Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I've been spending a lot of time lately processing peaches. We have a wonderful "frost peach" tree growing alongside our entry way that, this year at least, has decided to share it's bounty in abundance.

It bloomed like crazy in the spring giving us a waft of perfume and a visual treat every time we went in and out. The carpenter ants attacked it and my husband sprayed and covered the tree-wound with a protective strip of metal. I cropped back what my grandfather used to refer to as "water sprouts" when they appeared. When the blossoms cascaded down to be replaced with downy oval fruit starts, I thinned them out. I think now I should have been even more severe.

Every day for the past few weeks, we have gone out to collect the fruit before it falls to the ground. The result has been overflowing bowls of nearly-perfect to perfect peaches.

I have put up jars of pickled peaches, jars of peaches for future pies and desert, and jars and more jars of peach jam. We have given bags away. We've eaten them almost every day in one form or another. We are nearing the burn-out state fast.

Come fall, we will crop the limbs back severely to protect the tree from it's own enthusiasm. And I'll be sure to thin even more when the fruit starts appears again.

Beside the peach crop, we have harvested blueberries, rhubarb and now, hopefully the elderberry bushes will produce enough of that precious fruit for my private reserve of jelly. We hope for enough tomatoes to put up a few jars for winter eating.

So, for now, I must answer the garden and honor my own thrift.

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