The climate, soil, sun and rain in New Jersey make for the perfect conditions for one of summer's favorite fruits, the peach.  New Jersey is fourth in the country when it comes to peach production with a wholesale value of more than $36 million.  That's according to the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, the state's organization dedicated to promoting and marketing peaches.  This year's crops are ripening earlier than usual and will most likely be ready by the end of June.  Peaches already are being picked in some orchards in South Jersey.

"Peaches have been cultivated here since the 1600s," said Santo John Maccherone, grower and chair of the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council.  "Many of our 92 growers have a long history of growing and marketing the very finest peaches and nectarines."

New Jersey growers produce 100 different varieties of peaches on 5,000 acres.  They generally pack 68-million pounds during the season which generally runs from July through mid-September.  The 2011 crop value was $36.6 million.

How nutritious is a peach?  One peach is 35 calories, has 2.6 grams of fiber and is rich in antioxidants like Vitamins A and C.  It's also got 333 mg of potassium.