditional peach flavor,” stated Mr. Haines. Larchmont fruit is packed under the Just-Picked label and marketed by Sunny Valley International of Glassboro, NJ.