Garden Diary - August 2018

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Just Peachy

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

We've been doing it for a couple of years: "we" being some members of the Tohickon Garden Club and "it" being picking peaches. Most go to a food bank and some are our reward for the pleasant effort. Come, let me bring along with the memories.

This takes place at the Snyder Research and Experiment Farm
of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. This is where
they trial field crops for the benefit of farmers and homeowners.

They do work with grain crops, tree and small fruits, turfgrass,
and ornamentals. As well as research they donate overage
to food banks across New Jersey. Multiple groups participate.

In an hour and a half our group picked 587.8 pounds of peaches
for "our" food bank. After the boxes were filled we were allowed
to pick for ourselves. Win / win situation. Fresh produce is often
one of the first things to be eliminated when money is tight.

Evelyn has her hands full.

Joan has her basket, which she'll turn into
peach jam and a peach pie. Someone else did a cobbler.

This row was never thinned. The trees set so heavily that branches broke.

So many peaches. Some fell off the trees. "Ignore them."
Geoff told us. "There's enough it isn't worth picking them
up and trimming around the bad spots. Just leave them."

Don't fill the boxes to the top, we were advised. Because the ones
on the bottom will get smooshed from the weight. "And" Evelyn added
"the older ladies working at the food bank may not be able to lift them."

The peaches were so very good that we just had to sample as we picked.

If you were at the end of the the two rows we were told to pick from
and the boxes were somewhere in the middle, why, just use your shirt.

Geoff picked along with us. He has a "proper" picking bag -
shoulder strap makes it hands free, and when filled just
place over a box , unclip the side strap to open the bottom.

The picking in company of friends was fun. It's a good feeling
to know that others will enjoy some delicious juicy summer fruit.
And I have this "reward" box to take home. What a good feeling.

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