Peach Picking

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on July 29, 2009

peach-branches

I am so used to grocery store peaches, I didn’t even know what a peach tree looked like until we went peach picking at Hollin Farms, VA. It was a lovely experience picking fresh, ripe peaches. But the very first thing I did when we arrived at the farm was inhale a bug. I must have been gaping too much at the rolling hills and the gorgeous fields. I felt a little remorse at having ingesting a living thing; but felt much better when I found out that the pick-your-own peaches were super cheap compared to grocery store peaches.

hollin-farm-mark

Mark, a manager at the farm, chatted with us while we picked peaches. He peeled a juicy, yellow fleshed red haven peach for us to sample.

Then Mark educated us on…

..Peach Terminology!

 Freestone – the pit is easy to remove from the flesh. Most the peaches we encounter are freestone.

Clingstone – the pit ‘clings’ to the flesh and is difficult to remove compared to a freestone peach

Peck – a unit of dry measurement. The peaches we picked were measured in pecks. 1 peck equals 2.3 gallons. Each peck we picked came to about 12 lbs.

Red haven – red skin, yellow flesh, good for canning

Sentry – semi-freestone, yellow flesh

White lady – firm, white flesh, brilliant color, great for desserts, my favorite

Sweet scarlet  -  yellow flesh, low acid  

peaches2

There were a ton of peaches fallen on the ground. I think these are White ladies.  

peaches1

Sentry peaches..

peach-tree

A particularly productive tree..

How to pick a ripe peach

First determine that the peach is ripe; gently press on the peach with your fingers. If it gives slightly, the peach is ready to pick. Lightly tug on the peach and it should come away from the branch easily. Most the ripe peaches we found at the orchard had actually fallen to the ground. So we just picked them off the ground. As mark says, “fallen peaches are nature’s way of telling you they are ripe”.

 If your peaches aren’t ripe yet, just leave them on your counter top for 1 or 2 days and they will soften.

peach-peck

A peck of peaches.

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Hollin farm also had sunflowers. Oh my, they were so gorgeous..

sunflowers-from-the-car

I was obsessively taking sunflower pictures…even after we got in the car to leave!

sunflowers2

And I only stopped taking pictures because  my camera ran out of memory.

Coming up next…how to pit a peach and an easy peach tart recipe!

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Comments

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Roses R Red July 29, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I love peaches. I bet fresh ones are even more delicious!
And those sunflowers…just beautiful!

Rose

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2 a2zvegetariancuisine July 29, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Hey i love White Lady too, they are the sweetest of all of them. The peaches and sunflowers look so beautiful

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3 chakhlere July 29, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Wow those are amazing snaps!!
You must have enjoyed this.

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4 Soma July 29, 2009 at 11:29 pm

I love going to the orchards! Girl i wish I could get some of those fresh ones to bite into; the trees look overloaded. My best orchard experience was cherry picking in upstate NY.. but here in TX I really miss out on these things..

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5 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 30, 2009 at 3:24 am

White Lady peaches are my favourite too! Plus they are such a pretty gradient of colour I love using them. I wish we had a peach farm to pick fresh peaches from. I did raspberry picking and that was lots of fun. Sadly there aren’t many close by to here!

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6 Jeena July 30, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Wow your photography is stunning, I would be clicking all my memory up too I had visited this lovely peach farm. You are so lucky to have such a great day out and I love the picture of that juicy peach being peeled.

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7 Muskaan July 30, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Wonderful peaches…and gorgeous sunflower…such nice photography….

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8 Geoff July 31, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Fresh peaches right off the tree are something else! Great Pics!

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9 Mert July 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I know it’s two years later but I have to tell you what beautiful pictures you took.
My husband is Mark and I love that pic of him. Our friends own the farm and
you did it proud, hopefully you will be able to come back out again this year!
Thanks!

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