The Frost Peach Prunus persica is ripe and ready for harvest here at Leafhopper Farm! We’ve been picking them for a few weeks now and I finally pruned the tree back a bit. Members of the stone fruit (drupe) collective, including plums, cherries, and almonds, are veracious growers who can be pruned at any time without too much trauma to the tree. Apples and pears are much more sensitive. All of these fruit species are members of the Rose family. The rose hip was manipulated in many different directions by man in an attempt to develop the modest fruit. Today we would never see apples and peaches so closely related. Nectarines are also peaches, same genus, but some how, because of fuzzy vs. non-fuzzy skin, the peach is considered separate from its fellow Prunus Nectarine by commercial fruit sellers, but they are the same genus.
This is the 4th year for our Frost Peach tree to thrive here on the farm. It is the second year I’ve encouraged the tree to bear fruit. We had 4x as many peaches this year, and I hope with more trellising for support, we can coax even more yummy fruit next summer. Peaches are challenging to grow in Western Washington because it’s often too wet and cool for the tress. Our peach is planted right against a south facing building. It had leaf curl this Spring, but managed to move through the fungus without treatment. Liquid copper soap is an organic solution if the fungus persists.
Peaches originated in China, though for a while, Europeans knew them only though the Persians, and so, Greeks called them “Persian Apples”. Perhaps it might have been the Peach instead of an Apple that was talked about in the story of, The Garden of Eden. Personally, though I love both fruits and grow them, I have a special spot in my heart for peaches. That juicy bite into soft, sweet pulp is so satisfying! Thank you Frost Peach for all your fruit.