Monday, September 10, 2012

Harvest Monday: peach verdict


Venus peaches, cherokee purples, cayenne peppers, datterini and cherry toms.

The jury is in. Bye-bye peach tree. As much as we appreciated harvesting 17 pounds of fruit yesterday afternoon, the verdict to call it quits on our very first pesco is based on unanimous decision. It's a bittersweet feeling to throw in the towel like this but the Poppa di Venere white peaches, while big and relatively bug-free, are no longer up to the quality like those from the first year the tree bore fruit. They don't even look as smooth and perfect like they used to. The battle with PLC (peach leaf curl) was becoming more persistent with each passing year and the use of a fungicide was going against everything that we believed in about cultivating an organic garden.

Now the good news: cherokee purples! Any gardener who has successfully grown them know how delicious these heirlooms are. I was relieved that the almost ripe fruit didn't suffer split skins when heavy rains fell during the last week of August, and it was tomato bliss to slice and serve one alongside some cherry tomatoes and burrata cheese. The zucchini and cherry tomatoes are beginning to slow down, but there's still a lot of bell peppers and hot peppers on the bushes right now. This week's harvest totals 21 lbs.


Fresh eating: cherokee purple, datterini, cherry toms and burrata.

Linking up with Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.

Todays high: 27°C / 81°F

19 comments:

  1. Peaches are tough with all the diseases and pests that plague them. But your Cherokee Purple is amazing. Mine always have lots of cracks on top that require cutting off a large amount of the tomato. I have never had a perfect one, but whatever they look like, I agree with you, they are great tasting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regarding the CP's, I notice that a lot depends on the weather. Last year we had frequent bouts of heavy rain in between sunny days, and I did note the CP's cracking on the tops. This year we hardly had any rain for July and August, but I was prepared to pick any almost-ripe tomatoes if a storm was headed our way. No matter how they fare, they still are worth having in the garden each year.

      Delete
  2. what a happy tomato! And yes, raspberries are always expensive at the store! Love having my own to harvest! Especially as fast as they get eaten around here!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tomatoes and burrata cheese. Oh that does sound blissful to me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mmm, tomatoes and burrata, bliss indeed! I haven't grown Cherokee Purples in years. They are good tomatoes. Perhaps I'll try them next year, see how they do here in this garden.

    Sorry that the verdict is in on the peach tree, it is disappointing when plants don't do well like that. But I'm like you, no sense wasting good garden space on a poor performer. What do you think you'll replace it with?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The jury is still out on whether it'll be an apple or another plum tree. If I could control the climate, I would grow an avocado tree!

      Delete
  5. My dad planted the Cherokee Purples this year and just raved about them. I may have to look into whether they will do well in our area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope they do, because that is the one tomato (for fresh eating) that I will grow year after year after year. They are wonderful!

      Delete
  6. Perhaps you can replace the peach tree with a variety more resistant to PLC or another sort of fruit altogether. My future fruit plans are for loads of apples. I never get tired of eating them day in and day out and they keep well in correct storage (which I hope to have some day!) But I'm also going to be planting a lot of different things like figs, cherries, persimmons, pomegranates, ect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will always be a gamble no matter how resistant the variety is as our prealpine climate is not dry or hot enough to grow good peaches. The peach-growing regions in Italy are Emilia-Romagna and I think even Piemonte further south on the peninsula. I will just have to be content with apples or plums which are supposed to do well at our altitude.

      Delete
  7. Yes, Cherekoo purples are out of this world delicious. Love your artistic presentations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would think that CPs were made out of gold with the way I react to them. Color me happy when they're ready to harvest!

      Delete
  8. I'm sorry to hear about the peach tree, wish I could take it and keep it here - ours keep dying after 6 months :(

    your CP tomato looks awesome! It really is one of the best tasting ones :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm amazed that ours lasted for 5 years with all that stuff we had to give it to keep it from dying. I don't think anyone around here would've kept at it for so long.

      Delete
  9. aw too bad about that peach tree, but wow that cherokee looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At first I had my doubts because I planted them where the tulips grew last year. I just didn't think the soil would be amended enough, even if we mixed in a new bag of potting soil and some fresh compost. I think I'll amend the soil even more with some worm compost!

      Delete
  10. Oh that cherokee purple tomato looks great sliced with the cheese, I have never grown that variety before so that's another one to put on the list.
    Are they a good tomatoe to make sauce with too?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I want to eat that salad! It is so hard to find decent mozarella here (pretty much impossible really) and that with the beautiful tomatoes I just looks the perfect meal. I'm sad for your peach tree but admire your ability to make the tough decisions - I have a tendency to stick with plants I should give up on and it almost never pays off.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We hung on to that tree for 5 years! The first year everything was perfect - no insect infestation or fungal problem. Gorgeous peaches! The next year it all started going downhill. No other person in these parts would've stuck it out so long - we must have a very stubborn gardening streak in our blood.

    ReplyDelete

Comments on posts (older than 7 days) will appear after authorization.