Ken loved stone fruit. Stone fruit always appears near the top of the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of food with heavy pesticide residues. Years ago I insisted we spend the extra money on organic stone fruit: peaches, cherries, plums, nectarines. So I bought and canned peaches once I could get organic ones so Ken would have some at any time of the year.
After Ken’s illness and death I had so much food – much more than I could eat before it became old and had less flavor and nutrition. so I began to share. And farm families I shared peaches with loved them. So I decided to can peaches for them for the same reason I canned peaches for Ken: they are a real treat when time is scarce and stone fruit is out of season. And I enjoy doing it!
Times change, and my source for the organic peaches ended. I called two Twin Cities co-ops to source peaches. I requested organic peaches that would can well. I ordered two cases. I went into the cities and picked them up.
I came home, and did what I have done for decades: took each out and placed them on newspaper so they would not touch and mold. They were not ripe. Each morning and night I checked them so I would be ready to can them as soon as they were not rock hard.
But within one night they molded and showed bruises. I called, the co-op brought them back. And got two cases from another grower. I watched these more closely so I could can them once they were no longer unripe.
These second peaches also molded and once cut open were either mealy or soft at the pit. I froze the ones with the most bruises and canned what I could cut in half or quartered.
So now I will start to find a good source for next year.
P.S. I picked our plums and pitted and froze them . I will make both peach and plum jams in future!