Just Peachy: Opening weekend of peach season in southern Illinois

ALTO PASS, Ill. (KBSI) – The beginning of summer ushers in peach season in southern Illinois.

Michelle Sirles and the rest of the Rendleman Orchards team work year-round to bring that fresh fruit to your plate.

“Having fresh produce, you need to sell it every day,” Sirles said. “That’s what we do every single day. It’s hard work, so we just dig in. Everybody pitches in and helps, and somehow, we get it all done. I don’t know how, but somehow, we do. We have a lot of good team members that work for us.”

Sirles said southern Illinois’ climate and terrain provide the perfect recipe for growing peaches.

“We have the rolling hills here, which offer great drainage for the orchards, so the trees do really well on hillsides. And then we have that nice, warm climate where peaches can really thrive and color up,” she said. “There’s less threat of a freeze in the southern part of the state, so we’re able to get more consistent crops here.”

Speaking of recipes, Sirles offered some tips on how you can use the Desiree peach, which is picked in the early part of the season.

“These are a great eating peach,” she said. “People can’t wait to take some home and just have fresh, sliced peaches. They’re also great for baking or any kind of recipe, peach salads, that kind of thing, too.”

And of course, how could we forget the peach smoothies? 

“We have our ripest peaches, we puree those and serve them up in a peach smoothie,” Sirles said. “It’s such a seasonal treat. It really brings people and families out.”

Peach season in southern Illinois lasts until around Labor Day.

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