Season: Mid/Late July to Late August (Early September in the Market)
Peaches & Nectarines:
- Look at the “background color,” rather than the “foreground” red color. If the background is yellow instead of green, the peach or nectarine will be a good one. Many people judge ripeness by amount of red instead of by the background color, which can lead them to choose unripe fruit.
- Keep stone fruit on the counter, rather than in the fridge, if you want them to ripen faster.
- Choose peaches and nectarines that are still firm so that they will not bruise easily. (Of course, when you shop for recently picked peaches and nectarines in our farm market, you may want to select soft, ready-to-eat fruit.)
- Pick these stone fruits gently, using the length of your fingers rather than getting a close grip with your fingertips. Settle peaches and nectarines into your picking basket very gently. Once ripened, peaches and nectarines are softer than most fruit, so they need some extra care while you are picking them.
- Cardboard boxes make the best containers for stone fruit. Bags and deep buckets do not make good picking containers because the peaches and nectarines on the bottom will get bruised. You can bring your own boxes or purchase them at the pick-your-own stand.
What’s the difference between a nectarine and a peach? Nectarines are basically fuzzless peaches. To make matters even stranger, nectarine seeds can grow into trees that bear either nectarines or peaches, and it is not even possible to tell which fruit will grow from a nectarine seed. Because of this, nectarine branches are often grafted onto peach trees since it is the only guarantee that the tree will produce nectarine