Saturday, August 16, 2008

Peach season~

It's peach season again in the northeast. Forget the year-round imported peaches I ignore in the supermarket. Fresh picked local peaches are mounded in local farm stands.

But better still, the tree in our back yard is hanging heavy with peaches almost, but not quite, ripe. One, riper than the rest, dropped onto the grass when my husband bumped a branch while mowing the lawn. When he was finished, we shared it, the way we do with the first fruit from each of our trees, including the first tiny cherry we carefully divide in half.

Bruce peeled off the skin and sliced the peach into wedges. Our peaches are fuzzier than store-bought peaches, and the skin is speckled with black fungus spots. But underneath the golden flesh drips with flavorful juice. This one was so delicious that I've checked the fruit daily since tasting that one, gently squeezing to see if it's ready to pick. And eat.

The other day we took a bike ride on a trail that curved along the Rhode Island coast. The trip was 15 miles each way, so we took our time stopping to take pictures., and at one point to examine fresh produce, preserves, and baked goods in a farmer's market set up in a shady park. The peaches, pink and softly fuzzed, caught my eye, and before we hopped back on the bikes I bought one.

I told the lady behind the table how good our own peaches were, but that hers looked so much better. "Ours have skin speckled with black spots," I told her.

She wrinkled her nose. "Oh, that's a fungus," she said.

"What to you do to avoid it," I asked. "Do you spray?"

She was horrified. "No! We don't use chemicals. We hire a company to treat the peaches."

She became distracted by a man she thought had just stuffed an ear of corn down his shorts, so I didn't get to ask how the company treated for the fungus without chemicals.

With the memory of my back-yard peach making my mouth water, I stood beside my bike and bit into the fruit. It was a flavorless mush, pale fleshed and dry. I finished it only because I paid for it-- I was raised not to waste money or food-- but I enjoyed it not at all. Ick.

I'm sure there are things we can do to eliminate the fungus, and make the preaches have more eye appeal, but I'd stack the flavor of our peaches against any other peach anywhere. Hands down. There is no better peach than the ones on the tree in my back yard. Just close your eyes and open your mouth.

Read Inner Beauty, last summer's peach story.
“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring and because it has fresh peaches in it” ~Thomas Walker


amy said...

Wow, now I'm hungry for a good peach, especially from the tree in your backyard. :)

RiverPoet said...

Oh those peaches sound phenomenal! Now I have to go hunting some at the local co-op!

Peace - D

Janice Thomson said...

I would almost die for a peach tree - that being one of my favorite fruits.
I know what you mean though - the next-door neighbor kindly shared her cherries a few weeks back and oh my what a treat! Just no comparison at all to mushy store-bought ones no matter how shiny and perfectly shaped they were.

Jen said...

Fresh oranges off my parents tree in southwest die for! You (literally) had to stand over the sink to eat them.

PS, what IS it with people sticking ears of corn in their shorts? Who wants to eat that?

Barbara said...

You are so lucky to have your own peach tree. I wouldn't worry about the black spots. Just enjoy the taste!

Ross Eldridge said...

Is that an ear of corn in your shorts, or are you just glad to see me?

Tere said...

Yummmmmm! I love peaches and I wish I had a tree in my yard. We used to have two apple trees but had to cut them down. Can you research on the internet what to do about the fungus? Oh well, I guess it doesn't matter as long as it stays on the outside. Enjoy your peaches.

Carter said...

I'm a dripping with envy. Had a quite good nectarine from the supermarket for supper, but that was just good luck. I'd rather have your tree. Haven't had a good peach this year.

But my eggplants are almost ripe!

Ruth D~ said...

To all . . . wish I could share, but I guess that's not possible except on the form of peach preserves, which would be good but not like a fresh peach. Fresh oranges we don't have, but cherries we do.

Tere~ I will look into the fungus preventative, but won't plan to go all out with expense or horrible chemical crap.

Ross~ I had to laugh. I thought those very words when I saw the man's move with the corn. I almost said them to the woman, but she was too pissed at the whole thing. She wasn't about to run out from behind the table and chase the man.

Carter~ Our eggplant is ready too. Want to exchange recipes?

boots586 said...

I have a running battle with the squirrels and raccoons for my peaches. Even though I have netting over my tree, they get in and get all the peaches. i am in suburban Chicago. Don't you have a fight with critters for the delicious goodness?

sc morgan said...

Hi Ruth,

I just passed through the Pacific Northwest on my way home from Japan. My mother says all the stone fruits in Oregon are particularly good this year.

Me,I gorged myself on berries of all kinds and peaches & nectarines when I could find them. Yum! Now THAT'S something I miss, living in Costa Rica; berries. Our mangoes make a good substitute for peaches, though.

This must be a poignant fall for you what with no plans for the Back To School rush.Enjoy it.

More on the trip when I get back where I can post easier...

Ruth D~ said...

Boots~ Our squirrels are keep quite busy trying to get past the baffles on the bird feeders. They never go near the fruit trees until the fruit is on the ground.

Sarah~ Mangoes are delicious, and probably better where you are that here. I'll be glad to listen to the sound of the school buses from my bed. :>)

leslie said...

There is nothing better than fresh peach pie or a crumble with peaches, warmed up and topped with vanilla ice-cream! You're making my mouth water, Ruth!