The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Ripening peaches inside

Harvesting peaches

A week ago, I posted about how this abnormally-wet summer has turned our peach trees into a breeding ground for brown rot, and why I don't want to use a fungicide to combat the infection.  I decided to try two different methods of getting edible peaches despite the rot --- picking some when they were ripe enough to finish ripening inside, and leaving others on the tree but plucking off any fruits that came down with the disease. 

The second method was a big loser --- the tree-ripened fruits tended to start rotting when they were still apple-hard, and my secondary experiment of cutting out the bad spots and letting the peaches ripen in the fridge was a total failure.  On the other hand, plucking beautiful peaches off the tree and ripening them inside worked well, producing fruits at least as tasty as the best I've found at roadside stands and produce patches.  So, this week, I'm taking a preemptive approach and picking all of the peaches that are old enough to ripen inside right away.

Ripe enough peach

How can you tell if a peach has ripened enough on the tree to produce luscious fruit inside?  The trick is to ignore the red color (which tells you how much sun the peach got, not how ripe it is) and to focus on the yellowish ground color.  If the ground color is yellow-orange, your peach is ready...

Unripe peach

...but if the ground is a yellow-green, the fruit needs more days on the tree.

Ripening peaches

The internet suggests several different ways to ripen peaches inside, ranging from paper bags to cloth coverings.  I've actually had good luck just setting them on a counter or in a fruit basket.  (You can see that not all of my cabbages have yet made their way into time-lapse soup.)  Using this method, I suspect we'll end up with a pretty good crop of peaches this year, despite the rain.

Ripening tomato

In the meantime, summer does appear to be arriving at long last.  The first tomato started blushing Saturday, and the dog-day cicadas are finally making a spotty start on their mating calls.  We enjoyed two or three rainless days last week, and hope for even more this week.  Wish us sun!

Our chicken waterer makes raising multiple batches of broilers easy and clean.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Very timely- thank you:-). We had a late frost that meant no peaches last year- this year there are some hanging on but, like yours, need attention. Thanks for the advice!
Comment by Jane Tue Jul 16 11:15:51 2013

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