Every year we all look forward to the second week or so of July, when our first peach varieties are ready. Then we go into a peach frenzy – eating, cooking, freezing and canning as many peaches as we can, as the season ends about two months later in September, and it always seems to arrive too soon.
Like apples, there are quite a few varieties of peaches out there – Soons grows just over 20 kinds, most yellow, some white. Some high acid, some low. Some very fuzzy, some not so much. If we get the ideal weather, with enough water and sun (but not too much!), our peaches are bursting with juicy sweetness.
If you’ve only ever eaten supermarket peaches, we know you’ve been disappointed. They might look good, and even might smell good, but often that’s it. Most peaches traveled a long way to the store, so they were picked too early (=less/no flavor). They also may’ve been stored incorrectly somewhere along the way and/or they’re too old (=mealy).
We grow our peaches and nectarines high on a hill, just a half-mile from our market. Several times a week, our skilled crew picks only the peaches truly ready. That often means picking the same trees multiple times! We pick into half bushel baskets, about 20 pounds.
Often once a season we have too many peaches ready at once – so we’ll have a “tree-run” basket sale. That means the basket has the peaches that were picked into it. (You can only do better by picking your own peaches, which we offer one or two weekends in August! Check here for U-Pick Peach details.
On our farm market shelves you’ll find our fresh peaches graded (i.e., reviewed) for #1, #2 and “canner.” First quality / #1s are the most attractive and perfect for any use; #2 / “seconds” are typically softer and may have some bruising or other skin defects. Like second apples, these are less expensive and a good choice for cooking. (Or if you want some peaches to eat right now, because we know it’s hard to wait!). Canners are a favorite for those who like to use these peaches to freeze or can (jar) and are the least expensive.
Be sure to visit us at the farm store (or catch us at the Warwick Farmers’ Market on Sundays) and score your own Soons-grown sink peaches (so juicy you’ll need to eat them over the sink!).