Just peachy: The fruits of summer are on their way

Western Slope peaches due at your local farmers market soon

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Dig out those cobbler recipes.

The first crop of Colorado peaches is due to arrive on the Front Range in early July, said Joe Stoll of Forte Farms, one of the biggest purveyors of the Western Slope’s tastiest export.

“We’ve got a drought over there, but the peaches are looking really good,” Stoll said from his booth at the Aspen Grove farmers market on June 23.

In the meantime, Western Slope cherries and apricots are coming in well, Stoll said.

Still, it’s been a bit of an odd year for produce, said Jeremy Becker and Diego Hernandez of Ant D’s Fine Foods, a popular produce booth at the market.

“On the Front Range, lots of cold-weather crops came in really good,” Becker said. “Peas, greens and cauliflower are looking awesome. But we’re seeing shortages of other things — there’s hardly any Colorado asparagus, and even zucchini can be hard to come across some days. It’s a bit of a roller coaster ride.”

Alas, Rocky Ford melons and Olathe sweet corn aren’t in yet either.

This year has been busy, although it’s yet to be seen whether it can match 2020, Hernandez said.

“It was the best year we ever had,” he said. “Grocery stores ran out of stuff, and people wanted to be outside, and people were cooking at home a lot. I actually think it helped people reconnect with good food.”

But with volatility in the weather and the economy, Hernandez said this is still a great time to support small business and small farmers.

“It’s a great summer to learn to can and preserve, too,” he said. “That way you can have this yummy stuff all year long.”

The Aspen Grove Farmers Market is held every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., just north of Mineral Avenue on the west side of Santa Fe Drive.

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