By Daniel Colunga (OC Local Foodshed Intern, Silverton, TX)
If you were to ask me what the best fruit is, my answer would always be the same, peaches! From the first bite you take, the sweet sensation just makes your taste buds shout with joy. What is even better is naturally grown peaches from a peach ranch. Thanks to Troy and the Monroe family, you can get your hands on delicious peaches right outside of Hedley, Texas.
The Monroe’s Peach Ranch is located on US Highway-287 and consists of two stands filled with numerous fruits, vegetables, and jams on both sides of the highway. The ranch is open to the community of Hedley, as well as weary travelers just passing through. Owner, Troy Monroe, has been overseeing and running the ranch with his wife and sons for 37 years. He explained how the ranch has been passed down through the family for a long time. He reminisced on helping his grandparents and parents grow and pick fruit. With it being his turn now, he is extremely blessed to have the opportunity to give back to others. “It is a great feeling having the family involved in meeting new people, and supplying them with fresh fruits.” stated Troy.
First starting out, the Monroe’s traveled to surrounding farmers markets to sell fruits. Later, they decided to stay stationary at the stands. Here and there, Troy’s brother and his wife take some fruit and sell it at farmers markets, spreading the word about the peach ranch. Since the Monroe’s are stationary, they sell at their stand weekly all year round. To stay open when their fruits are out of season, Troy travels to the East Texas area to gather fruit from other farmers. Troy states, “It is a long trip, and at times hard, but it also brings great benefits, being able to stay open all year.” One of the best parts about the ranch is that there are no goods going to waste. Most of the fruits sell easily, and what does not, ends up going to the Monroe’s hogs and goats.
The future looks bright for the Monroe’s Peach Ranch. Troy plans on passing it down to his children soon and the family plans on expanding. Currently, they are working on building an indoor stand. It is very exciting to see what is next for the Monroe’s Peach Ranch. I cannot wait to make another visit!