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MailTribune.com
  • Just Peachy

    Local orchards are in full harvest, despite the crop setting in later this year
  • CENTRAL POINT — Premier peaches have prompted David Cunningham to visit Beebe Farms every year for the past quarter-century.
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    • Local peach orchards
      Beebe Farms, 523 Beebe Road, Central Point, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday through October with numerous peach varieties available.
      • Hubler Orchards, 1841 Serenity Driv...
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      Local peach orchards
      Beebe Farms, 523 Beebe Road, Central Point, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday through October with numerous peach varieties available.

      • Hubler Orchards, 1841 Serenity Drive, Medford, is open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends through November with numerous peach varieties available, $1.59 per pound picked.

        • Sugar Plum Acres, 1850 Pioneer Road, Phoenix, is starting the season with Red Haven peaches for 50 cents per pound U-pick. See www.sugarplumacres.info or call 535-1563 for hours and prices.
        • Valley View Orchard, 1800 N. Valley View Road, Ashland, will have organic '49er, Elberta and Sweet Sue peaches this season, either U-pick or picked. Call 488-2840 for hours and prices.
  • CENTRAL POINT — Premier peaches have prompted David Cunningham to visit Beebe Farms every year for the past quarter-century.
    "Peaches happen to be my favorite fruit," says the 70-year-old Medford resident. "I just eat the dickens out of 'em."
    He and plenty of other customers will visit Beebe's farm stand through September to purchase Hales, Red Skins, Red Havens, '49ers and Elbertas — peaches that many Rogue Valley residents have recognized for decades as the best of their kind.
    "The peaches are so nice," says Central Point resident Marty Tennison. "Even the seconds look good," he says adding that he planned to juice them with oranges, strawberries and pineapples.
    Although the peach season set in later than usual this year, local orchards are in full harvest and look to have peaches through September. Peaches range in price from $2.50 per pound for organic peaches at Valley View Orchards in Ashland to 50 cents per pound, U-pick, at Phoenix's Sugar Plum Acres. Beebe's peaches are $1.39 per pound, picked, 79 cents for seconds.
    "The past week, they've been coming on really strong," says Beebe farm stand employee Chelsie Banta. "We'll be getting '49ers in and Elbertas, and those are the ones everybody really likes."
    Used almost exclusively by Harry and David for gift boxes, '49ers store well and have a high sugar content, says Phil VanBuskirk, administrator of the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center in Central Point.
    Beloved as a canning peach, Elbertas are an heirloom variety that has been dropped by most producers because of its fuzzy skin and a small beak that forms at the fruit's bottom and tends to break off during packing and shipping, which can cause spoilage.
    Unlike apples, bananas and oranges, peaches don't travel or store well.
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