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Old 09-15-2009, 01:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default A peachy kind of guy

Just wanted to share an experience from last week.

A couple weeks ago, I went to a fruit growers conference in Grand Junction CO. One of the orchards we visited gave me 16 cases of peaches that were going to be thrown away..so that we could take them home and bottle them. I gave some friends some peaches, as they were not able to get any this year. (most froze this year in our area) Several people said that they would love to get some more.

I made a call and set it up. Friday noon we took off and headed back to CO. Sat, around 2:30 am, we rolled into the driveway with 2000+ pounds of peaches. By around 8:30 in the morning, they were all distributed and several families were home canning.

I just wanted to point out that there are many good people that give of their time and resources to help others. We were given, in total, around 2300-2500 pounds of peaches...Yes, they were not going to be sold, BUT, the owner took his precious time...during harvest season...to help us obtain them and sort many of them out.

Due to his generosity there are now around 1400 newly bottled quarts of peaches among several families in a small town that still relies heavily on home grown veggies and fruit.

aaron
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
Nanner Time!
 
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Default Re: A peachy kind of guy

WOW...that's quite the generous offer! I'm sure he was much happier to see the fruits of his labors go to someone who would eat/enjoy them than to throw them away. Glad it worked out for you and I'm sure you were VERY thankful. I would definitely send him a sincere thank you note and a care package of some sort! You should send him a banana pup!! LOL.
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A peachy kind of guy

How wonderful is that all those canned peaches will taste even better over the winter! Glad to know there are other canners till out there, we rock!
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A peachy kind of guy

In addition to many thank-yous, we gave him a 'token' gift: a couple quarts of shelled pecans (the best there are from southern AZ), a gallon of shelled almonds, and a block of very fresh cheddar cheese. ( Some people near us make cheese..the cheddar is so fresh that it is like squeaky cheese)

I am going back in Feb to help prune (really to learn to properly prune..He told me that in a couple days of doing it that I would learn more than with all the reading that I could do) It just so happens that his pruning season falls near the end of the AZ naval orange season. So we will be taking him a few cases of the best oranges grown...no offense to CA or FL, ours are just tastier.

JustJoan..I agree about the canning. Home canners are getting fewer and further apart. Our goal is to always can enough fruit, veggies, salsas, jellies, etc..to last until the next harvest. We also put up a fair bit of meats, stews, etc.

aaron
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A peachy kind of guy

Just curious, as I went to one of these meetings many years ago; Was this group called North American Fruit Explorers?
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A peachy kind of guy

yes,The North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX). I have been corresponding by email with some members since spring. This was the first time that I have gone to a conference.

I am exploring various cultivars of fruits, especially peaches and apricots, that will bloom late enough and be cold hardy enough post bloom, to survive our late season frosts. When we get fruit, it is great, but we lose it to late frosts 7 out of 8 years. Our problem is not the cold here..we are only zone 7, but we often get warm spells in Feb/Mar that wake up the fruit trees. There are tricks to delay bloom on any cultivar, but I am trying to come up with some that anybody can just put in the ground and hopefully get fruit 50% of the years.

They have been very friendly and very helpful. I will be grafting 10 varieties of apricots next year and i think 7 or 8 peaches, along with a few cherries, plums, apples, pears.

I have a lot to learn, but I am having fun along the way.

aaron
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A peachy kind of guy

Fantastic and congratulations - warms my heart to hear that people still go and get produce and can it. I don't do so much now but in years gone by - salting green beans, pickling onions, blanching and freezing veggies, picking strawberries and raspberries in the fields for jams and jellies, hanging strings of spanish onions in the cool where they lasted all year, growing so many heart lettuce that I supplied the local store. Now I just freeze mango, excess bananas, juiced lemons for margaritas (what else?).

But years ago in Africa I remember ouma drying split peaches, figs and apricots on a sheet of corrugated iron in the yard, and strips of meat drying in the tree for biltong (jerky) - but no flies - how come? And guavas mashed into a paste and dried in sheets and called meebos. Far too humid here in the Dominican Republic for drying sadly - so freezing it is!
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