Frequently Asked Questions about Peaches
What is a FREESTONE peach?
All peaches have pits. Lots of folks figure that freestone means that there is no pit at all, and we can see why from the word! Freestone peaches are varieties where the flesh of the fruit, comes cleanly away from the pit. You should never have to cut the pit out or waste any bites that won’t come away. For this reason, these varieties are much easier for canning and baking. Semi-Freestone means that the flesh will come off the pit cleanly so long as the fruit is nice and ripe.
For more about our different varieties, click here.
The best way to let a peach Ripen?
This is key! Take your peaches out of their container and spread them out! If they ripen in the box or basket, the weight of the layers of peaches will bruise the bottom ones. Spread them out with the stem side up so you can keep a close eye on the ripeness. The temperature will affect how quickly they ripen. If the room is warm they will ripen faster, if you are trying to make them last, keep them in the fridge.
See our page on "caring for your peaches" for more info.
How can you tell if a peach is Ripe?
Around the farm you can see lots of signs that say, “Please don’t squeeze!” It is true that you can tell if a peach is ripe by how soft it is, but the dilemma is that every time you squeeze it to test, you bruise it. Peach abuse! Instead, look closely around the stem of the peach. If the flesh at the stem is green - not ripe. If it is a golden yellow or orange – time to enjoy! Another hint is how easily the skin will peel off. A ripe peach should be easy to peel with a paring knife.
What variety is best for canning?
All the freestone or semi-freestone varieties are good for canning, but our family prefers Red Haven (not to be confused with “Early Red Haven, a clingstone variety) Red Haven have the best flavour in our opinion. Remember, the most important factor is how RIPE the peaches are. Most need to sit for 5-7 days between purchase and canning.
There are many different of peaches, check out the Peach Variety page to learn more.
What is are “Peaches packed to travel”?
Peaches packed to travel are packed with extra padding between the layers and in a box with a lid so they can be stacked in a vehicle. We also choose peaches that are a little greener so they can survive the trip. They should still be kept as cool as possible on the way and out of direct sunlight. They can stay in the box for 1 - 3 days at the most – when you reach your destination, they need to be unpacked and spread out so the top layer does not bruise the bottom layer.
How ripe are our peaches?
Because we sell directly off the farm, we have the advantage to let our peaches ripen on the trees for as long as possible. Peaches that are grown for shipping cross-country have to be picked early while they are still very green. That being said, we don’t want to let our peaches ripen to the point that they are soft while they are still on the trees, or we would never be able to get them from the tree to the market without bruising them. We sell them at the “firm-ripe” stage so you can get them home and spread them out gently for the last few days where they can ripen in peace. From the time of purchase, expect 2-3 days before they are ready to eat and 5-7 days before they are fully ripened and ready to can.