Albion Peach Orchard Prepares For Harvest 

Folks in the mood for fresh fruit right off the tree aren’t limited to just apples here in Maine. Locust Grove, a peach orchard in Albion, is in the midst of their harvest.locust Grove Owner Gordon Kenyon growing peaches is a labor oflove.”I love producing something like this. You know one of the beauties of doing this is you get so many happy people,” Kenyon said Friday in his orchard.This is the time of year where he spends most of his time in the peach orchard he started back in 1986 when he planted a handful of trees that produced a few dozen peaches. Nine years ago, thanks to a friend, Kenyon had an epiphany.”He just asked me a question right put of the blue. ‘Why haven’t you planted more peaches?’ I almost fell over backwards. This is what I wanted to do all along.”Now his orchard features 740 trees and 13 varieties of peaches and at the age of 70 he has no plan to slow down as he’s constantly on the hunt for new varieties that will grow here in Maine.”My most recent one is one called Peento peach. It’s one of those things that’s coming in from the Californians.”Gordon says he uses no pesticides or sprays for pests which has its consequences. Japanese beetles and fungus will destroy roughly 20% of his crop. If he used sprays that 20% could be saved but Gordon, ever the glass half full guy, chooses to focus on the 80% of his crop that comes off the trees fresh and pesticide free.”I lose product because of it. But the product I have I’m really proud of. There are no toxins applied. I like that.”Surprisingly, he doesn’t mind sharing his secret of how he gets a fruit traditionally grown in much warmer climates to flourish here in Maine.”My secret is the location,” he said. “The location worked. It’s high on a hill. I’ve got air drainage is one of the keys. Cold air is denser than warm air and when it’s quiet the cold air will tumble off of the hillsides and leave basically an inversion leave it a little bit warmer. But I think that peaches, they may be more possible in the state of Maine as the future goes on.”The Locust Grove orchard is located at 379 Quaker Hill Road in Albion.For more information or to order peaches you can give them a call at 437-4585