Peach Picking and Handling Tips

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Biting into a ripe, juicy peach is a sure sign of summer here in New England! Picking your own tree ripened peach just adds to the fun. Here at Parlee Farms, we 15 varieties of freestone peaches during August that are available for pick your own. Planning a peach picking trip? Here are some important picking tips and handling tips for when you bring them home, courtesy of the UMass Center of Agriculture, Food and the Environment:

Peach Picking Tips

• Look at the color: When a peach is ready to be picked, it won’t have any green on the skin. The skin will have changed to yellow or white, or in some cases (depending on the variety) will have a very bright red-orange color. If there is still some green skin, it isn’t ready to be picked yet!

• Gently touch the peach: If the peach is firm, it is not ready to be picked. Wait until there is some “give” but don’t squeeze too hard – it will result in bruising!

• Look at the shape: A peach will become more round as it ripens.

• Smell the peaches: If there is no smell, it’s not ready to be enjoyed. A ripe peach will give off a sweet aroma!

• Pull gently: A ripe peach will separate from the tree easily. If it’s difficult to pick, leave it on the tree to ripen longer.

• Larger peaches and those at the tops of the trees ripen first.

Peach Handling Tips

• Do not leave peaches in a plastic bag, in the sun, or inside of a hot car – they will not ripen evenly.

• Only put them in the refrigerator if you want to slow the ripening process. They should keep there for 5 days.

• To continue the ripening process at home, put them on newspaper in a single layer not touching each other and check to see when they start to soften by feeling them gently. When the fruit is soft, it is ripe and juicy and ready to enjoy! This can take several days.

Now you’re ready to go peach picking! If you’re headed to our peach orchard, be sure to check our current picking conditions here.

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This post was written by Parlee Farms