(Photo by Leonna Heuring, Staff)
SIKESTON -- A mild winter and early spring have created a plentiful peach crop in Southeast Missouri as some varieties have been available for over a month now.
"The peaches that we're picking right now we usually pick toward the end of July so we're about three or four weeks early," said Janet Johns, who runs her family's business, Cates Orchard in Dudley.
Fruits and vegetables being ready to pick a week early or a week late is not unheard of, but nearly a month early is rare, Johns said.
"My dad is 92, and he's never seen it like this," Johns said.
Johns' family has operated the Stoddard County orchard since the late 1950s.
"What we're picking right now are Redhavens and Early Lorings. We're starting on Lorings, which we usually pick the third our fourth week of July," Johns said.
For the complete article and more stories from the Standard Democrat, click here to log on to the electronic edition.