At Pearson Farms, peach packing looks like it'll begin by the end of next week, but it's been a long time coming for Al Pearson and his crew. "We've actually been working since last August on our peach crop," Pearson said.
The work before the first peaches of the season are ready to pack and eat isn't done yet. Pearson and his team are working on the finishing touches before next week comes to a close, like taste testing.
"If there's no sugar in them, they need to wait a little bit longer. If they're real hard and they don't cut right, they need to wait a little longer," Pearson said while cutting into a peach from the orchard.
Irrigating where and when necessary is still to be monitored and taken care of as well. "You can see a moist strip of dirt along the side here, and it's been real dry, which is great for peaches. Peaches taste better when it's dry," Pearson explained as he pointed to a row of peaches that just got some extra water.
Thinning is also still being done where it can. "That is two little peaches -- if we might have thinned one of them off, that might've been a bigger peach," Pearson said.
There are quite a few factors that impact how a peach season will go and how many will be packed. Weather is one of them.
Last winter was mild, and Pearson says that will keep some peaches off the shelves, but there still looks to be a full crop this year.
"We didn't get quite as much chilling as some of the later varieties need, but because they're later varieties and the leaves came on we think they'll be OK, but it wasn't a done deal, " Pearson said. "This year, we've got what we would call a full crop of peaches."
Peach season will run through mid August.