Peaches: From Orchard to Table

If you love to eat peaches brought at local farmer’s markets, then you already know that they often have more fuzz than those brought at major retailers. The reason is that before peaches are shipped to major retailers, a wet knife is used to remove most of the fuzz. The equipment needed to do this is very expensive so it is normally not done to peaches sold at farmer’s markets, according to a Huffington Post.
If you are repulsed by the fuzz on peaches, then you might consider eating a nectarine instead. The difference between a nectarine and a peach is just one gene. That gene is the one that produces the fuzz. It is a recessive gene.
While no one knows for sure rather the nectarine or the peach came first, prominent pomologists suggests that it was the nectarine. They believe that peaches were created by crossing almonds and nectarines.
Growing peaches is big business in some areas of the United States. Over 60 percent of the commercially available peaches are grown by farmers in California. About 15 percent comes from South Carolina with the remaining peaches coming from Georgia.
A variety of commercial peaches are grown by California farmers. Consumers who want to buy the best ones will buy the ones that have just ripened before being shipped to your local grocer. The earliest of these is the July Flame which growers try to start picking in the San Joaquin Valley by the end of June. This peach has a red skin and deep orange flesh. The next peach to ripen is the white fleshed Nectar peach which starts to be available in mid-July. The last commercially available peach to ripen is the Elegant Lady.
In order to give shoppers peaches throughout the year, many peaches are commercially processed. About 85 percent of them are canned with another 15 percent being frozen.
Peaches brought in the grocery store are usually grown in the United States. It is cost prohibitive to ship them in from other locations. Many people, however, believe that the very best peaches are found in a valley in China.

The Benefits of a Farmers’ Market

The farmers’ market in any area always seems like the best option with the fresh produce and the fresh baked goods that all encourage the visitors to walk and to be social within the area. Though this may be the better option to support the local community, the buying of food from the farmers’ market can also be an expensive endeavor that is just not feasible for some budgets. An array of the freshest produce such as corn and tomatoes in the summer is available to all those with money to pay for the goods. An example to give is that though the farmers’ market eggs will be better quality, they are over twice the normal price of the store bought eggs.

In recent news, more nonprofit organizations have been dedicated to bringing individuals fresh produce even if they are on a tight budget and cannot afford to make the big shops like others do. To sell produce of excellent quality at a lower price, the solution was to create a central and permanent spot within urban areas that vendors could sell and array of food to the customers at a lower price. This would bring more of a connection between the farmers and those that are on a budget and want to eat healthy.

A new hub to work at would make it easier for the farmers’ to sell their goods and for the consumers to purchase the goods without having to break the bank. Though this construction of a new open market will effectively cost millions of dollars, the key goal is to educate the population about the importance of eating a balanced diet. Individuals in urban areas truly believe that one does not need to make all the money in order to consume the freshest greens and in season products.

One example of an idea of an open market will take place in New York City, a city that is known for their markets as well as the drastic change in income. The new hub that will be in New York City is estimated to cost around $20 million and will attract more people than ever who are on a tight budget when it comes to saving and providing meals for large families.

Increased Funding for California Farmer’s Market Program

Low-income families looking for healthy food in California got a boost Wednesday. Gov. Jerry Brown approved a bill that will increase funding for farmers market programs that assist access to quality food at a lower price.

Gov. Brown signed a state budget that includes $5 million for the California Nutrition Incentives Act. The funding will coincide with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program, helping launch a program to allow farmers markets to provide discounted food for low-income families.

Currently, the state uses the Market Match program. The program is funded through a grant from the USDA and administered by the Ecology Center in Berkeley. The grant runs out at the end of this year, but Brown’s action will boost the programs effort.

“With this funding, the state of California has put its money where its mouth is in terms of supporting healthy eating for low-income families,” Martin Bourque, executive director of the Ecology Center, said in a statement. “The demand for Market Match has consistently outstripped the supply of funds. The additional $5 million will allow us to expand the program toward our goal of offering Market Match at every farmers market in the state.”

The Market Match program allows low-income families receiving federal assistance to use their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card at farmers markets.

The increased funding was secured in part by over 200 nonprofit organizations, including Roots of Change and the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, who worked to fund the program.