Picking Peaches

For the past month, we have been harvesting ripe peaches from our tree. The peaches are too high to test their ripeness by scent, so I press them gently to see if the flesh feels soft beneath my fingers, then I give each soft peach a half-turn and if it is ripe it comes away in my hand.

Last night I came home, in the wind and rain, to find a couple of peaches on the kitchen worktop. “I found those on the ground,” King of The Hill told me as I exclaimed over them, “they’ve come off in the wind. There may be more down, these are just the ones I saw on the path. If you want to rescue the ones still on the tree we might want to pick them tonight too.”

So after tea (and enjoying a juicy peach) we went out into the wild wet twilight and picked up a handful of further windfall peaches that nestled in among the nasturtiums and vegetables below. Some were too rotten to rescue, and went straight onto the compost heap. I twisted off a few more that were on the tree within my reach and seemed vulnerable. The tree is perhaps ten foot tall, and it wasn’t really a night for stepladder antics so these remained to take their chances along with the firmer ones within reach.

For every ripe peach that we have harvested, there is at least one that has split too deeply or been too damaged by insects to harvest, I’ve removed these from the tree whenever I could to focus the tree’s energy on the harvestable fruit.

but we are still well into double figures of lovely juicy sweet peaches. The tree seems to have thrived this year since we removed the dilapidated summerhouse that it was wedged up against. (The posts below were put in to train wires for our espalier apples, but we’re likely to swap them out for something smaller.)

I didn’t know that it was possible to grow peaches on a free standing tree in this way, rather than training them on a wall; especially on a windy exposed site like ours, but this tree is living proof otherwise. And there really is nothing like a freshly picked juicy peach.


7 thoughts on “Picking Peaches

  1. Lucky, lucky you. Shop bought ones have lost their taste in the quest for perfection and 100% harvests. The lack of perfect fruit is what makes them delicious especially when you can pick your very own. Your part of windy wales is a kind of Eden.

    Laura x

  2. Dear Sara, How marvellous to be able to harvest your own peaches, and, I must say that I am amazed that they survive without the shelter of a warm wall. For weeks now I have enjoyed enormous, juicy white peaches from the local market here in Budapest. They are, in my view, the fruit of Kings [or Queens] – even more so when plucked from your own trees!!

    • Dear Edith,
      I’m amazed too, especially in such an exposed position. Your local white peaches sound tremendous too, there is much to be said for peaches…

  3. Oh Sara … lucky you!! There is nothing so sweet as fresh picked peaches. I had one tree left when i moved here… my place had been a peach orchard once and I hope to plant more trees someday. The one that was left produced hundreds of peaches one year then died the next. I will always remember those sweet peaches. Enjoy yours!

    • Hi Carol,
      A peach orchard sounds amazing – I can just imagine how beautiful that must have looked in spring, and the smell in summer as they ripened… How sad that your last remaining tree died, I hope that you have luck with your next tree(s).

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