Peachy Days

Red Haven free-stone peaches 2021

We were blessed with mucho peaches this year from our Red Haven peach tree. It was planted last year and surprised us when it produced a full 5-gallon bucket of peaches in the first year. This year our little peach tree grew in height and width and produced 10 gallons of peaches. Wow, double the harvest! It really went to town, giving us many sweet moments to savor, and many more for later in the year from our pantry.

2-year-old Red Haven peach tree ready to pick.

See how heavy the branches were with all of the fruit on them. The tree would have fallen over or it would have had broken limbs if Pete had not built supports for the limbs that were so heavily laden.

10 gallons of fresh peaches

We harvested two full 5-gallon buckets of very sweet-tasting fruit. They are not giants but are absolutely delicious. This little baby tree is a very welcome addition to our garden.

Peeled & sliced peaches in bowl.

Here is how I go about canning what we don’t eat fresh. I blanch them for 2 minutes in boiling water or less, then the skins are easily removed. Here is a bowl of the fruit peeled and ready to put into glass canning jars.

15 quarts of sliced peaches

Our little 2-year-old Red Haven peach tree blessed us with all we could eat in fresh fruit, then 15 quarts of the sweetest sliced peaches. Yummmmm. I made peach syrup for pancakes, peach jam, and sliced peaches. Our pantry is happy. 

Strawberry Heaven

strawberry 41Strawberry heaven is anytime you are able to pick fresh strawberries and pop them into your mouth. Heaven for sure. A couple of days ago was my first time picking this year. It amounted to 1-1/2 gallons, which isn’t all that impressive, but it is still strawberry heaven in my book.

strawberry 44I picked 5 gallons of fresh strawberries in the garden this morning. So, it looks like I am going to be really busy with these berries this year, picking, eating, processing and canning.

strawberry 47If you are in need, call us and we will share. Or, you can get permission to come to pick yourself. We are considering selling at a minimal price at a farmer’s market if the COVID 19 insanity ever ends. We will probably have quite a nice harvest this year nonetheless.

strawberry 46We do love these beautiful red berries. Today, I plan on making syrup, juice, and fruit roll-ups after it cools a little more this evening. There is no need to fire up the stove during the hottest part of the day right?

 

Beautiful Fruit Blossoms

Early Spring is the time to witness beautiful fruit blossoms which can tempt any artist into rendering their beauty. On top of that, the air is full of flower fragrances, especially with Inland Northwest lilac scents drifting across the land. It is a cornucopia of an eye and nose candy.

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macintosh apple blossoms

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pear in lower orchard

Our garden has apple, pear, peach and cherry and choke cherry trees all blossoming and setting on fruit. Hopefully, all the fruit will come through and provide a wonderful harvest.

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semi-sweet pie cherry lower orchard

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choke cherry blossoms

Combined with this extensive array are other garden wonders soon to come; blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Then the huckleberries up in the mountains later on. Well…. hoping for lots of canning this year.

Broccoli Treats

Treats Are Here

broccoli spears in strainer
broccoli spears in strainer

Broccoli treats greet us from the garden daily now. I just can’t get over how much better homegrown vegetables and fruit taste, you would not believe how sweet the flavor is. Now, store-bought broccoli is a somewhat bitter second place loser to me. We planted one packet of seed and all of them came up, so our broccoli patch is surprisingly bigger than planned.

 

broccoli patch
broccoli patch

Broccoli treats are not the only vegetable we have. The first vegetable was the asparagus which peeked their heads out while the snow was still melting. It is a crop we started years ago and it finally is producing quite well. We love it and next year I am planning to figure out how it is pickle it. Though we appreciate the treat of asparagus spears, we actually got a little tired of them before it went into seed production.

asparagus going to seed
asparagus going to seed

Nature Treat Shows

Gardens are amazing nature shows. Our garden was planted 2-3 weeks late due to tractor mechanical issues. For a while, we were worried that we would not have much produced this year, but everything is growing real fast in the warm days we have had lately with temperatures of 80-90 degree daytimes with 40-50 nights. Again it seems like a wonderful carousel of delicious garden treats as everything matures at it’s own pace.

I weed and water for my daily (almost) meditation. This physical effort is well worth it, for healthy food that tastes so phenomenally good.

two pea pods
two pea pods

The peas seem ready to begin picking tomorrow, so we will be busy shucking pods while we watch tv at night. Beans and zucchini are almost ready and let’s not forget the corn tasseling or grapes forming on the vines. The most candy-like treats are all the berries and fruits which are gearing up to be our next garden treat. There are many more items. Blackberry, blueberry, choke-cherry, raspberry, elderberry, cucumbers, tomatoes…. followed by apple, and pears later.

blackberry hedge, apples
blackberry hedge, apples

 

 

Apple Tree

This apple tree was trimmed back drastically the year before last year after damage in a wind storm and last year had no apples. Here are the first apples coming in this year, less than a dozen, but absolutely heavenly! Sometimes the wait is worth it. Can’t wait till we have a full crop next year…

I can smell the applesauce, bubbling on the stove. The cinnamon throughout the house with the apple cider stirring. Oh, and don’t forget the heavenly scent of Pete’s pies… apple pie, Yummmm. Washington State has the world’s best apples! I love them.

Winesap ApplesWhat are Winesap Apples?

We are not positive if these are Winesap apples. They could also be Macintosh. But for now we are going to assume that they are Winesap. These are kind of medium-sized fruit fitting in the palm of your hand. They are solid skinned with firm sweet/sour honey flavored white or slightly yellow flesh. They are red with yellow/green stripes on the outside. When you sit them on the table they don’t sit perfectly straight as they are a little unevenly grown with the stem kind of off-center. They are superb apple pie fruit and tasty lunch partners anytime! If you’d like to learn more about these kinds of apples check out this Apple site.