Picking Homegrown Peaches
Aren't they beautiful?
I was so excited when I first spotted them several weeks ago, growing tucked under a full branch of peach tree leaves next to some of my bee hives. It's the first year for this particular compact peach tree but I have grown them in the past on other trees. Only squirrels have beat me to them and walking through my garden scolding squirrels out loud has done nothing but confirmed my neighbor's assessment of who is the crazy person in the neighborhood.
I would check the peaches every morning, gently peeking under the leaves and counting to make sure none were missing. Squirrels were also apparently checking because several would scurry off as I got close to the compact, dwarf Stark Brother's peach tree. These are grown in Louisiana, Missouri so they have quickly acclimated to my mid-Missouri hillside garden.
Knowing in the past squirrels have been more successful than I have been harvesting the fruit, I picked them just a tad from being perfectly ripe.
How did I know to pick them?
One of the peaches had a bug spot, a sure sign the fruit was getting nicely ripe.
Not a good technique to use if you are a farmer but as a home gardener, it works for me. I also have a nice collection of paring knifes I can use to clean up that little spot.
Once inside, I added the three peaches to a brown bag with an apple to finish ripening.
These three will once again be checked every day for ripeness.
So silly but it is such a feeling of accomplishment. Have you ever beat the squirrels to garden fare?