Cancel OK

Mother Nature 101: How The Peach Truck teaches us the fickleness of agriculture

produce with pamela

ROUND ROCK, TX – Getting my fix of peaches this summer has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

Earlier in the season, I got an apologetic email from The Peach Truck saying crop losses in the Southeastern U.S. were too great to overcome, and that I wouldn’t be able to pick them up this year.

I was sad, but pivoted to Costco, which has typically been a reliable source of decent fruit, unlike my local (and usually beloved) H-E-B. I, like many consumers, have been burned by grocery store peaches too many times. Even the “local” Texas fruit is inconsistent, flavorless, mealy, underripe – overall, a disappointment.

The Peach Truck’s direct-to-consumer model of perfect, flavorful fruit has almost a cult following. People stand in line to load up hand carts of fruit with glee, me included.

Imagine my surprise when I get an email out of the blue saying, Oops! they actually WILL be having a peach drop in my area. The catch? It’s tomorrow, with a more than 50% mark-up on the price of fruit. Oof.

I hesitated, but only for a few minutes. Instead of a 25-pound box, fruit was offered in 10-pound mini boxes. Instead of a $50 price tag, the cost was $38. I did some quick paper towel math and decided to go ahead. The flavor experience made it worth it.

Turns out, 10 pounds is actually perfect for my family. Instead of handing out a pound here and a pound there to neighbors and acquaintances, and still being left with about 10 pounds of wrinkly fruit at the end, needing to get creative on how to use it up, I pushed myself to eat at least a peach a day and we finished everything off in a perfect window of flavor.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the opportunity to share the love, but that takes more effort and coordination than I can muster on most days.

So, we learned initial crop estimates were more dire than the reality, price adjustments and quantities had to be made, and being nimble is key, even in the direct-to-consumer gig.


Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.