Peaches of Pasco

Peaches of Pasco, Dade City Florida Grown

There's nothing like a freshly picked peach. In Dade City, Florida, there is a certified insecticide-free 10-acre u-pick peach farm, owned by Ron Wilson, which grows fruit from mid-April to June.

A friend and I went picking, on a very hot afternoon in early May. Wilson greeted us in the parking area with several wicker baskets. "It's $20 for a half bushel of peaches," he said, adding last season he had sold fruit by the bushel but found this year people preferred the smaller amount.

Wilson showed us where to find the peaches, way up at the top of the trees, "Don't worry about that," he said pulling a branch down to eye level, "These branches are very flexible and they won't snap if you pull them down."

He grabbed a big peach off the branch, "Here eat this," he said, handing me the peach, "Watch out for the buggy part. I don't spray any pesticides so you have to compete with the bugs for the fruit."

As I ate, peach juice exploded out of the fruit, splashed down my chin and nearly drenched my T-shirt. It's sweet, fresh, flavor made me glad I had driven the extra miles to get to the farm.

Wilson grows five different types of peaches. The ones we picked were known as melters, meaning they are very good to eat fresh. He also grows non-melter peaches, later in the season, that are good for canning. Wilson said non-melters are what you usually see on grocery store shelves because they last longer.

Wilson was born in Dade City, Florida, and works part time for the USDA. The profits from the farm supplement his income. He started growing peaches in 2006 because he liked the idea of a crop that kept ripening over several weeks.

He only takes cash. You can find his farm at 12119 Ducklake Canal Road, Dade City, FL 33525 or phone him at 813-714-1112 for directions and availability.

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