Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Peach Harvest

As a gardener, one of the things I've always longed for was to have fruit trees. Somehow, there's something ultra satisfying about the possibility of harvesting baskets and baskets of fruit. Maybe even opening up the opportunity to can--make some preserves, chutneys, even exotic relishes.

One of the best parts of living in on the Central Coast of California is that it gets cold enough here (chill hours) to grow just about any fruit tree except citrus. Of course, one of the bad things about living in this part of California is how cold it gets. When I lived down South, my roses bloomed year long, my lemon trees put out a new bounty round the clock; I had a huge swath of bougainvillea along the pathway to the front door and more often than not, my garden churned out produce year round. And while that was always nice, there were lots of things I longed for--fruit trees, wisteria, lilac, the springtime bloom festival of daffodils, tulips, irises, and all of the fabulous trees from apricots and pears to plums, quince, and forsythia.
Thankfully, I'm happy with the latter and while my roses won't bloom year round and the nightly temperature dips make for rough year round gardening, I am happily growing fruit trees. This picture was taken just a few weeks back. The tree is a Babcock white peach and in the last few days, I've enjoyed a delectable peach--super sweet, ripe, but semi-firm--while watering the front lawn. Overall, the peaches seem a bit on the small side, but since I only planted the tree this past March and this is its first bearing, I'm thrilled. Plus, while the tree is said to bear medium fruit, who knows if I am comparing what a medium fruit is to the super ginormous genetically altered fruits in the supermarket. These could indeed be medium fruit and I just need to re-acclimate myself to nature's definition. Anyhow, there are 22 peaches this year (20 after yesterday's snack) and I will happily work my way through every last one of them while I await the two apples that appeared on my apple trees.

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