Peach facts and picking tips
Peach and Nectarine Facts, Picking Tips and Recipes
the U.S., Peaches typically peak during late June through July in the South, and
July and August in the North. In order to produce good local peaches, producers
depend on ideal spring and early summer weather conditions, and no late frosts.
If you want to know
which are the best varieties of
peaches for home canning, see this page!
Before you leave to go to the farm:
Always call before you go to the farm - Peaches are affected by weather
(both rain and cooler temperature) more than most crops. And when they are
in season, a large turnout can pick a field clean before noon, so CALL
early. On weekends, then fields may be picked clean by NOON!
Most growers furnish picking containers designed for peaches, but they may
charge you for them; be sure to call before you go to see if you need to
If you use your own containers, remember that heaping Peaches more than 14
inches deep will bruise the fruit on the bottom.
Plastic dishpans, metal oven pans with 3 inch tall sides and large
pots make good containers.
something to drink and a few snacks; you'd be surprised how you can work up
a thirst and appetite! And don't forget hats and sunscreen for the sun. Bugs
usually aren't a problem, but some deet might be good to bring along if it
has been rainy.
You might want to ask whether the peaches are! There are two major types of
peaches: "Freestone" and. "Clingstone". Freestone peaches and nectarines
have flesh that slips easily away from the pit. Clingstones are a REAL pain,
because the fruit tenaciously clings to the stone or pit! Most peach
varieties grown today are freestone and are usually available (depending
upon your location) from June through September. Some nectarines are
freestone and some are clingstone. Freestone nectarines are available in
June and July. Most plum varieties are clingstone.
When you get home
Spread the fruit out on towels or newspapers and separate any mushy or
damaged fruit to use immediately.
- Put a couple of days supply into the fridge, wash and cut the others and
freeze them up!
- Even under ideal conditions peaches will only keep for a week in a
refrigerator, so for best flavor and texture, use them as soon as possible
- Now, get ready to make Peach jam or canned peaches - It is VERY easy -
especially with our free
- peach jam instructions - they're
illustrated and easy and
our page on
how to make home canned peaches
- Or see here to freeze peaches
- make your own home canned
peach pie filling to use in the winter
- Here's a great and easy peach pie
- or how about peach salsa?
- Peach chutney
- Spiced peaches
- peach butter or even
- pickled peaches?
- Here are some great and easy
peach desert recipes, like easy
- If you want more informat about
the Giant Peach water tower in Gaffney, SC, click her.
How to tell if the peaches are ripe!
- Attached to the tree: Peaches are best picked when the fruit
separates easily from the twigs. If it is hard to pull off the tree, it
isn't ripe! Peaches will not ripen further once removed from the tree (they
- Color: Green is definitely unripe, but you can't use red color as
an indicator of how ripe a peach is. Different peach varieties have
differing amounts of red blush in their natural coloring. Pick them when the
ground color changes from green to yellow, orange, red (or a combination).
The skin of yellow-fleshed varieties ripens to an orange tint, while the
skin of white-fleshed varieties changes from greenish- to yellow-white.
- Softness: unless you
like your peaches very firm, pick your peaches with just a little "give"
when gently pressed. Peaches at this stage are great for eating, freezing,
and baking. Peaches won't ripen very much after picking!
- Odor: It should smell sweet and ripe!
Tips on How to Pick Peaches
peach is softer than most fruit, so it is important to pick a peach gently, with
little pressure. Using the sides of your fingers rather your fingertips helps to
avoid bruising. Grab the peach firmly and pull it straight off the branch.
DON'T drop the peach into the basket, but set it in gently!
Marks on the Peachs: Bugs (particularly squash bugs and stink bugs)
bite fruit during development and this results in some imperfections in the
peach. This is especially the case with organically raised fruit. These
look like dents in the peaches if the peaches were bitten by a bug when they
were young. This causes a spot that does not grow properly and makes a wrinkle
in the peach. There's nothing wrong with these peaches. They may look funny, but
they will taste just as good as blemish-free peaches, and it's better not to
have the pesticides!
How much do you need?
- About 2 medium peaches = 1 cup sliced peaches.
- About 4 medium peaches = 1 cup pureed peach.
- About 3 medium peaches = 1 pound of peaches
Process yields (Raw amounts to processed amounts)
- 2 to 21/2 pounds of fresh peaches yields 1 quart canned
- 1 lb of fresh peaches typically yields 3 cups of peeled, sliced peaches
or 2 cups or puree.
- It takes about 5 good sizes peaches or nectarines (or about 10 plums) to
fill one quart jar of canned peaches.
- An average of 171/2 pounds of fresh peaches are needed per canner load of
- An average of 11 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints.
- 1 bushel = 48 to 50 pounds, yields approximately 18 to 25 quart jars.
And a visitor contributes this: 6-7 peaches makes about 4 cups puree, so 2-3
peaches make about 2 cups puree. 1 peach equals about 1 cup puree.
Peaches-Average retail price per pound and per cup equivalent
Peach pit tips
It's best to remove peach pits before you cook the peaches. Cherry, peach,
and apricot pits also contain amygdalin; the latter two, in potentially harmful
amounts. Fortunately, peach and apricot pits are sufficiently large and hard
that few people intentionally swallow or chew them. (The unapproved anti-cancer
Laetrile is a semisynthetic derivative of amygdalin; a cheaper version of
laetrile produced in Mexico came from crushed apricot pits.)
See this page for more
Delicious and Nutritious
1 medium peach
- peaches are virtually fat free. A medium size peach contains less than
one gram of fat.
- peaches are naturally sodium free.
- peaches have no cholesterol.
- peaches are a low calorie snack. A medium size peach contains only 40
- peaches contain vitamin A which helps us see in dim light.
- peaches are considered a good source of fiber. The skin of a peach
provides both roughage and fiber.
Temporary Storage Tips
- Ripe peaches have a creamy or golden undertone and "peachy-sweet"
- Peaches should be refrigerated and used within a few days.
- Putting peaches and nectarines in a loosely closed paper bag at room
temperature for a day or two can help soften firm fruit - but they won't
become sweeter or ripen further - that stopped when they were removed from
- For best flavor, allow the fruit to ripen fully on the tree.
- Store at 33°F to 40°F and high humidity (a vegetable drawer in the
Preserving the fruit
Question: Which is better, to can or freeze peaches?
Answer: In my experience, going back 50 years to my childhood, when my mother
also canned and froze peaches, we both found that frozen were superior in color
and flavor to canned peaches. It all depends upon whether you have room in your
- Peach butter
you like apple butter and you like peaches, you'll LOVE this
easy peach butter recipe,
complete with canning instructions, so you can make them now and give them
away at Christmas time!
Substituting Frozen or Canned Peaches for Fresh
In most recipes, frozen or canned peaches can be substituted for fresh
peaches. The frozen and canned peaches have already been sweetened; therefore,
the amount of sugar called for in a recipe will have to be adjusted. Also, the
peaches should usually be drained before using.
For the kids!
How to plant a peach pit (also works with nectarines and apricots). If you
save a peach pit you can grow your own fruit tree.
- Clean the pit and store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag until
September or October.
- Place the pit about five inches beneath the soil surface.
- In the spring, your tree will start to grow and should be visible by
- Keep the tree watered and fertilized (fruit tree spikes from Lowes,
HomeDepot, etc.) and you'll have fruit in 2-3 years!