Part of growing a portion of one’s own food supply is that nature is not the grocery store, doling out this week’s allotment of produce, but more like the refrigerator truck driving up for an annual delivery. This week’s was peaches. We have only one peach tree. But, this is like saying that only one truck full of peaches arrived this morning.
We did not plant this peach tree. We suspect one of our nephews, either Ben or Drew, unknowingly planted it about a dozen years ago, when we had them visit for the first Camp Larson summer. They came in July when local peaches filled a gas station’s shelves and dripped down our arms when we ate them. If you are passing by Strausburg, VA, in July make the 3 mile run west (from highway 81) on Rt 55/48 to the Woodbine Market, which sells these peaches.
When our nephews visited, we had stocked on up a few bags of potato chips and cookies, but we never mentioned these. Instead, after eating a peach, they ate us through about a bushel full. Whether a pit ended up in the compost pile, or got tossed 50 feet from the porch, we are not sure. But, a couple of years later, we noticed a “volunteer” tree growing out of a bush that we had planted near the driveway. I
suggested that we leave it, because I thought that it might be a fruit tree of some sort. I grew up with a peach tree outside my bedroom window, so I should know a thing or two about fruit trees. A couple of years later, we had confirmed that this was a peach tree with a crop of tiny and tasty peaches.
Now each year, in addition to enjoying the Woodbine’s peaches in July, we harvest our peach tree in August. We probably have about a bushel of quality
peaches, a half bushel of cut-up-today peaches, and a half bushel which the stink bugs, yellow jackets, and bumble bees have poked too many holes into to do much with besides toss into the woods. Have you ever wondered what a bushel of peaches looks like or what to do with them?
In addition to keeping the nicest, small ones for lunches, most of our peaches get skinned, sliced up, vacuum sealed and frozen. These are excellent to mix into yogurt in January and smoothies until October and again after April until the next July. We could probably can peaches instead of freezing them, but there are all those tomatoes to process…