How are These Peaches Grown?
It's pretty unheard of to grow true organic peaches here in the southeast corner of the USA, so we looked hard to find the closest thing to organic possible. We absolutely love the orchard we found! They are willing to talk freely about their growing practices, and we've found them to be particularly careful to grow as naturally as possible. This growing method is commonly called Integrated Pest Management. You can read more about it by clicking here
Our family is especially set on organic peaches, or at least something close, so we hope this helps you out as much as it helped us to speak with the wonderful people at this orchard.
Clingstone vs. Freestone
A clingstone peach has fruit that does not come off the pit. A freestone peach has fruit that comes right off the pit.
What's the Difference Between Number 2 & Number 1 Peaches?
Number 1 peaches are unblemished fruit. Number 2's have some kind of imperfection, but it's usually only skin deep. For example, a number 2 peach may have a scar or rough patch on its skin, a deformity, or it may just be small. You can read more about number 2 peaches in the Number 2 Cling Stone Peach description (click the icon to the right).
How to Store and Ripen Your Peaches
Our neighbor Wilda has an easy, reliable way to store peaches that keeps her peaches fresh considerably longer than refrigeration alone. Last summer, I think she and her husband were still eating fresh peaches 4 weeks after she picked up her box from us! All you need to do it yourself is some paper towels and a couple plastic grocery bags. Place a few paper towels in the bottom of one of the grocery bags, then set a layer of unripe peaches into the bag. Add another layer of paper towels and another layer of peaches on top of the first, then top it off with one more layer of paper towels. Now slip another bag over the first to loosely cover the opening and you're done. Just set the bag gently into the fridge. You'll want to peek into the bag every few days to make sure all your fruit is still sound.
Store the unripened peaches in the refrigerator until a couple days before you'd like to eat them. They'll keep longer when refrigerated unripe. To ripen, just place firm peaches on the counter for a day or two.
3-4 medium or 2-3 large peaches = about 1 lb
1 lb peaches = 3-4 cups sliced peaches, loosely packed
1 lb peaches = 2 cups peach puree
1/2 bushel = 25 lbs
How to Peel Peaches Easily
- Prepare a cold water bath, either in a sink or large bowl.
- Place the peaches to be peeled in a colander, or basket, or drop them directly into a deep pot of boiling water for almost one minute. Make sure that each peach is completely submerged and that they are free enough for water to flow all around them.
- After one minute in the boiling water, immediately plunge the peaches into the cold water bath. You may need to change the water or add ice to keep the water cold.
- The skin should come off the peach very easily now, just like peeling tomatoes.
Freezing Your Peaches...
We like to cut our peaches into quarters and freeze them on cookie sheets. Once they're frozen, we put them into gallon freezer bags. This way the peaches won't freeze together as one big block. Since we make smoothies in our powerful VitaMix
, we don't bother to peel the peaches. Check out our favorite peach smoothie recipe, Orange Peach Sherbet Smoothie
To freeze sliced or cubed peaches:
Put whole peaches in hot water until the skin slips off. Then put the skinned ones into a big bowl of water you've prepare with ascorbic acid (½ teaspoon ascorbic acid per 2 cups of water) or lemon juice. Cut into slices or chunks and place into quart bags. We've found that one quart bag stuffed full makes a perfect size pie. We don't add sugar to freeze them, and it works just fine.
In a hurry to get them frozen?
We've tried freezing peaches whole, and although it takes up more space, they actually turned out pretty well. Run them under hot water and the peel slips off. After they thaw for a little while, you can slice them up. The peaches don't brown at all because they're still in their skins. A handy time saver!
However you prepare your peaches for freezing, place your freezer bags or containers as quickly as possible into the coldest part of your freezer, allowing room around the containers to promote fast freezing. Containers can be packed more economically space-wise after one day of freezing. Be sure to date your packages.
How to Plant a Peach Pit
- After you have eaten a few peaches, clean the pits and store them in the refrigerator until September or October.
- Plant the pits about five inches beneath the soil surface. It's best to plant a few in case some don't sprout.
- Mark the location.
- Your tree will begin to grow in the spring!
- Keep the tree watered and fertilized and you'll have fruit in 2-3 years!