Peaches

For more than 80 years, Eckhardt Orchards in Fredericksburg, Texas has been known for its juicy, delicious peaches.

Eckhardt: “My fathers’ mother and father planted peach trees in the 30s.”

That’s co-owner Dianne Eckhardt.

Eckhardt: “I’m very proud to be able to continue on the family business.”

But, she says, with climate change, growing peaches in Texas is not the same as it was for her parents and grandparents. Warming winters, extreme storms, and drought pose more frequent threats to the health of the trees and the harvest.

Eckhardt: “Last year we didn’t have enough cold in the winter while the trees were dormant. The fruit buds and the leaf buds did not get enough cold, they didn’t leaf out properly. We didn’t have any fruit. That was eye-opening to see the trees in so much stress.”

With #climate change, growing peaches in Texas isn't the same as it was for her parents and grandparents. Click To Tweet

To help her family’s orchard survive, Eckhardt is working to adapt to warmer, drier conditions.

She’s trying new methods to conserve moisture and experimenting with different peach varieties.

Eckhardt: “As my father always says, when you’re growing peaches you really need to be looking 20, 25, 30 years into the future. If we ignore the climate science, we will not have a farm.”

Reporting credit: Clara Montague/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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