Saturday, October 3, 2009

Small Peach Harvest

Juicy Sweet Elberta Peaches

As with all of my fruit harvests this summer, my peach harvest was on the small side. My tiny Elberta peach tree is 9 years old, but still only gives me a few peaches each year. This year she grew 12 beautiful juicy peaches, but the birds got to at least 3 of them before I discovered that they were ripe. So I harvested 9 delicious peaches this year from my itty bitty tree. I ate every one of them fresh and "out of hand".

Elberta peaches are my favorite peach by far. They are free stone peaches with dark yellow flesh when ripe, and the outside has a nice tart slightly fuzzy peel that usually has a bit of a red blush.

As a young kid I remember eating my fill of peaches in late summer from the Elberta peach tree my Mom had planted in our backyard. Those peaches were huge and so juicy that when I bit into one, it would dribble juice down my chin and sometimes onto my shirt! I remember the whole sensory experience like it was yesterday. The sunshine warm freshly picked peach, fuzzy in my hand. The soft yet firm flesh giving way to my bite. The juice sweet and tangy at the same time squirting all over me. I loved it. And still do. Every time I eat a home grown Elberta peach those sweet childhood memories of my Mom and her peaches come flooding back to me. We had so many peaches that my Mom made pies, froze some sliced peaches for later eating and gave many away to friends and neighbors. Her tree would bear so heavily some years that the branches would break under the weight if not propped up to support them.

Since then, all other peaches that come my way are measured by those big juicy Elberta memories. Rarely have I found one that could compete.

My peach growing goal is to match that peach production memory of my childhood. Each year I will try my best. Those are wonderful peaches, and wonderful memories that I will keep with me always.

© Copyright 2009 Mountain Harvest Basket


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Well, you just reminded me to go out and cover the ground under my peach and apple trees with chicken, goat and llama manure this Fall.
I can't say for sure that was what caused my fruit trees to produce so massively this year, but I have to believe it helped.
My freezer is now overflowing with sliced apples and peaches and peach jam and applesauce. I feel so richly blesed, I can't even explain it, but I'm sure you understand.

I don't know what kind of peach tree we have as it was planted over 10 years ago, before we bought this house, but I do know that it is a cling-type peach, but they are so juicy and sweet. I do hope that our peach tree produces next year, too, but up here at 7,000 feet the weather can be very harsh and fickle. The year before we had a late May snow storm and a June freeze and our fruit trees' blooms were destroyed so no fruit.

I hope that your dreams of bigger peach harvests come true, my friend.


Farmer Jen said...

Hi Lisa,
Thank you for the manure fertilizing tip. That surely would help.

Yes, you are very blessed this year with your pantry and freezer full of homegrown and homemade goodies. I love that!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Don't forget "Big things come in Small packages." They look delicious!

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Love hearing about your childhood memories, Jen. The thought of peaches make my mouth water. When I was small, I would have sliced, fresh peaches with whole milk(gasp) poured on top. What decadence! Later, 2% milk was a luxury, once we had made the move to non-fat. lol.

frugalmom said...

Fresh peaches! Yum. And even sweeter that you have such a great memory attached to them. Doesnt it make you wonder why one year things grow a certain way and then the next it can be totally different?

Hardware Bob said...

Keep trying, your tiny peach tree will eventually catch up to your goal. Good memories, but what does "free" stone mean?