A perfect peach, soft and sweet and dripping, can make your day. A perfect peach every day can make your month. Imagine a stone fruit season – stretching from late-April to September – with an unending avalanche of perfect cherries, apricots, apriums, nectarines, pluots, and peaches. (And don’t forget the mulberries.)
This is a dream worth having. And it’s not far from reality at Frog Hollow Farm, where one delicious stone fruit variety follows the next.
How we pick them
Farmer Al’s top priority when he designs the orchard is great-tasting fruit. His second priority is timing. He looks for varieties that will ripen in succession – this benefits our customers, and it keeps our farm, kitchen, and packing teams working year-round.
Trees get old and need to be pulled out and replaced from time to time, so Farmer Al is always on the lookout for new varieties. Some of our most recent additions ripen in late spring. We’re looking forward to these early varieties, coming soon!
Royal Tioga: There is so much to love about Royal Tioga. This cherry variety doesn’t require as many chill hours as other varieties, like Bing or Brooks. That’s good because temperatures are rising, making cherries more difficult to grow. We also love Royal Tioga because they produce an early crop that’s incredibly sweet. We hope to start harvesting Royal Tioga in late April, hopefully, the week of 4/24.
Pakistan Mulberries: We’re looking forward to an excellent mulberry crop this year, starting around April 20. The volume will start off small with add-ons available for CSA members, before increasing to be included in boxes, hopefully by early May. Some of our customers eat our Pakistan mulberries like they would a cob of corn. Others munch on the entire fruit – stem and all! The flavor reminds us of blackberries and boysenberries, with a hint of earthy sweetness. Our mulberries are delicious as a snack, whipped into smoothies, or added to baked goods.
Princess Time: We’re hoping to harvest this yellow clingstone peach in mid-May. We love Princess Time for its firm texture that reminds us of a cantaloupe. Juicy and sweet, they’re great for snacks. Their firm texture also makes them perfect for fruit salads and platters.
Galaxy White Peaches: What’s not to love about a peach that’s shaped like a donut? This early variety peach should be ready to harvest around May 20. Galaxy is an aromatic peach with a soft, melting texture. Farmer Al describes them as “sweet and complex.”
Counting the days
As we come out of the spring storms, we’re excited to see our early varieties in the fruit set stage. In a little more than a month, we’ll kick off the harvest with Apache apricots! And then it’s one stone fruit variety after another until fall.
When you think about it, the dream never really ends. After all the trees have been picked clean, we’re enjoying fruit conserves, dried fruit, and fruit tartlets…
Another story for another time.