Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Free

Peaches come from a can.
They were put there by a man
In a factory downtown.
And if I had my little way
I'd eat peaches every day
Sun-soaking bulges in the shade.

So goes the song Peaches by the Presidents. Here on Upham Manor, however, our peaches don't come from a can. They are home grown in our own orchard. (OK, so maybe it isn't an "orchard" so much as it is a single tree, but it's mine and I love it.) I love peaches. I think they're the perfect fruit. You don't have to peel them, skin them, or spit out seeds. And these are, without a doubt, absolutely the most delicious, juicy, sweet sun-soaked bulges you've ever tasted. I'm not exaggerating. These suckers are absolutely amazing. I'll give you a dollar if you try one and don't agree they're the best you've ever tasted.

Now, being that they are grown right here on my property, they are a bit more "real" than what you might be used to. That is to say, they are not flawless, pink and yellow orbs that you'd likely find on the shelves of a market. There are little brown speckles (made by rain spots I am told), and it's not at all uncommon for their to be scars and breaks in the skin. My peaches have suffered from splitting. I've tried a number of things to fix this, but I suspect it comes from rapid growth. The skin on top tends to split open, sort of like you'd see on a tomato. It heals over, but it leaves a grey scar on the fruit. Because of this, a large portion of my crop tends to look less than appealing to most people's spoiled eye.

So, if you come over, I'll likely serve them cut up in a bowl for you to eat like tiny slices of cantelope, with all the imperfections carefully skinned away. Or, perhaps after a feast, I'll serve you half a peach, peeled and soaking in a glass red wine. If you've never tried that little Italian secret, you've not lived.

So come by the Manor this week. The peaches have all been picked and are preparing to be eaten and I can guarantee you that you won't be disappointed.


Recessionista Genie said...

Mmm, homegrown fruits are the BEST! Even if they look ugly. Especially if they look ugly. I hadn't heard the Italian wine trick, but I now hope to experience this sometime. I'm officially inspired to plant a fruit tree in front of my own manor.

Gleno said...

Huzzah! Great to hear of the inspiration!

This peach tree in my yard was planted before I was born by my grandfather, the first owner of Upham Manor. The tree has been bearing fruit consistently for all those years. I'm not sure how long a peach tree is supposed to last, but it's going strong. I find that it does respond well to pruning and fertilzing.

I personally don't usually spray insecticides. I'm really not particularly "green", but something about dousing my food with chemicals before I eat it just doesn't sit well with me. If, by some unhappy circumstance you do find you ever get infested with a bug, do some research on the stuff you decide to use.

Gleno said...

Oh, incidentally, I've also had good luck with a pear tree that I planted next to the peach tree. This year, oddly enough, we got nothing at all. I think fruit trees may have a cycle to them, but I haven't figured it out yet if they do. (Last year I got a sum total of ONE peach.)

I did plant a cherry tree between the peach tree and the pear tree, but it was growing extraordinarily quickly and was going to overshadow both of the other trees. As I was only getting a handful of cherries and they were being gobbled up by the birds, I chopped the thing down. Not long after doing that, I was told by my 80 year old aunt that my grandfather had ALSO planted a cherry tree in nearly the same spot and HE chopped it down because the birds were getting all the cherries! lol

One more quick thing: Each of the last three years, our pear tree has yielded pears and something else rather odd. A sort of roundish-shaped pear, covered in fuzz, with a very unusual taste like, you guessed it, a pear crossed with a peach. We called them "pearches". :-D Unfortunately, they were too hard and tangy to really eat, though I did enjoy trying. Heheh

Anonymous said...

That's very interesting about your cross pollination.
I wonder if Janet has ever put up her peaches in jars. I've always wanted to try canning, my mother does all kinds of canning, (or rather jarring) but I never have tried. I've always been afraid of the glass shattering and botulism. lol
I love peeled pears baked in the oven with brown sugar. Makes a wonderful sauce when the sugar melts in the juice. With ice cream and whip cream. UMMMM.
My father's next door neighbor has an ugly old pear tree that they let grow too tall. I see the pears on the tree way too high up to pick. What a shame. I'm not sure what it looks like for pears this year, last year I think it had a lot. I'll peek tomorrow if I remember.

AsterixChaos said...


If I could get m'self on a plane for this weekend, I'd totally be there. Alas, I cannot and shall not--but I will keep a'dreamin'.

As I'm moving from the house into an apartment, we've pulled several baby plum trees from the property. They're stubborn and take several years before they bear fruit, but I'm hoping that my little bonsai project is fruitful in the next couple of years.

It should be nice to step out onto the balcony into nice, natural shade that my neighbors lack, and have a couple of juicy plums waiting for me...

While we're on the topic of fruit trees, though, I have to ask--would it be possible to secure a small handful of peaches from you, with the hope of starting a seedling or two out here? It may well prove quite interesting to have a proper peach tree in Seattle!

Gleno said...


I'll be happy to send you some peach pits/seeds to see if you can get them to grow. While I've not tried to plant the pits before, I have thought about it.

The fruit, because of it's flawed skin, probably wouldn't ship very well. I'd be concerned that they'd spoil if not refrigerated on the trip.

Two years ago, a very similar tree took root next to the peach tree in a nearby flower bed. I was very excited and assumed it was a peach tree. However, as it's grown, I'm not so sure anymore. My father-in-law, a very knowledgable earth sciences professional examined the tree and said that it was a peach tree, then, a little later changed his mind to no. Fifteen minutes later, he decided he was undecided. :-D

That's where I am right now. I've trimmed it back to keep it in check, but I have decided to allow it to mature to see if anything does come of it in the next couple years. The leaves are very similar, but not quite the same. Frankly, it's the proximity to the original tree that makes me think that it's a peach tree at all. Time will tell.