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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Derrick-Mills

Fruit Basket Orchard (Part 2): Peaches

OK, so I meant to cover something else in part 2, but peaches are coming into season now so switching gears to align better with mother nature.

Peach tree branch with red ripe peaches
Early Red Fire Peaches July 4, 2023

How did we choose which peaches to grow?

For all the trees in the orchard, we had three criteria:

  • Can grow in Maryland (mostly temperature-compatible)

  • Is a dwarf variety (so it doesn't need too much space and won't get too tall for us to manage)

  • Sounds delicious (either something we ate before that we thought was delicious or a description that sounded delicious)

  • Pairings of expected bloom times (some need cross-pollination from similar trees blooming at the same time)

We did NOT choose based on whether it was:

  • Yellow or white flesh (we like them both)

  • Free-stone or cling-stone (free pulls easily from the pit)

  • Expected harvest time (we are small so it matters less when not all fruit are ready to harvest at once)

  • Ease of growth (resistance from pests or diseases; as a small farm, we thought we could manage this, but honestly it is quite difficult)

We looked through catalogs or orchard tree vendors that sold fruit varieties we had not heard of before (Of course, if we went by what I had heard of before, that left pretty much all options on the table -- to me, a peach was a peach; so, when I say "we," I mean Chef Mark).

  • It was going to be an adventure!

What peaches are we growing at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm?

We are growing several varieties of peaches as shown below as of the writing of this blog (we tried some earlier that didn't make it and we could add others later). These expected harvest start dates are the best estimates we could find for states near to us, but that doesn't mean the tree will have any fruit we can harvest since it takes a few years, all the weather conditions have to be right, and we have to get to it before the bugs, birds, squirrels, or deer.

  • Early Red Fire, yellow/cling-stone (we just harvested our first ones today 7/4/2023)

  • Flamin' Fury, free-stone, early-July

  • BuenOs Flat Peach, flat peach, mid-July

  • Redhaven, yellow/free-stone, late July

  • Reliance, yellow/free-stone, late July

  • All Star, yellow/free-stone, mid-late August

  • John Boy II, yellow/semi-freestone, early-mid-August

  • Summer Giant, yellow/free-stone, August

Any peaches we have available for sale can be found here:

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