Peaches | Fredericksburg,TX, June 2015

Peaches are harvested between the middle of May and the middle of August in the Hill Country region in Texas around the town of Fredericksburg.  The area has an average yearly rainfall of 32 inches and mild summer temperatures with highs in the 90s and nightly lows in the 60s.  Late Spring freezes in the budding season of March and April have been common and are known to destroy entire crops.  Typically the peach trees are trimmed to be around 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide with a 6 to 10 foot spacing between each row so a tractor or truck can drive down it.  There are three methods of harvesting peaches: directly placing the peaches in flat boxes with dividers ready to sell and transport, bag harvesting, and wooden box harvesting.  Bag harvesting is where the pickers put the peaches in a large shoulder slung bag with a flap on the bottom to easily unload in mobile storage containers where they will later be sorted and packaged.  The wooden box method consists of harvesters placing the peaches into 1 1/2L x 1W x 1H foot shoulder slung boxes that are able to be stacked and transported on a flatbed trailer without crushing the fruit. Harvesters wear long sleeved shirts, pants and hats to protect themselves from the sun.