What you should know about a peach....

Who doesn't LOVE fresh, delicious peaches! Being able to pick them directly from the tree can be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. Peaches are sensitive souls but with a little awareness in how to pick, handle and store your precious bounty, even the most novice of pickers can enjoy these delectable treasures to their fullest.


How to pick a peach....

Peaches are synonymous with BRUISING! They are so delicate that just picking them will leave it's mark. Add that to being stacked in a box, bounced around in your trunk, and the bruising is unavoidable. If you're not careful, you'll arrive home disappointed, with mushy fruit. Forget what you've experienced with those hard grocery store peaches that have been picked green, and kept in cold storage for months. Be gentle... lightly grasp the peach in the palm of your hand and twist it off the stem, not pulling or squeezing. If it doesn't come off easily in your hand, pass it by. Place the peach gently, stem-side down in a container not more than two layers deep, as if you were handling eggs. (I even put newspaper between the layers, as just the touching of one peach on another will bruise it). Always use a firm supportive container to pick and transport your peaches in. Plastic or paper bags are strongly discouraged.


What to look for....

The outer appearance of a peach doesn't necessarily determine it's ripeness. Some peach varieties are more yellow in color when ripe, like the Veteran. Most ripe peaches will have an orange tone to it's skin color. Don't be drawn to the red color as it is usually just a sign of direct sun exposure. A ripe peach will twist off the stem easily and shouldn't "snap" off. A peach that is picked while predominantly green, will never ripen . Peaches soften after they are picked but don't ripen or get sweeter. The sugar content only increases when they remain on the tree.


You've got them home.... now what?

Place your peaches out single layer, on a flat surface where it's cool. Sort through any over ripe or damaged fruit. Peaches that are very ripe will need to be eaten that day or refrigerated. They are highly perishable and any bruising will need to be watched closely as decay developes rapidly. Peaches that are firm and without blemishes can remain on your counter or refrigerated for several days until you freeze, preserve or devour them. :)
Gently twist the peach off the stem. Never squeeze it, as they bruise very easily!