The long and brutal winter has had an impact on some local agriculture and that includes the small amount of peach growers in Maine like Gordon Kenyon, owner of Locust grove Farm in Albion.
Kenyon planted 20 trees in all that year and only two of them remain. But he’s grown steadily over the years and this year you’ll find more than 700 trees capable of producing 14 different varieties on his farm on the Quaker Hill Road.
This is the time of year where you’ll find Kenyon feverishly picking his peaches and preparing them for sale. It’s all part of his one-man operation. Kenyon says he uses no fungicides or sprays, which costs him some of his crop, but he insists the finished product is well worth it. But the one thing he can’t control around here is the weather. In fact, Kenyon says in his nearly 30 years of growing peaches no two years have been the same and the long duration of cold weather late in the season this year took a toll on the peach blossoms on the trees.
“Considering the fact there are basically only four of my varieties this year that are going to produce a significant crop. Fortunately I have a significant number of those four,” he said Thursday.
Despite the fact his harvest could be down as much as 40% this year, Kenyon still expects to have more peaches this year than last. Thanks to the fact that his trees are a little older and he changed his pruning process in the spring in anticipation of a tough year. He opted to leave some of the branches he ordinarily would have cut. That gamble paid off.
“You can see what it’s done for me. That one would have come out during my pruning process and look at all the peaches on it. So I just figured that this might be the year to try something like this.”
After navigating the long and cold winter, Kenyon expects to have plenty of peaches available right through this weekend.
He has peaches for sale from 3:30-5:30 daily. For more information or to place a large order call 437-4585.