GALES FERRY, Conn. (WTNH) – Despite it being one of the driest seasons that they have ever seen, the staff of Holmberg Orchards in Gales Ferry is excited about the peach season.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 17% of the state, including much of eastern Connecticut, is in a severe drought.

Russell Holmberg said they’ve had less than an inch of rain in the last five or six weeks, but they said these peaches will still be OK. The fruit may be a bit smaller, but it will be even tastier because there are the same amount of carbohydrates in that smaller size.

“The fruit tends to be a little bit smaller,” Holmberg said. “I’ve had some of the best tasting peaches I’ve ever had in my life at the farm right now.”

Tomatoes will also do well in this hot dry weather, but other fruits like strawberries, which grow a little later in the season to coincide with the peach season, are not doing so well in this hot weather.

“That’s a crop that likes it relatively cool and when we get these blistering hot days they’re really really really struggling,” Holmberg said. “They don’t want to throw blossoms. They don’t want to really grow. They just kind of sit there.”

Ideally, Holmberg would like to see about an inch of rain a week but said these really dry conditions are better than really wet conditions because it cuts down on the mold and mildew on the crops.

If they need to add water, they can do so with irrigation.

“Blueberries like a lot of water, so we put water on with irrigation where we can,” Holmberg said. “But that’s another job, and it’s a lot more work.”

They irrigate the vegetables and flowers whenever they can, for now, but they are hoping they won’t have to for much longer. This weather is tough on the crops and the crews who have to work outside under the hot sun to keep things growing.