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PEACH FAQ

Are these ripe?
Our goal is to pick our peaches when they are ripe, which means actually looking at and feeling every peach to be picked. If we wait ‘til they are a tad soft, they would get damaged on the tractor ride back from the orchard. If we pick them too early, they lack that last punch of sugar the trees put into them right at the end of the ripening process. How firm you like your peaches is a personal preference; leaving them at room temp will soften them.

Why we ask for no touching/squeezing
We grade every peach, meaning we look at and feel every piece of fruit. If it’s not great, we will make it a #2 or a “canner” peach. Each tiny touch adds up to bruising, which no one wants. At Soons, our focus is taste, so please ask us for a sample if none are out. Bottom line – trust our peaches to be a great eating experience without confirming it with your thumb!

Are these Clingstone? Freestone?
Typically early season peach varieties are clingstone – meaning the flesh “clings” to the pit (a.ka. the “stone”). Freestone peaches easily break away from the pit, thus they are easier to work with for freezing/canning. But of course you can use either for eating, cooking or canning.

Eat your peaches….soon
Peaches are perishable! Use them quickly, generally within a week. Go through your basket and choose the softest ones to eat/use first. Keep the rest in the refrigerator if you like, bringing them out to sit at room temp as needed. Be sure your fridge is cold – 36 or below ideally, to prevent mealy peaches.

How do I preserve my peaches?
You can easily freeze or can (jar) your peaches. See below for how to freeze  (plus pickyourown.org has tons of info); we may even have a canning class you can attend!

Why do peaches cost more than apples?
Our orchards require a ton of care, and peach trees especially. Plus, the fruit is delicate, so that means a fair amount of waste. But it also means the ones you get should be outstandingly delicious. Is it a bargain to buy supermarket peaches at a slightly lower price…but then not enjoy them or even throw them away because they aren’t even worth eating? Plus, our baskets (especially during our half bushel sale, which happens most years) are always less expensive than any grocery by-the-pound price.

Can I pick my own peaches?
Depending on the crop, special August date(s) TBA. Join our e-mail list, follow us on Facebook, and/or keep an eye on our peach picking page.

Are peaches nutritious?
Yes! Eat a peach and get fiber, iron, potassium, vitamins A,B (folate), and C. Peaches are also a rich source of bioactive compounds including phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and procyanidins—all good for you too!

Where do peaches come from?
Peaches originated in China over 3000 years ago, and China grows 45% of the world’s peaches. The U.S grows 5%, with California being the top producer. The Hudson Valley is about as far north as you can grow peaches in New York. The peach is called a drupe (fruit), but more commonly called a “stone fruit” because of the pit. Pits can be carved into jewelry!
 

What varieties of peaches does Soons grow?
 
Ernie’s Choice
Red Haven
Glohaven
AutumnG
lo
Harrow Beauty
Harrow Diamond
Sentry
Starfire
JohnBoy
Madison
Redskin
Victoria
Garnet Beauty
Loring
Glowing Star
Blushing Star
Flaming Fury PF27A
Snow Giant
Snow King
White Lady

We also grow amazing nectarines … it’s like a non-fuzzy peach on steroids – so good!


What are peach trees like?
Peach trees are deciduous, going dormant and losing their leaves in fall. One of the most common times for winter injury to occur is in fall, when an early cold snap damages a tree that isn't yet dormant. To protect the trees, and the blossoms in April, our trees are on the warmest spot on the farm.
Unlike other orchard trees that can that last for 40+ years, peach and nectarine trees only last for about 12 years, and start producing fruit after the third year, or third leaf. We have babied our peach trees so well that we are now in our 15th leaf!

Remember, peach season at Soons Orchards runs typically mid-July to mid-September… don’t miss this magical sweetness of summer!

 

Freeze Your Soons Peaches – it’s easy!

Peaches freeze great with very little effort… and you will absolutely love the treat of yummy sweet peaches in the middle of winter! It’s worth the time to freeze some bags or containers now, while it’s full-on peach season.
Begin with full-ripened peaches. Freestone varieties will be easiest to work with, as they come away from the pit easily. If the peaches are soft enough to eat and peel easily, then they are ready for freezing. If not, store at room temp for another day or two.

Preparing peaches for freezing requires peeling, pitting, and slicing--a challenge when handling a slippery peach. Start with room temperature peaches. Score the peach with an “X” on the bottom. Dip the whole peach into a large pot of water at a rapid boil for 2-3 seconds, then quickly transfer into a sink or bowl filled with icy cold water. Give a gentle stir - the skins should peel away easily.

To freeze completely and store, slice 4 medium peaches over a bowl filled with 1 1/2 tablespoons Fruit Fresh (or other ascorbic-acid-based product, or lemon juice) and anywhere from zero to 1 1/2 cups sugar. After peach slices begin to release their juices, fill a zipper-lock freezer bag or a plastic freezer container with both peaches and sugar, and seal, removing as much air as possible, but leaving a tiny bit of space for expansion.

guys and peach wagon 2019.jpeg
Our crew are experts - delicately checking every single peach so we only pick what’s ready, and still filling a wagon by noon!
(l-r) Roberto, Baldomera, Miguel and Fausto; Jacinto is behind the camera. We love our crew! 

Hats off to our rock star crew - they love peaches as much as you do!
(L-R) Roberto, Baldomera, Miguel, Fausto - and behind the camera, farm manager, Jacinto)

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