Ludo Rosseels is one of the last Belgian peach growers. Frost, once again, hit his trees. And then the rain came. "I've lost almost the entire harvest. I estimate the yield is only ten percent of what it should be," says Ludo.
Peaches bloom up to a month earlier than apples and pears. That makes them especially vulnerable to frost. "At the beginning of February, it was -12°C. April and May were very cold and wet too. So, the blossoms didn't develop." He's lost a total of 3.5 hectares of peaches.
Ludo Rosseels, one of the last peach farmers in Belgium.
It's the third consecutive year that the peach harvest has failed. "Fortunately, this isn't my only crop. My plums are luckily in a much better shape," says Ludo. Back in the '50s, there were more peach growers. But Rosseels is, as far as he knows, now the only one of his kind. He sells his peaches from a farm still near the orchard.
"We pick our peaches ripe. They, therefore, taste much better than the imported ones. People usually come from all over the region for our peaches. Now, we still pick one day a week to cover expenses. But the yield is very disappointing. It isn't easy. But, hopefully, there are better years, with less night frost, ahead." Ludo concludes.
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