Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Late Strawberries, Early Peaches

SM was in South Carolina last week and buzzed by Gaffney as he was coming home on I 85.  Gaffney SC has outlet stores (if you're into that sorta thing) and all sorts of "I'm tired of being on the road and I need a break" shops.  

It's also the home of the big peach.

They turned a water tower into a peach.  Looks really impressive too. Lots of peach orchards in Gaffeny.

Phone rings:

"Hey Baby" Me
"Hey"  SM 

Southerners don't say Hi or Hello they say Hey.  I only say "Hi" when I'm meeting someone new.  After that it's always "Hey".  I'm kinda big on "baby" too.  But that's just me.

"I'm down here in Gaffney and they've got strawberries for sale."  (SM knew I hadn't gone picking this year.  Who knew that my favorite U-Pick farm started picking early April and had finished up by Easter?)

"Really?  How much?"  Me
"$12 for a gallon.  They look really good!" SM
"OK get me a couple." Me
"They've got peaches too." SM
"Too early." Me.  (Last year I was putting peaches up mid July.)
"But they look really good, smell good too." SM
"They're pushing the season.  If you can taste them and they're good, OK.  But I'd wait."  (I always taste produce before I buy, I've gotten stung too many times.)

SM brought home 3 gallons of strawberries (shockingly good) and the peaches.  The berries I froze (and we're also eating fresh) but the peaches were hard as rocks so I stuck them in a brown paper bag for about 6 days.

Today I went ahead and slid them into boiling water to loosen the skins and then cut off what I could for fresh eating.  They were still pretty hard midway to the pit, so I decided to make peach jam with the "firmer" part of the fruit.

(I need to assume that everything is coming in a bit earlier than normal this year.  I may be putting up peaches sooner than I think.)

"What do you think we spent on strawberries this year?"  (5 gallons at $12 each = $60) Me
"Maybe we should reconsider and put in a raised bed of strawberries.  Can we still do it this year?"  SM
"I don't think so.  Too hot.  It'd be best if we put them in early spring.  I can buy them from the seed catalogs."

So now we're reconsidering having a strawberry patch.
(You've come a long way, Baby...)


  1. Hey. Those peaches look gorgeous! How I envy your ability to put up fruit so easily. It's on my wannalearntodo list. Enjoy!

  2. Yesterday I found a peach on the ground from one of my trees (planted fall of 2009). I found another soft one on the tree and picked it (all the rest are hard). Sadly they had some little worm in them (making a note to spray when they flower next spring), but the bits we got were excellent! I've been tempted to stop by a roadside stand to buy some. Unfortunately, commercial growers seem to pick them too early. :( That said, I'm looking forward to seeing you plant those strawberries next spring!

  3. too bad those peaches weren't perfect, because they sure look it! Last year I made what felt like 1 zillion cans a peach jam, and then I found out I am allergic to it (in large doses.) I am eating it again slowly to see what happens. It's just so darn good! Great price on the strawberries too, wish we had a place around here like that!

  4. I love firm peaches. I cant eat them once they get soft. I would have polished those off in no time.

  5. Ok now you need to reintroduce the idea of chickens! Ha! See you really do have that bug now!

    Good for you! Now start working on the beds for the strawberries! Awesome!

  6. Hey Tami!
    I'm a Southerner and wasn't aware of the "hey" difference...but think you may be right. (Now I'm gonna' analyze the way I speak!!) Your peach jam looks delicious and as a side note here...Georgia may call itself the "Peach State", but South Carolina actually produces more peaches than Georgia. With the way your garden is doing this year, ya'll should expect good things in planting strawberries too! (I said Ya'll...that's Southern)!!

  7. What a great blog! Glad you're reconsidering strawberries. They are so yummy.....except when the critters beat you to them. If you plant a raised bed they will continue to spread and reproduce and you will have plenty. :)
    Have a great week and thanks so much for visiting my blog and commenting!