Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Peach Panic

The peaches don't look so ugly now, huh?

I have been inundated with peaches. I have a surfeit of peaches. I have 18 jars of Pure Peach, Spicy Peach, and Very Berry Peach jam. I have given away over 5 pounds of peaches.

I have Peach Fatigue.

And you know, MP doesn't even like peaches -- not to just sit and eat. He enjoys the Very Berry Peach jam, but he digs the raspberries, and the peach just sort of tags along. He did approve this cake from the latest Martha Stewart Living Magazine, but only on the first day. I have to agree; sugar, fruit, high humidity, sitting on the counter... My advice is eat the whole thing at once with ice cream.

It isn't just the peaches, though. Summer's fecundity is thorough, and I have two pints of Sungold tomatoes. Daily. Every day. If the body can store lycopene, we've got it made. My sifu is more than happy to eat all the peaches, but down here, giving away tomatoes in August is like giving away kittens -- really sweet, but no thank you.

As for the Paul Robesons, MP is keen on perfecting his raw salsa. Unfortunately, the tomatoes grew so big that net doesn't quite cover the plants anymore, and there's this raccoon wandering around. Does he eat the Sungold tomatoes? Of course not! (Well, I wouldn't know, there are so many, he just may and I can't tell) But he finds a PR tomato that's maybe 2 days from ripeness, gnaws on it, then leaves it. So I have to cut out the parts with raccoon spit. I brought 6 in to let them ripen indoors, but with the peaches and tomatoes, I now have a fruit fly problem.

And to cap it all off, MP had to leave suddenly on assignment. Although now that I think of it, that may have been intentional...

Peach tomato ketchup, anyone?


Anonymous said...

I would far, far rather be at home perfecting salsa recipes and working on barbeque sauces and mops.

Anonymous said...

I'm following your peach tree thread. I have planted two peach trees that look lovely and have lots of new growth. I am nervous about insects and borers though....yikes! Just this morning I found this fuzzy/webbing spot under one of my leaves. I picked off the leaf and there are thousands of the tiniest worms. Very tiny.... I think clear body and blck tip BUT they are so very teeny it's hard to tell. Any tips?

Thank you.


Marianne Richardson said...

Any insects on my peach tree immediately freak me out. Your particular insect problem sounds like a tent worm type infestation -- but I could be completely wrong. When trying to identify peach problems, it's important to consider your geographic location. East or West of the Rockies? North or South? The sheer volume of information on pests and spray schedules can be *really* intimidating, so I don't want to overwhelm you. A few sites that were helpful to me:

The University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources Page -- They have pictures to help you identify your evil beasties.

A discussion of Organic and Low-Spray Peach Production -- because there is no point in suffering through growing your own peaches if you can't raise them pesticide free!

And finally, your county extension office, which is a Google search for your particular location. For me, I have a problem with oriental fruit moths. if you are in, say, Denver CO, you may not have that problem. Generally speaking, a county extension site will have tips on cultivars that work for your area, insects to watch out for, and how to prune.

The first step is finding out what you have. The second step is how to get rid of it. These sites will help. For organic solutions, try Gardens Alive.

Golly, and I was trying not to overwhelm you. Really two things to note: all fruit trees do better with pruning (that happens in the winter or spring), and bugs happen, so try to do the least drastic thing to get rid of them. Start with your county extension office web site.

And yank that leaf off!