Just over a year since our first ever peach picking experience, we decided to head back to the same farm and pick more peaches. The excuse was that my in-laws had never picked peaches before so we thought they would enjoy doing so with their grandchildren but our motive was collecting a gargantuan number of peaches so that we could indulge in pies, cobblers and crumbles for days on end.
Even though we knew fine well that the orchards were within easy walking distance of the farm entrance, we still hopped aboard the tractor pulled wagon, sitting on either benches or hay bales, because that is all part of the fun after all. In no time at all, therefore, we were deposited among the peach trees. September in Pennsylvania is really getting towards the fag end of peach season. The air was pungent from the alcoholic reek of spoiling fruit on the ground and the trees nearest the pathway were all denuded of fruit. We only had to wander a short way, however, before we found trees with branches that were still heavy with round, ripe peaches. They weren’t always easy to reach, of course, because people had gathered those ones, but the kids had fun ducking under the spreading branches and reaching up and under to pluck fuzzy, rosy peaches from the trees. The 7 year old even took to climbing trees to reach particular peaches he had his eye on.
After we filled two bushels full of peaches, we decided to do something new. Last year we had picked vegetables and beans in addition to the peaches. This year we decided to pick some apples. We had all been apple picking before, of course, since apples are grown all over Britain, but we had a) never been apple picking in America before (not that the experience is any different) and b) had never tried this particular variety of apple before, ginger gold apples. If we thought the peach trees had been almost picked clean, they were still lushly abundant compared to the apple trees. Despite the fact the apple season is surely longer lasting than that of the soft fruits, the pickings from the apple trees were pretty spartan. Nevertheless, with a lot of scouring, we managed to fill a bushel.
My Mother-in-Law made a peach crumble that evening and it was delicious. I think things taste extra scrumptious when made with such freshly picked fruit. Of course, that was the first of many fruit based desserts. I think maybe we need to go celery picking next year.