Today (August 24) is National Peach Pie Day and what better way to celebrate than with a fresh pie baked with our own Palisade peaches.

While Colorado is far from being the top peach producing state, we often lay claim to growing the best peaches in the nation right here on the Western Slope.

Considering peach growing is Colorado is limited to a very small area of the state where the climate and soil conditions are ideal, this is quite an accomplishment. Visit Grand Junction says Palisade started growing peaches in the 1880s as farmers found the east end of the valley has the perfect micro-climate for growing the delicious fruit.

While the final numbers aren't available for 2015, Statista ranked the Top 10 peach producing states two years ago and Colorado is one of them.

Accoring to Statista, in 2013 the US produced over 900,000 tons of peaches. Here's a list of the top states that grew all of those peaches. Numbers represent tons of peaches harvested.

  1. California - 648,000
  2. South Carolina - 69,650
  3. Georgia - 35,250
  4. Pennsylvania - 19,500
  5. New Jersey - 18,210
  6. Washington - 13,100
  7. Texas - 8,250
  8. Virginia - 7,740
  9. New York 7,740
  10. Colorado - 7,330

Of course, those of us who live in Western Colorado know the mild spring and abundant moisture produced some of the most delicious peaches on the planet this season. Fresh picked and ripe is the best way to eat a Palisade peach and if the juice runs down your chin, all the better. But, that's our little secret.


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