With summer in full gear, it’s also time to enjoy sweet and juicy Babcock peaches (or any other variety for that matter!).
Our peach tree did not disappoint this season. Even though there were literally hundreds of fragrant white flowers earlier this year (generally, flowers = fruit), we dared not to get our hopes too high that there would be a harvest to fully enjoy.
Ever since the tree had been planted several years ago, we could only enjoy a small sampling of peaches off of the very young tree. The tree has been easy enough to care for, but there were challenges and lessons to be learned along the way that didn’t allow us to enjoy more of these prized stone fruit.
- One year, the leaves were devastated by a fungus, peach leaf curl, and we were puzzled as to what was ailing the fruit tree, thinking we almost lost the youngling.
- Another year, we enjoyed maybe a half-a-dozen fruit or so when the rest of it was ravaged by an infestation of ants!
- And yet another year, birds and ground squirrels had their feelers out for the ripe fruit before we could get to it and we learned the hard way “if you snooze, you lose” when it came to plucking our share.
Disappointment and dismay as in the year’s past, our beautiful fruit would be pecked at by the birds and the squirrels would leave us clean peach pits as if to leave writing on a wall saying “I WAS HERE!” (Think Chip and Dale, Disney’s chipmunk characters.)
This year we were all the wiser and proudly harvested our prizes!
The next challenge? What to do with hundreds of peaches that are all about ready for harvesting and eating at the same time. Peaches are delicate and bruise so easily. I haven’t been canning, but I’ve become quite efficient at peeling them and processing them for freezing. I’m thinking frozen peaches for snacking and adding to smoothies! More to follow in another post…
Babcock peaches are small to medium size fruit with a little fuzz, reddish-like blush and a white flesh. This freestone peach is very juicy, sweet, deliciously aromatic and low in acid. In our area, the variety ripens in late June and is considered the best all-around white peach.
Read more notes about the tree on the journals’ Stone Fruit Trees section.