WAPWALLOPEN, Pa. — Plump peaches dangling from the trees in Heller Orchard bring smiles to the growers.
Not too long ago, the Hellers were watching a thermometer and praying their crop would survive.
"Yes, we had many, many nights that were very close, but just, they were close. And we came through very well," said Greg Heller.
Heller says Mother Nature continued to be on the side of the peaches through the summer.
"This rain that we've been getting in the past week has been phenomenal, much needed. I know some farmers are going to say, well, we had plenty, maybe a little too much, but we were pretty dry there for a while."
If you are looking to purchase peaches, growers say local farmers markets are likely the place to go because Pennsylvania peaches are where it's at this year.
"Local crops are the way to go. You're going to find a tree-ripe fruit that that is picked correctly versus stuff that shipped in that's harder. They have to pick it harder, so a lot of good fruit coming."
Heller says what you'll see now in the shop is only a taste of what's to come. The crop he and his team will be picking this weekend will be big and juicy.
"There's better ones coming," Heller said. "When you get into August, they come off the pit well, and they're going to be some of the best fruit."