This has been the year of the peach.
The vegetables have all done horrible this year. Ironically, I managed to grow okra and eggplant, and hardly anytomatoes. Go figure. I garden primarily by neglect, and tomatoes usually do pretty well under that treatment. but not this year.
The fruit, however, went bananas. (ha).
Last year we had a late frost that nipped all the blooms, so there was a near total crop failure, statewide, on almost all fruits - particularly peaches, apples, plums, cherries, and elderberries.
This year, the trees and bushes have made up for it by producing last year's fruits, PLUS this year's fruits. I swear.
Our little orchard is just a few years old now, and this is the first year I have had a peach harvest. I have 2 "white peach" trees. I don't know the proper name, just that they are small, white-fleshed peaches that grow very well in this climate; they don't seem to mind the cold.
anyway, these trees produced like mad. I estimate that we picked about 20 plant-flats full of peaches. They were divided among about 7 people, some taking just a bag full, some taking 5 or 6 flats. we all had plenty to make jam, pies, cobblers, baby food, and more!
I froze most of mine, for use in pies or cobblers, but plan to make this yummy recipe that my friend Linda found in her Better Homes cookbook:
Rum Peach Jam
3 pounds fully ripe peaches, scaled, peeled and finely chopped(4 cups
1 1 3/4 ounce package powdered fruit pectin
5 cups sugar
1/4 cup light rum
Combine peaches and pectin in a very large suacepan or dutch oven. Place
over high heat and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Emmediately add all the sugar and stir. Again bring to a full rolling
boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat: stir in rum: skim off foam. Stir and skin for 5 minutes
to cool slightlyt and prevent fruit from floating. Ladle into hot scaled
jars. Seal at once. Makes about 6 half pint jars.
Thanks to John for this great photo of the peaches - they were sitting on our porch and a shaft of sunlight hit them just right, and he grabbed his camera to catch the moment.