Published 12:00 am Friday, June 13, 2008
By John Howell Sr.
Though a late freeze curbed production of most of Tom McCullar’s early peaches, he expects to have the fruit available for sale soon “after the Fourth.”
Peaches should be available through early September at his stands in East Oaks in Batesville and on Highway 315 and on Saturdays at the Oxford Farmers’ Market, he said.
McCullar gave members of the Batesville Exchange Club a crop report Tuesday. He grows peaches on about 2,400 trees in orchards in the Mt. Olivet Community.
His 2007 peach crop was completely destroyed by a late freeze.
The 2008 season will mark the 10th year since his peach trees first started producing. McCullar’s orchards include different peach varieties to allow for staggered fruiting to provide uninterrupted yield during the season. His is the only commercial peach orchard in Mississippi north of Meridian.
Demand for McCullar’s juicy, sweet, locally grown peaches has grown to the extent that the supply at his stands for daily sales is often exhausted before noon.
Peach prices for this year will reflect the increased cost of fertilizer, fuel and labor, he said.