One Peach

MiaOKCJuly 22, 2012

That was the "crop" I got this year. :( I'd been checking the peaches every day, and they would still feel hard but had gotten to a good size and changed color. So I was just waiting for them to ripen and to pick. Well, we were out late Friday night (the one night I didn't check) and when I went out to the peach tree yesterday, every single remaining peach had fallen to the ground. Ugh!! So, the single peach that I'd accidentally nudged when I was going by to pick tomatoes is THE PEACH of the season. It had a hole that I cut out, but it was delicious!

Bummer, because this is almost the same thing that happened to my plum crop (one plum). Is there a trick to harvesting the fruit at the right time or do I need to quit my day job so I can concentrate on checking the trees every few hours? LOL. I have one more chance for a fruit crop, we have three pear trees...

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mulberryknob

We pick our peaches when the color and a taste test indicates they are ripe, not when they get soft. Were you able to salvage any that had fallen? Lucky for you, pears are easier. They should be picked while still hard. Last year we spent the day before the first predicted frost--which arrived--picking pears. We kept a few on the counter and ate them as they softened and a few in the crisper of the frig for a month, but dried, canned and juiced a lot. Pears will continue to ripen, and sweeten, off the tree. Peaches will soften off the tree. Another thing about peaches. IF you pull gently and they release from the tree, they are ready to pick even if still firm.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:32AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Mia, Peaches do often seem to go from not-yet-ripe to too ripe amazingly fast sometimes. I find that to be especially true of the ones that ripen in mid-summer or later. I think the high heat must accelerate the speed with which they ripen.

If you can catch the peaches within an hour or two of them falling on the ground and before any insects, squirrels, rabbits, deer or coyotes find them (well, your backyard is less likely than mine to have those critters) , you can pick up the peaches and salvage them.

I try to check my peach trees at least twice daily when the fruit is ripening. Now that you have experience with whatever variety of peach you have there, make a note to yourself what the ripe color looked like and when the peaches began to turn. That will help you know what to expect this year. However, your peaches may or may not ripen at the same exact time next year. The peaches and plums we raise all ripened about a month earlier than usual this year, likely because they bloomed more than a month earlier than usual, and there were no late frosts to set them back.

Hopefully next year you'll be able to catch the peaches at the right time and pick them before they fall. As Dorothy said, pears will be a piece of cake compared to peaches, so you ought to get a great pear harvest.

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 2:41PM
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chickencoupe

Dawn;
Is the Farmer's Almanac reliable at all? I keep remembering its prediction for this summer and fall but wonder how accurate it is. No one here ever mentions it so I assume it's controversial. What comes to mind is it states this winter will come early making summer brief but that precipitation will be under average. To me that leads right into another drought next year if we do not receive more than average rainfall in the spring and summer.

thanks
bon

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 2:50PM
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OklaMoni

Mia, while at my daughters we sampled the peaches hanging over the wall between her house and the neighbors.

They were ready to eat, even though they didn't really look like it.

Taste test next year!

Moni

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 8:04PM
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chickencoupe

Aw, now that picture is a beaut! So sweeet.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 8:07PM
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MiaOKC

Thanks, all. I'm going to put it on my calendar right now with a month's reminder for next year. I always mean to start a garden journal but it's one of those things that never gets started. I do use my calendar for all things work-related so I'll just marry the two worlds!

Moni - is it wrong to be jealous of a child? Those kids look like they had some yummy peaches :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Bon, It depends on what you mean by reliable. Let me put it this way---I read the Farmer's Almanac the same way I read a horoscope---for entertainment purposes only. I find their forecasts too vague and general to be really helpful. Sure, they claim high reliability, but (a) they are grading themselves which undoubtedly influences how they evaluate their own performance, and (b) if you say an entire 2-state region, for example, is going to be "hot and sunny" from August 1st thru 8th, well....how hard is that to forecast? Also, their forecasts are developed up to 18 months in advance. Are we ready to believe they have some super-secret method of forecasting weather 18 months out, when the NWS and other government agencies with many, many highly-developed resources cannot forecast many things with a high degree of confidence more than 3 to 10 days in advance, depending on what weather we're talking about?

My gut feeling is that we're in the midst of a string of drought years that may last a decade. How do we count where they began? For a lot of us, drought has been very common in all of the 2000s, but especially since 2003. I'm starting to fear we're in a long-term hot and dry cycle and had better get used to it and alter our gardening practices accordingly.

Moni, What an adorable photo. Those precious grandchildren of yours are so cute and look so happy.

Mia, Go ahead and envy the children's wonderful peach experience. There is nothing better than ripe fruit fresh off a tree.

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:08PM
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chickencoupe

Thank you Dawn :)

I may just be forced to make a peach cobbler tomorrow morning.

bon

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

You're welcome, Bon.

I'm thinking more along the lines of homemade peach ice cream, but probably not until Sunday which will be Tim's next day off. If I make it during his 4-day work-week, I may eat all of it while he's working and before he gets a chance to have any of it at all. I consider ice cream to be my summer survival food.

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:15PM
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slowpoke_gardener

I am running ahead of you guys, I got a peach peeling fried pie today, one of my favorite.

Larry

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:26PM
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chickencoupe

Blazing ice pops! Peach ice cream sound fab and so does the fried pie! Makes a cobbler look boring. Think I'll save the cobblers for winter. :D

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:35PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Yum. Fried pies.

See how many ways we can find to dispose of all our fresh produce? Surely making fried pies is one of the best ways to use peaches. (Not that there's any bad ways to use them.)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:09AM
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