Monday, August 20, 2007

All peachy at our place

It seemed like a good idea at the time: Instead of spending a lot of money at a grocery store, or even shopping at the farmers’ markets, why not go direct to an orchard to pick our own fruit?

On Saturday, we visited Daum’s Produce Farm on Wallace Road, north of Salem. We visit the area often but had never visited their orchard although we had bought often from the family at their farmer’s market stand in the past.

Merrily we ventured forth, cloth bags in hand, ready to pick sweet, juicy peaches for ourselves.

We learned several valuable lessons that day.

First, we should have asked what varieties of peaches grew in the different rows in the orchard. That would have been handy later to know which ones would mature the quickest, which are better for freezing or eating soon, etc.

Secondly, visiting an orchard is a bit like visiting a candy shop. There are so many to peaches to pick, you just don’t want to stop. Cost becomes irrelevant. All logic escapes of what can humanly be consumed by two people. All you know is that you want to pick more, more, more!

Thirdly, we should have asked for a lesson on “how to pick the fruit at its best.” What seemed ripe to us was apparently too overripe when we examined the fruit later at home. And we also had a few cases of some peaches being far from ripe. Maybe we should have trusted the experts.

Fourth, when picking a large amount of fruit, have a game plan. What should be done with the fruit later? We came back with our three bags’ of fruit with — oh, I don’t know, say 50 peaches or so — and then awkwardly realized we had no canning skills, didn’t really want to freeze them all, and there was no way we could eat all those peaches even if we had peaches every couple of hours day and night.

The peaches were picked on Saturday. As of this morning, the kitchen table was still filled with a large number of peaches, even after we had devoured several in the last couple of days and made peach sauce from an applesauce recipe. We will begin to offer fruit to our neighbors this afternoon. We will refuse to accept zucchini in return. Peach cobbler recipes are being hunted in recipe books. We might let the cats play with a peach or two to keep them amused.

Well, okay, to keep us amused as we continue to ponder what to do with so many peaches.

I wonder where we can go next to find our own nectarines to pick…

Technorati tags:

No comments:

Ag in the West social media watch

Capital Press videos on YouTube

Our most popular videos