Sunday, August 7, 2011

Peach season

Of all the fruit & vegetables we grow here at Thiessen Farms, peaches are the crop everyone looks forward to the most.
By everyone I mean both us & our customers. Since May when we started at the farmers' markets and June when our CSA began, we have been hearing questions about peaches. How's the crop? How did the trees come through the winter? Is all the rain affecting the trees? Is it too dry? And the most important question of all ... When will peaches be ready?

Now it is peach season - and a good one at that!
The crop is good.
We are dealing with some disease & insect pressures, but overall the quality is quite good.
Most importantly, the hot, sunny & dry weather of the past few weeks has made for colourful and very sweet & delicious peaches.

We grow more than 20 varieties of peaches in order to stretch the season as long as possible. These include old favourites like Redhaven & Loring along with newer cultivars such as Starfire, Blazingstar & Harrow Dawn.
This year our first peaches were picked on July 25 and we will probably be finished by the middle of September.
Each peach tree is picked 3 or 4 times, over the course of 7 - 12 days. When the weather is sunny & hot, we may pick every 2nd or 3rd day. Cooler weather - especially cool nights - might stretch the interval to 4 or even 5 days. Drier weather makes for sweeter but smaller fruit. Insects are often more active too. Rain helps the tree grow larger fruit, but too much rain cause a loss of flavour. Rain also makes the fruit more susceptible to rot.

Our trees are looking good right now, but a couple of inches of rain would be very welcome.

Here are some photos of Garnet Beauty peaches I took about an hour ago. We picked these trees once last week and will pick them again tomorrow.

They look good and taste great! I know because I've been eating a big bowl of these peaches sliced up with some ice cream as I've been writing this blog post.

Peaches - fresh, ripe, juicy, sweet, warm from the orchard ...
What could be better!

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