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Meet Your Producers

Meet the Gunkels—Growers of Local Maryhill Stone Fruit

The long-awaited stone fruit season is here at last. Come take your pick from some of the best local cherries and peaches around—grown just down the road by our friends at Gunkel Orchards. 

Gukel Orchards fruit stand sign amongst peach trees
Gunkel Orchards Maryhill Peaches and Cherries

Gunkel Orchards Maryhill Peaches and Cherries

When summer hits its peak in the Pacific Northwest, so do the local Maryhill peaches and cherries from our longtime partners at Gunkel Orchards.  

The Gunkel family farm is on a breathtaking land-split along the Columbia River Gorge in Goldendale, WA. Some attribute the region's unique microclimate of sandy soil, moderate winds, and long days of sunshine to the Gunkel family’s legendary stone fruit, or maybe it's the fact that they allow their fruit to ripen on the tree. Either way, Gunkel cherries and peaches are consistently sweet (so sweet!), juicy, and bursting with just-picked flavor.     

Maryhill Cherries  

We'll start seeing these sustainably grown, hand-picked favorites in mid-June. If you don't eat them all first, they're outstanding in cherry pie, salads, and summery cocktails. But the season's short, so get them while you can. Don't forget to grab a cherry pitter from our home goods department!

Maryhill Peaches  

Grab some napkins because you can't eat a Maryhill peach without juice running down your chin. We expect to see these hand-picked beauties rolling in mid-July. Eat them right out of hand, make peach pancakes, or grill them. However you decide to eat them, you're in for a sweet (and juicy!) treat. 

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When it comes to farming, the Gunkel family is big on sustainability. They use drip and micro-sprinkler irrigation to prevent runoff and conserve water, and they use farm compost for fertilization, eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers. As a bonus, their location along the Columbia River and the resultant wind reduces the need for pesticides.  

They're also committed to their family farming heritage and, when the time comes, plan to pass the farm on to the next generation to ensure the land remains agricultural. 

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We've been sourcing stone fruit from the Gunkel family for over 15 years and feel honored to call them partners and friends. 

Every year, they generously host a group of New Seasons Market staff for two farm tours, one during cherry season and another during peach season. Our staff gets the opportunity to learn firsthand about sustainable farming and growing practices, and of course, they get treated to a delicious bounty of perfectly ripe fruit. 


Ten whole peaches on a countertop next to a cutting board.

Local Produce Tracker

Want to see when even more seasonal arrivals land in our stores? Check out our sweet local produce tracker!

PRODUCE TRACKER

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