It’s but a month and a day after Independence Day and we’re eating our first peaches of the season. Eureka!
So memorable a moment each summer when I savor the first bites of the first peaches of the season that I’ve begun to wonder if we might need to create a floating holiday. It’s hard to conceive of a better cause for celebration.
First Peaches Haiku
Summer’s first peaches,— Geo Davis
sunshine soaked and siren sweet,
seduce all senses.
Growing up in the Adirondacks’ Champlain Valley, we grew fruit trees. Apples, pears, quince. But never peaches. I honestly think it was considered foolhardy in those days. Perhaps conditions pre/post climate change have shifted enough or the varietals have become hardy enough that we can account for the difference in perspective this way. Or maybe it was just unfamiliarity.
For this reason, I’m abundantly grateful for our stone fruit harvests in general and our peaches in particular. It’s almost as if we’re cheating nature! And my tendency to romance the first peaches of the season is rooted in this enduring awe. We actually raised peaches! Almost too good to be true. Perhaps this peach plenitude will eventually become familiar enough that we’ll take it for granted. But it’s hard to imagine. Such a delicate ambrosial fruit prospering in our northern climes. Truly a bonanza!
If you’re new to my blathering blog, welcome. And you might be curious what sort of peaches we’re growing. Our proximity to Lake Champlain creates a microclimate that favors us when it comes to stone fruit and other marginal crops for our northern growing zone. On the other hand our soil, especially west of the carriage barn where the orchard is located, has an extremely high clay content. This is not ideal for growing peaches. They do not favor wet feet.
That said, we’ve been fortunate growing Reliance Peach (2 trees) and Contender Peach (2 trees). I’d welcome a recommendation from growers who think we’d be wise to add another winter-hardy variety that responds well to holistic orcharding.