Archive for January, 2015

Recipe Spotlight: Peaches on parade in the kitchen

IMG_4473It’s Florida and life’s a peach… at least it will be if the peach-growers have anything to say about it. Nature abhors a vacuum and, thanks to Florida plant scientists, vacant land is being filled with not only profitable crops, but delicious ones too. The profit takes longer than the flavor to develop. We can all do our little bit to help local growers by buying what they produce. If you have a choice of sending Florida funds to another state or another country, I know where my preference is.

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Want to Ship Peaches to Texas?

Consider the Peach Caribfly Protocol Program

d2579-9The Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Lowe), is a serious pest of many tropical and sub-tropical fruits of Central and South Florida. Since the 1965 introduction in the Miami area, this pest has caused concern for many Florida growers and consumers throughout the world. Due to the need to protect other areas of the world against this pest, rigid agricultural quarantines have been established to prevent the movement of Caribbean fruit fly infested material. Read More…


Obtaining Optimum Crop Size through Thinning

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Figure 1. Peach fruit thinned to a proper spacing on shoots with sufficient leafing have the potential to attain optimum size.

One of the most important horticultural practices to attain optimum yield of appropriately sized peaches is proper thinning. If this practice is conducted correctly and in a timely manner, growers should be able to attain optimum crop size (Figure 1). Since larger size fruit tend to garner the highest market price, it behooves growers to have their thinning strategy planned and executed properly.

Most Florida peach growers have learned that dormant pruning of thin or weak flower bud bearing shoots is a good first step in controlling the eventual fruit set later in the season. This can help reduce the expense of manual fruit thinning later in the season. Read More…


Meet the Peach Team at Clemson University

IMG_5110From left to right: Jeff Hopkins, Dr. Ksenija Gasic, Dr. Douglas Bielenberg, Dr. Juan Carlos Melgar, and Dr. Guido Schnabel.

At Clemson University in South Carolina, a group of faculty researchers, county extension agents and specialists are working together to solve the problems of the peach industry. The Peach Team is an interdisciplinary team of researchers and extension agents that provide research-based information to advance the fruit industry in South Carolina and beyond. Although research is also carried out in orchards in several parts of the state, most of Clemson University’s fruit tree research takes place at the Musser Fruit Research Center. The Musser Farm’s manager, Jeff Hopkins, and technical staff (Kathy Brock, Dave Ouellette, Sam Hudson, and Brandon Padget) help the Peach Team to accomplish its research objectives. The 240-acre research farm is a model fruit research facility for the Southeast and has an extensive collection of peach and nectarine cultivars, as well as related Prunus species and interspecific hybrids. Read More…


Reinstating the Florida Peach Growers’ Association

brooksville peachesIt’s been a pleasant surprise in my five years at the University of Florida to see the peach industry grow as quickly as it has. In fact, the industry has grown steadily to the point where a statewide organization would greatly benefit existing, new, and prospective growers.

The Florida Peach Growers’ Association began as a non-profit corporation in October, 1963, probably around the time when the picture show here was taken. Read More…