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Business is peachy

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But strange weather problematic

By Richard Robards

Landmark News Service

“It soweth here with toil and care, But the harvest-time of love is there.”

– Robert Southey

Unusually wet weather and a cooler-than-normal July have made life interesting for owners of three local produce stands.

“It’s been very, very trying,” said Jamie Pyles, owner of Bray Orchard and Roadside Market.

Bob Callis, owner of Callis Orchard, agrees. He said the wet weather wasn’t as big a problem for him as some late frosts that stunted some of his early peach varieties.

Business seemed brisk at all the markets as people stopped by for vegetables, fruit and melons.

Betty Bray, who runs Bray Orchards, said each of her peach varieties has been about 10 days late.

Because all three wholesale their products as well as sell to customers that drop by, the delay has been problematic but not serious.

“Everybody has been hankering for peaches and there have been times when we haven’t had as many as we need,” said Bray

As best can be determined, Trimble County has about 105 acres planted in peach trees and Callis says local markets will have peaches when no one else does,

“Must have something to do with the environment,” Callis offered. “Some people say it’s the close proximity to the river, but I don’t think anyone really knows.”

Whatever the reason, Trimble County has been in the produce business for a long time.

Pyles, whose father started their business back in 1907, said the wet weather has been hardest on tomatoes and green beans.

“We had this cool July and because of the rains we were late getting them out and the wet weather has hampered our efforts to harvest.”

The serious rainstorm in Louisville on Aug. 4 caused a shipment from Callis to Fort Knox to be delayed for a day.

Bray said that early bug infestations stunted the growth of some of her 31 peach varieties.

“We had some undeveloped fruit and a lot of No. 2 peaches.”

But all agree that the size, flavor and juiciness of the peaches on the stands are as good as they have ever been.

Callis wholesales to markets in Louisville and Carrollton and says he has shipped peaches to Washington State in the past.

Bray sells to markets in Louisville, Lexington and Indiana but says those markets pick up their product. She quit delivering several years ago.