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Florida farmer promoting peach industry

Citrus is famous in Florida, but there's another fruit growers want the country to know about: Peaches.

Farmer Adrian Morales says he has found his calling. "We enjoy what we do every day," he said.

About six years ago, Morales began growing peaches. "Come wintertime, we have to hand prune every single individual tree here on the farm," he said.

University of Florida scientists figured out how to grow them here. It was up to people like Morales to figure out how to market them.

"Peaches are a little bit smaller in size, so people are a kind of timid, so the first thing you have to do is explain to them that the flavor profile is unlike anything you've ever had in your life," Morales said.

When he started, several area school districts began incorporating the smaller Florida peach in their lunch programs.

Like citrus, peaches need some cool temperatures for their trees to flourish, called "chill hours," when the thermometer dips below 55 degrees.

"We've come to the realization that these trees are very, very temperamental," Morales said.

The growing schedule allows Florida Peechy's to be the only fresh peach around in March, April and May. With this year's harvest winding down, Morales is looking ahead.


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