ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – If you’ve gone to the grocery store for fruit this summer, you may have noticed a lack of Georgia peaches.
Tree-Ripe Fruit Co., based in Milwaukee, typically sources its peaches from Georgia. However, owner Tiernan Paine says a warm winter caused crops to blossom prematurely this year. Combined with a late frost, he says Georgia growers lost approximately 95% of their usual crop.
“Between Georgia and South Carolina, they supply so many peaches, and those are just gone,” Paine said. “You really haven’t seen southern peaches in the grocery store. I’ve only seen California fruit, and that’s very different from what we would see in a normal year.”
Georgia’s peach seasons ended about a month early. Tree-Ripe has sourced this year’s peaches from West Virginia.
This weekend, the company is touring the Upper Peninsula to deliver limited quantities of those West Virginia peaches. The team began their route at the Escanaba Menards on Friday.
“A lot of the season we’ve been on a one-box minimum, and the boxes are half the size that they were last year,” said route coordinator Lyle Farrell. “We’ve got a quarter-bushel box for $30. Last year they were $45 for half a bushel. Supply and demand always works that way, and there’s a big demand and a small supply.”
Tree-Ripe Fruit Co. also has Michigan blueberries and cherries from Door County, Wisconsin, as well as pecans and pistachios. The delivery truck will stop in Marquette and Dickinson counties Saturday and Sunday, but peaches are expected to run out quickly.
On Saturday, July 22, Tree-Ripe Fruit Co. will be at Marquette’s Westwood Mall from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The truck will then go to Country Village Ace Hardware in Ishpeming from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
On Sunday, July 23, Tree-Ripe Fruit Co. will stop in Kingsford at Ace Hardware from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Click here for the full schedule.