By Kylie Neel
Mitcham Farms is the largest peach orchard in Louisiana, owning over 12,000 trees, and produces hand-picked and hand-graded peaches and peach products yearly.
Owner Joe Mitcham has been preparing for this year’s annual Louisiana Peach Festival.
“The processing station and picking will start soon,” Mitcham said. “The processing station is also one of the many great visual experiences about our orchard.”
The peach orchard will begin picking and processing the peaches as early as the first week of June.
Mitcham has been working countless hours as he prepares his employees to work the processing station, with the Peach Festival almost upon them.
“The process station includes three main stations under it, and they are the wash, the de fuzz, and the degrading peaches from bird pecks and bug bites for our customers,” Mitcham said.
Mitcham Farms has seven employees under its wing, and they are hiring kids for the summer to pick and process peaches. The No. 1 grade peaches will go on sale in a $10 to $50 maximum, pending how many a buyer want. The peach products however depend on what is desired.
Ruston native Lauren Menzina said she has been looking forward to the annual Peach Festival.
“The Peach Festival has been one of my family traditions since I was little,” Menzina said. “My favorite part about the peach festival every year is Mitcham Farms’ famous peach ice cream.”
The famous peach ice cream is now available at Mitcham’s.
The annual Peach Fest will take place June 4. The festival will include music, arts markets, food and kids’ activities.
Mitcham Farms is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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