It has been three long years since we have been able to offer the wonderful peaches from Hunter Orchards here at Eureka Natural Foods. This was not by choice of course.
Hunter Orchards has been owned and operated by David and Nicole Stewart for the past five years. Certified organic since 1988, it was previously owned by John Tannaci and Kirsten Olson who moved to Gazelle, CA after previously living here in Humboldt County. ENF has been proud to offer their fruit, when available for the past two decades. We buy direct from the growers. They are located on twenty acres, approximately ten acres are peach and nectarine trees while the remainder are planted with apples, pears, plums and also a large pumpkin patch for fall harvest.
Farming is never easy and producing great fruit in Siskiyou County presents very unique challenges. While the hot days and cold nights are ideal for great tasting peaches, at an elevation of nearly 2800 feet things can go wrong. And unfortunately, they did for the past two seasons. In 2017 they were hit by an ice storm during the month of April that froze the blossoms on the trees before they could even form fruit. This happened after surviving the coldest winter months. It caused a near total loss of their entire crop.
The following season, 2018, things were going fine and all was looking good until a freak hail and wind storm hit in late June and damaged a significant amount of fruit. Thick smoke also blanketed the entire area from July until October, not only blocking the sun, which prevented the fruit from ripening but also settling on the fruit causing a damaging fungal disease.
Now we are here in the 2019 season, different year, better results! We have received our first shipments of peaches and they are delicious! Look for them at both of our locations throughout the month of August and beyond. (Weather and other conditions permitting).
Remember, Hunter Orchards produces the very best peaches that we can offer in our stores, and we now know they are not available every year. So enjoy the wonderful sweet juiciness while you can!