Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yum Yum Sweet Peaches!!!

The Freestone Peaches are ripening fast and I have to fight the birds and the wind to pick the best of the best for my customers at my fruit stand and for the Gridley Farmer's Market. They are so sweet and juicy. And they smell just like you remember as a kid. Windmill Farm will have Freestone peaches available for several weeks, but I noticed the Cling Peach trees had a few on the ground after the windstorm we had last night. It also indicates that some are ripening and falling so I will keep my eye on those trees as I want to leave them on the trees as long as possible so they have the best flavor ever. Most people do not realize that the majority of fruit is picked almost green and placed in cold storage until it finally reaches the major grocery store chains. That is why when you purchase it and take it home, it doesn't seem to save well.

With our Freestone peaches, I made peach cobbler last night and it was heaven to eat. What a satisfying feeling to water the trees, nurture them, pick the fruit, prepare the fruit and then eat the fruit. You can too, just stop by my stand or come by on Tuesday night at the Gridley Downtown Farmer's Market.
Windmill Farm started with an idea and business plan to be able to be as self sufficient as possible and with all the food scares coming out of the news, we wanted to know where our food that we ate came from and how it was cared for by the people who raised it. Know where your food comes from, ask your grocer, look on the internet and your local papers to see if there are any local farmers or growers in your area. When you find the markets, ask them if they raised it themselves or ask where their gardens are located. If they just buy cartons or cases of produce from other people and sell as their own, you need to know that.

If you like peaches or pears or beans or whatever, ask your local farmers if you can buy in larger quantities and try putting them up in jars or try freezing them. It isn't hard, it just takes a little time but well worth it. And it saves you money and you will be feeding your family the best possible fruits and vegetables all year long.

Next week our relatives from Los Altos, California are coming to visit specifically to have a two day peach canning marathon. We set up a long table, the guys pick and peel; one team of women cut and slice; the kids push the peaches into the jar and I cook the hot syrup and pour it into the jars, put the seal on, and that is it!! It is so much fun to chat and laugh and visit with friends and family and at the end of a few days, we split up our work between all of us. During the winter months, as we eat those lushish peaches, we think back about the wonderful time we all had together.

Life is great on the Windmill Farm of Gridley.