Just to get you prepared and ready to pick I have compiled a list of tips and tricks to remember while out in the orchard.
First thing: FREESTONES PEACHES ARE READY! What is a freestone peach you ask? Well, it's a variety of peach that the pit just pops out of. So if you're going to be canning or freezing these are the peaches for you. You'll save time AND money if you come pick your own. At one dollar a pound you can't really go wrong.
How to tell if the peaches are ripe:
- Attached to the tree: Peaches are best picked when the fruit separates easily from the twigs. If it is hard to pull off the tree, it isn't ripe! Peaches will not ripen further once removed from the tree (they only "soften")
- Color: Green is definitely unripe, but you can't use red color as an indicator of how ripe a peach is. Different peach varieties have differing amounts of red blush in their natural coloring. Pick them when the ground color changes from green to yellow, orange, red (or a combination). The skin of yellow-fleshed varieties ripens to an orange tint, while the skin of white-fleshed varieties changes from greenish- to yellow-white.
- Softness: unless you like your peaches very firm, pick your peaches with just a little "give" when gently pressed. Peaches at this stage are great for eating, freezing, and baking. Peaches won't ripen very much after picking!
- Odor: It should smell sweet and ripe!
A peach is softer than most fruit, so it is important to pick a peach gently, with little pressure. Using the sides of your fingers rather your fingertips helps to avoid bruising. Grab the peach firmly and pull it straight off the branch. DON'T drop the peach into the basket, but set it in gently!
REMEMBER: Please make contact with a Paynters Fruit Market employee before heading out into the orchard. We have flagged trees and certain areas that are hidden gems; so to make sure you get the best peaches possible talk to us.
BUT most importantly: HAVE FUN!!!!!