It’s raining peaches, and its ‘all hands to the pumps’ as cook and gardener seek to stem the tide. Peaches are leaving the property by bag, basket and bucket. Up in the kitchen, peaches are being dried into peach leather, dried in the dehydrator, pureed and frozen into peach cubes for winter ice-cream, and dried in the fan-forced oven.
Down in the orchard, the cook’s grand idea to allow the chooks to fossick in the orchard has had the direct consequence of hens burying newly-fallen peaches under the clean straw laid out to catch them, making peaches harder to collect and clean. There’s nothing for it; we have to strip the tree or spend our days picking up dirty fallen fruit.
While this plan to bulk-harvest peaches had the benefit of simplicity it has, as always in the garden, flow-on effects for the gardener; seed trays need to be emptied to stack and store the peaches without bruising them. This gets done, but puts the kybosh on the gardener’s salad-plant out planned for today.
Well, if you can’t beat them, join them!
Saving the peach crop is now both urgent and important, displacing all other jobs.
So the gardener takes over fruit cutting, while the cook sees to all the sorting and drying processes.
Yet another long day in the garden, but these peaches are perfect, and we’ll be enjoying them long after the memories and tensions of harvest-stress have fallen behind us.
Ah, but wait! – there are still three more later-varieties of peach trees carrying crops we have yet to contend with…