Things to Do

The Gillespie County Peach Wars

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Three months earlier – where the peaches began.

Three months earlier

Photo: Gary M.

The time from blossoms to peaches is only three or four months. The time in-between is perilous for fledgling peaches, which are threatened by late freezes, hail storms, drought, and so on.  An old timer told me that peaches would not make it 2 out of 7 years in the Hill Country.  Most peach orchards sell their peaches on roadside stands, and you will find lots of these near Stonewall.  A few orchards open for pick your own.  In either case, the peaches are picked ripe.  If you buy peaches shipped a great distance, they were picked green; peaches don’t travel well and turn to mush in a few days.  They will be firm when picked ripe and will soften in a day or two on your kitchen counter.  Spread them out on a towel to soften, and as soon as they are the softeness you prefer, put them in the fridge.  If there are any left.

Growing peaches like this takes lots of TLC

Peachy Trees

Photo: Robert Deming

Growing peaches like this takes a lot of time and effort.  If you think the price is too high, consider that you are buying world famous fruit at the pinnacle of perfection.  Look at each peach carefully before you pick it – small blemishes won’t affect the flavor, and once you pick the peach you are obligated to buy it.  Putting it back on a branch or dropping it on the ground isn’t acceptable.  Be fair with the grower and respect the hard work and expense of producing the perfect peach.  If you are eating a Gillespie County peach picked perfectly ripe, you are blessed, and can count yourself a lucky person.

Some orchards also raise tomatoes, melons, squash, blackberries, onions, and other produce.

Peaches aren't the only option

Photo: Robert Deming

Because peaches can be hit or miss, some growers also raise tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, white and purple onions, okra, and melons.  Don’t go away empty handed if they are out of peaches, support Farm to Table!

Blackberry cobbler, anyone?

Blackberries
Photo: Robert Deming