EAST OF PUNTA GORDA — The sun begins its descent one balmy afternoon in rural Charlotte County, casting golden rays of light over Edentown Grove, a citrus farm on Bermont Road. Hot, white clouds appear stranded in the sky, seemingly unable to get through the humidity. It’s October and, as one worker notes so succinctly, it’s “hotter’n hell.”
It’s certainly not the kind of heat one would expect on a fall afternoon, and definitely not the kind of weather in which you’d expect to find peaches growing. For the most part, the sweet, tender fruit is found in the cooler climates of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, where mother nature offers just the right amount of “chill hours” needed for peaches to thrive.
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