Promising peach crops in store for western Mass. farms - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Promising peach crops in store for western Mass. farms

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BELCHERTOWN, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Apple and peach fans alike can rejoice this season a farms in western Mass. begin to see the first signs of their fresh fruits on the trees.
  
The Phoenix Fruit Farm, formerly known as Atkins Orchard in Belchertown, is home to thousands of apple and peach trees spanning 100 acres of land.

Last year's unexpected temperature changes ultimately made the difference, but this year was a more consistently cold, and very good for the trees.

What they need now is some consistent warmth as blooming season comes to an end.
 
"We like to see sunny, warm weather so that the bees will be encouraged to come out and fly, and it was kind of cool and cloudy for a lot of those days," said Elly Vaughan, Owner of Phoenix Fruit Farm. 
 
The cool weather during blooming can cause too much swelling and eventually break the buds, resulting in some serious crop loss. But Vaughn said that should not be the case this year. 
 
Vaughan and her staff will be thinning these little peach fruitless now until July before the harvest season begins.

Thinning is done to grow a lot of big fruits on the trees, instead of too many small ones, which could actually snap the tree branches.
 
Vaughan expects close to 100,000 peaches and nearly 750,000 apples on her farm, which will be sold in local grocery stores here in western Mass. 

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