Peach lovers need patience as harvest time nears

The Hill Country crop is looking good so far.

GILLESPIE COUNTY, Texas — The forecast for Hill Country peaches is looking good at the Jenschke Orchards east of Fredericksburg, but even now, people are finding early season sweet treats.

Jojo went to the pick-your-own strawberry field Thursday morning and he left skipping and grinning, proud of the pint of berries he had gathered.

The boy’s grandfather said the farm has something for everyone. 

“There’s blackberries [and] strawberries. It’s more than just peaches.”

Lindsey Jenschke, who helps manage the year-round agricultural wonder, said “This year looks to be a much better year than the last couple of years as far as the peach crop goes as we did get sufficient chill hours that we needed for the peach crop.”  

Jenschke said most growers are hopeful it will be a bountiful year.

“We’ve had a great wet spring so far and as long as we’re not in the triple digits like Death Valley we should be doing pretty good this summer,” Jenschke said. “We had a couple of hailstorms a few weeks ago and we got dime-sized hail for a short time.  We are slowly recovering with our strawberries but so far our peaches have held tight.”

Warily watching the sky, Jenschke said everyone is hoping the calm will continue.

“We are looking for boring weather. Maybe a little rain shower here and there, some sun would be nice but nothing crazy, no storms. We’re all praying that it stays pretty calm,” Jenschke said.

Jenschke said even though she never envisioned a life in agriculture, now her greatest source of joy is educating guests of all ages about the importance of food security.

“It’s very fulfilling to show children and adults alike where food comes from,” Jenschke said. “To actually see a tangible plant or tree with fruit on it is pretty exciting.”

Kids, she said, eat up the experience.

“They get to not only get outside and run around in the fresh air, but they get to do a fun activity and usually it’s a family event which is really fun for the kids, and then they get to go home with something that they get to eat and enjoy that they actually participated in harvesting,” Jenschke said.

Jenschke said they expect peaches to be ready to harvest in a month or so. They keep customers updated about what’s available on social media and their website:

Jenschke said the website lists all the growers in the area.

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