Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assemblyman Adam J. Taliaferro took a tour of Circle M Farms’ peach orchard with New Jersey Department of Agriculture recently, getting a firsthand view of one of the region’s top orchards in one of the state’s most important agricultural sectors.
Peaches Are More Versatile Than You Think
Jersey peaches are undoubtedly delicious eaten in their natural state, sweet and healthy even for sugar-restricted diets. They’re low in calories (according to Rutgers University Agriculture Cooperative Extension, one raw medium peach has 50 calories), low in sugar (less than 13 grams), with only 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol and sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein.
A peach provides 6% of your daily vitamin A needs and 15% of daily vitamin C needs. One medium peach also contains 2% or more daily value of vitamins E and K, niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and copper.
Does anything better evoke summer than peach pie or cobbler or galette? But should you crave a little variation with less sugar, peaches are more versatile than you might think. They can be grilled, steamed, chopped in salads, processed into smoothies. They make good company for pork, chicken, shrimp and flat fishes.
Freeze peach slices on a cookie sheet, transfer to plastic bag and keep frozen for use as needed, maybe in champagne, or seltzer. Make cold peach soup with yogurt. The internet offers myriad and surprising recipes for fresh peaches.
Circle M Farms is a certified ‘Jersey Fresh’ farm, which provides peaches and nectarines through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and food markets around the state.
“Since our founding, agriculture has been a pillar in our state’s economy and a major part of shaping the Garden State we see today,” said Senator Sweeney. “The people of South Jersey know intimately how farms like this help sustain our small communities, from providing jobs to our residents to providing produce for our stores.”
New Jersey is ranked fourth in the nation, behind California, South Carolina and Georgia in peach production and the agricultural sector is one of the state’s most important economic assets.
“There is little better than a fresh peach on a hot summer day,” said Assemblyman Taliaferro. “The only thing that makes it better is knowing it was grown right here, in our community. These local farms are the backbone of South Jersey, they always have been and they always will be.”
They were joined on the tour by NJ Department of Agriculture Secretary Doug Fisher, Assemblyman Matthew Milam, Salem County Freeholder Director Ben Laury, Salem County Freeholder Deputy Director Scott Griscom and Mannington Deputy Mayor Luke Patrick.