Our new little home in Oroville has three fruit trees in a row at the back of the back yard. Early in spring, I could tell that two of them were peach or nectarine trees, but it beat me what the other one was. Delightful surprises unfolded as time passed.
Delightful surprise number one was that the unidentifiable tree was a apricot, which proceeded to producing a nice little crop of nice little apricots. We got a lot of bowls of yogurt and apricots, a lot of apricots eaten in hand, and two apricot upside down cakes. I’d never made that before, and we’re generally not big cake fans. But we really like the apricot upside down cake, and I recommend that.
Next we got a small crop of nectarines. The nectarine tree had gotten curly leaf before we moved in, and after we moved in it was too late to spray. Hence the small crop. Nice enough fruit, just not a lot of it.
After the nectarines and over the next several weeks, I watched as the mind-boggling number of peaches on the peach tree got bigger and bigger. We should have thinned them, but didn’t do it. We didn’t spray them either, and they seemed to thrive on the neglect.
Have you seen either of the Poseidon movies? Where the giant wave is heading right for the ship? Now, image that wave is peaches instead of water. That’s what we got. The Poseidon wave of peaches. We had peaches and yogurt, peach clafoutti, peach crisp, peach pie, and a lot of peaches sliced up and eaten all by themselves. We shared with the neighbors, some of whom started hiding from us when they saw us coming, lest we peach them again. We took peaches up to Bob’s family in Napa. And I froze all of them that would fit in the freezer in our refrigerator. How the heck can one little neglected tree manage that? I surely don’t know.
Next year, we plan to spray and thin the fruit. we’ll do it right, and we’ll probably get a single peach. Just like the one and only Mr. Stripey tomato we got off our Mr. Stripey plant this summer. But that’s another story.