I paid a visit to Smith’s Orchard, just down the road here on GreenBluff. The U-pick peaches are still going strong here. The growing season has been out of whack due to a late spring, but it’s sort of like getting to have an extended birthday for me, as I love picking almost more than anything. Their Red Havens are GINORMOUS this year.
If there’s one thing you should know it’s that you should listen to your farmer. Ask questions, because a farmer has so much wisdom to impart. The first thing Mr. Smith asks when you arrive is what type of peach you’re looking for. There are so many varieties. And if you don’t know your varieties, just explain what you like and the farmer will give you the best recommendation. Smiths orchard grows only freestone peach varieties, meaning the fruit just pulls right away from the pit, rather than sticking to it, which makes the peaches really nice and easy to process if you’re canning, freezing, or making pies.
Mr. Smith is partial to Suncrest peaches. 🙂
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that a farmer who cares about their crop won’t send you out on a wild goose chase through the orchard for unripened fruit or barren trees. But to make sure, just ask what’s ripe and if it’s good picking. Good picking means you’ll have a lot of ripe fruit to pick from, rather than a scant few sprinkled amongst many picked over trees.
Turns out the ginormous peaches are over 1 pound each! (And they’re sweet, juicy, and taste like a piece of heaven).
Here are some tips from Smiths (just another thing a great farmer will do, is tell you how to care for their product):
One way for us to enjoy peaches through the winter is with Peach Pie. So when I’m done picking, I come home and make lots of filling. I mix up each batch and place each pie filling in it’s own freezer bag. I then place the freezer bag in a pie pan and place it in the freezer to freeze in that shape. Once the filling is frozen, I take it out of the pan and store the fillings in stacks in the freezer. When I want to make a pie, all I have to do is unwrap a filling, plunk it into the crust, and bake. (You can bake the filling frozen or thawed). If baking frozen, it will just take a while longer and you’ll need to cover the crust with foil once it’s browned, so it doesn’t burn as the pie continues to bake.
P.S. I have no affiliation with Smiths. I just happen to love their farm.
Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.