They say you haven’t tasted a peach until you’ve tasted a Colorado Palisade peach. And, that’s saying something considering other parts of the country have made the peach its state symbol!
Its velvety skin, deep and rich colors and juiciness make Palisades peaches a delicacy that people wait for year round. Plus, the numerous varieties with alluring names such as Redglobe, Coralstar and Elegant Lady make the peach a tempting treat. Colorado peaches come into season in late July and peak by mid September. It’s a relatively short season, but one that is celebrated with festivals, canning parties and even the anointing of a Peach Queen.
It all started in 1882 with John Harlow and his wife, Jean. Besides farming, Harlow served as road overseer and local justice of the peace. He was interested in Grand Valley agriculture and knew that designing and building a canal system to bring water from the Colorado River would create good agricultural conditions. Palisade was one of the first areas to receive canal water. By the early 1900s, more than 25,000 pounds of peaches were being shipped daily from Palisade to destinations around the region.
Today, Palisades are the pride of Colorado. People make an annual pilgrimage to the area to taste the best and take bushels home for sharing and preserving.
At A Well-Seasoned Kitchen, we’re especially fond of the Palisade Peaches that come from High Country Orchards. Operated by Theresa and Scott High, close family friends (I’ve known Scott since high school!), they take a high-quality approach to everything they do at the Orchard. That’s why Mrs. Obama and her daughters chose to visit this orchard while in the Palisade area. Whether you’re buying a crate, sampling a peach preserve or trying a salsa, you won’t be disappointed. You can tour the orchard, visit the Country Store to buy handcrafted products and sample the Orchards’ goods next time you’re near Grand Junction. Check the website for directions and more.