First peach harvest.

Thanks to the use of organic pesticides, I got my first-ever peach harvest this year!

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still white from the early kaolin clay sprays.

How did I know when to harvest them? Well, I suddenly realized I was in a race with some other hungry critters.

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Ew. And of course they chewed holes through all of my sleeve bags – which didn’t start off on the ground, but gradually sank as the fruit swelled – so I’m still not sure of the outcome of that particular experiment.

So I had to haul them all in a few days before they were ripe, to soften inside. I didn’t weigh them, but wow. If these had been full-sized peaches, I wouldn’t need to go peach picking at all this year.

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galoshes for scale.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know I was using the wrong fungicide for brown rot this entire time. And I didn’t realize that every time I saw a stink bug on those peaches on my tree, that it was poking nasty little holes to spread the disease. And I didn’t know that even if I had been using the right fungicide (and a stronger insecticide than neem oil, perhaps), I was still supposed to dip the peaches in a bleach solution immediately after harvesting to kill any residual brown rot spores… so the poor peaches didn’t last long. I had to discard 3/4 of the harvest.

I did get five quarts of canned peaches out of them out of the good ones, though, and several good fresh-eating peaches for snacks, so they weren’t completely wasted.

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But let’s just say next year I’ll do a few things differently.  (…I think I should get that tattooed on my forehead. It might as well be my mantra.)

STILL! First peach harvest ever! The peaches were smaller than store peaches, but much darker red and even rose-colored near the pits. It’s made me so optimistic for next year that I don’t even mind the loss of much of the harvest – at least it went to feed the black soldier flies that I’m attempting to farm for chicken food. (That’s a whole ‘nother experiment, and it’s not successful yet. I’ll let you know when/if it works.)

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