Location is everything in the fruit growing business.
That’s the reality Palisade’s growers know all too well, especially after some capricious weather blew into the Grand Valley in early spring.
For the most part, temperatures in the valley’s easternmost end — protected by the Bookcliffs and in the shadow of Grand Mesa — are the toastiest, making the best neighborhoods for nurturing budding blooms on fruit trees and grapevines. Yet a stubborn cold snap in early April delivered an atypical top-to-valley-floor Arctic blast of cold air from the north.
The timing of April’s cold front was especially unfortunate because buds and blooms on peach trees on the east end had opened after some coaxing from balmy temperatures earlier in the year.
So growers on the east end, whose crops usually fare the best, this year sustained more crop damage as the weather pattern seemingly flip-flopped.