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Palisade peaches

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Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Palisade peaches yet to be picked on Friday, August 27, 2021 in Palisade, Colorado.
Palisade peaches

A Palisade peach, unforgettably sweet and juicy, packs a lot of Colorado inside its fuzzy skin. In the late 19th century, as native people were forced from their ancestral homes, farmers started developing land in the shade of the cliffs at the eastern end of Grand Valley on the Western Slope. The soil was rich, but too dry for fruit trees.

Then came John Harlow, who planted peach trees in 1882 with water diverted from the Colorado River. The town of Palisade grew too, and just a few decades later, it was shipping more than twenty-five thousand pounds of peaches across the region every day. The winter of 1962 killed most of the existing fruit trees, and the winter of ‘89 also did damage, but growers persevered, and today Colorado is the 7th-largest peach producing state, celebrated for more than 100 years with what’s now known as the Palisade Peach Festival, where you can take in a parade, present yourself to the Peach Queen and her court, and, of course, eat a peach.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.