Thaknow I’ve been delinquent (lazy?) lately in my blogging, and to compensate I’m going to do a secret word this week, for your five percent discount! Wow! It’s “freestone”. Don’t tell anyone.
I’m not done ranting about corn, but this week I feel the need to talk about peaches. (“Freestone”peaches.). Partly that’s because we are at the peak of the peach season, (about three weeks left), and partly because there’s a lot about peaches that many consumers don’t know.
Forty years ago, when I started looking for peach orchards in our area, I learned about the peach “industry“. Turns out that because of large scale handling demands, most of the larger orchards pick peaches hard and green, so they can be run over machines to grade and clean them and then held for days or weeks in refrigeration or on trucks. That’s convenient for the handling system but it severely degrades eating quality, as you’ve probably noticed if you’ve tried a supermarket peach.
Back then, it was a huge frustration that we could not get local peach growers to leave the peaches on the tree long enough to get ripe. Tree-ripe is the only way that they taste best, but shipping and handling in the large scale supermarket system cannot tolerate the fragility and perishability of a ripe peach.
However, luckily for us, several years of looking resulted in finding a family orchard near us who were small enough and cared enough about quality that they agreed to leave peaches on the trees just for us. That was 35 years ago, the family name is Andrews, and since then we have become good friends and good customers of three generations of the family.
The current operators are Chad and Amy Andrews, near Chambersburg, PA. We appreciate their peaches so much! Typically, they pick on a Thursday, we hold the peaches at outdoor temperature for a few hours, then we put them in the cooler and bring them to you on Saturday morning.
So that’s how we get those tree-ripe peaches you see at our market. It’s risky for us and for Chad, but we really try to bring you peaches that are ready to eat, and there’s no supermarket I know of that will take the risk, or that care about the quality as much as we and the Andrews family care.
On a normal Saturday we bring 40 or 50 boxes, and we know that if they’re ripe enough we certainly will have some percentage of overripe ones, which we either have to just discard, or offer to you at half price.
We hope you enjoy these rare, sweet, delicious, juicy treats!
See you Saturday with lots of peaches.