Pete Douglas and Jewel Osco's Scott Bennett Discuss Stemilt Growers' Peaches and Nectarines
WENATCHEE, WA - It’s stonefruit season! With four generations of experience growing, packing, and shipping organic-picked stonefruit, ANUK checked in with Stemilt Grower’s Pete Douglas, as well as Jewel Osco’s Scott Bennett, to find out everything retailers and more need to know about the crop set to hit retail in the following weeks.
“One thing that differentiates our family and our fruit from the others is we truly pick our peaches and nectarines tree-ripe, meaning each of our blocks is under 15 acres and we’ll send the pickers through four to five time per block because that’s how you actually get tree-ripe fruit,” Douglas said.
This season, Douglas revealed that we can expect high sugars and starches and full flavor from Stemilt's stonefruit—all of the qualities customers and consumers want their peaches and nectarines to offer.
“These peaches and nectarines will be in our stores very soon, within a few days from today. You can’t go wrong with these peaches,” Bennett said. “There’s a really good benefit for me coming out to orchards. I learn about the best product, how they pick them, how they take care of the product, and also what peaches are the best peaches…they’re picking the best tree-ripened peaches you could possibly get.”
While many have come to expect high-quality stonefruit from Stemilt Growers, Douglas reveals a key reason for that is the company’s location in Washington state, which offers ideal growing conditions for peaches and nectarines.
“As for peaches and nectarines, we have very cold winters, very hot summers, and very cool nights. Peaches love heat, but at night they like to go to sleep for a little bit, so it cools down at night. This past week it was 100 degrees every day. Peaches love that, so we’re going to get these Jewel peaches,” Douglas said.
For more on this season's stonefruit, check out our exclusive video above.