Glorious indeed it is to report that our peaches this year are the tastiest I’ve ever grown. Also the biggest, juiciest, sweetest, and IMHO the prettiest.
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! — Lewis Carroll
I’m chortling in my joy. Imagine, if you dare, the decadence of lifting a sun warmed peach, freshly plucked from the branch, up to your mouth, lips parting against the fuzzy flesh, teeth sinking effortlessly into the sweet meat, juice dribbling down your chin,…
It’s truly sensational! Peach perfection. Almost.
Sadly our perfect peaches this year belie a bittersweet backstory. But let’s micropoetry-pause a moment before sharing the slightly sadder side of this decadent moment.
Peaches This Year: A Haiku
Few peaches this year— Geo Davis
but plump, nectar swollen with
best flavor ever.
That haiku actually tells the whole story, backstory and all. Our peaches this year are startlingly few after the bumper crops we’ve enjoyed over the last few years. It’s fair to say that 2020 and 2021 provided enough peaches to satisfy our most gluttonous appetites and to share with all who desired, from friends to wildlife. But 2022 has been a been a poignant recalibration.
We lost our two Reliance Peach trees this season. All of four peach trees budded on time this spring, and all four began to push out tiny little leaves. But then the two Reliance trees stalled. No apparent weather shock or fungus or predation. Just withering. And then suddenly the Reliance trees were dead. The other two trees, both Contender Peach variety, struggled as well. But they gradually overcame whatever was afflicting them (despite never really recovering 100%). Both Contender Peach trees experienced some die-back, and both set an unusually light load of fruit.
We will be replacing the dead Reliance trees and likely adding in a third new peach tree as well. Any suggestions? (Reliance vs. Contender Peach) I’m definitely open to recommendations for hardy, tasty peach tree recommendations that respond well to holistic orcharding (i.e. don’t rely on pesticide.) I’ll enjoy researching replacements, so that’s a silver lining, I suppose. But the best upside to the paucity of peaches this year has been is that the few we’ve enjoyed are quite miraculously the tastiest we’ve ever grown!