Tuesday, August 7, 2007

More 'early' peaches

Well, we are approaching the mid-August heart of (Redhaven) peach season here in Massachusetts. But there are still some earlier peaches being picked. Today, at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard I picked Jade (pictured) and Risingstar. Jade is a white-fleshed nectarine from France. Risingstar is from the Fruit Acres/Stellar breeding program. Jade is very aromatic with a rather exotic white-flesh nectarine flavor. But, it has not been terribly bud hardy, except for this past winter, which was an easy one, and it has some susceptibility to bacterial spot. (It appears to be a bad year for this disease.) Risingstar is a typical yellow flesh clingstone peach with 85-90% red skin. Very attractive. It needs to be thinned good to get size. I like Risingstar for an early peach. No split pits. I also looked at Country Sweet peach and Honey Kist nectarine -- both yellow flesh, low-acid fruit from Zaiger Genetics. Both rather heavily infested with bacterial spot. If you are going to grow these unique varieties -- I, and our customers, particularly like Country Sweet -- you need to maintain an aggressive bacterial spot program beginning in the spring. Both ready or close to harvest right now. Be sure to check my 2007 peach harvest record for details. Note these peach varieties are available from Adams County Nursery.

While listening to WAMC Northeast Public Radio this noon, an excellent story on the 2007 New York apple crop. Very well done, I thought. Even got to hear my old friend Tre Green of Chazy Orchard -- largest McIntosh orchard in the world! (Or so THEY say!)

And, related to above, read the NY Times article 'Food That Travels Well' on 'food miles' vs. 'life cycle measurement.' Very interesting.