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Riding the Peach Train

In the pantheon of great lyrical misunderstandings I remember this: summer sunlight circa mid-1970s and me dancing around our living room while singing at the top of my lungs to the “The Age of Aquarius” by The Fifth Dimension on my parents’ cabinet stereo system. Me (falsetto): “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquariums! Age of Aquariummmmms. A-Quar-i-ummmms!” Yes, I have to admit that I expected a world where sea creatures swam in every room, but alas, my sea anemone and starfish friends stayed at the shore. So it gave me a big smile when my young daughter heard Cat Stevens singing “Peace Train” and started singing, “Riding the Peach Train..” A FruitGal through and through.

It’s now the Summer Solstice and (besides checking to see if “the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with mars”) this means that the sun has reached its highest point in the sky and is providing the northern hemisphere with the most light it’s going to get all year, which means that the Peach and Nectarine Train is gathering steam. I wrote about the different kinds of peaches and nectarines a few weeks ago, remember: Cling is where the flesh is woven into the pit; freestone is where the pit and the flesh are detached; semi-cling is just that—some attachment to the pit but not fully woven in. There are also two flesh types for peaches and nectarines: yellow and white. And within these categories there are hundreds of varieties. Peaches and nectarines are climacteric fruits—they ripen after being picked. When they yield to the touch and have an aromatic smell, they are ready to eat.

Right now, California is supplying most of the nation’s peaches and nectarines. In July we’ll start seeing Michigan peaches in the Midwest crates and local East Coast peaches. This week in our West Coast organic mix our peaches come from Twin Girls Farm: white Savannah Snow peaches, organic Arctic Star white nectarines, and organic yellow Kay Sweet nectarines. In our Harvest Flyer crates you’ll see Crimson Princess yellow peaches, Diamond Brite yellow nectarines, Diamond Pearl white nectarines, and the Ice Princess white peach all from Blake Carlson in Kingsburg, CA. We’re also featuring Mas Masumoto’s organic June Crest Peaches in our mixes as well. Varieties are changing weekly right now so check out your regional mix on our website for the latest list.

Enjoy and be fruitful!

- Chris Mittelstaedt chris@fruitguys.com

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