June 18, 2012

Peach Problems & The Sink Window

my 2012 peach crop
Photo of my peach tree, taken 31 May 2012

Last year about 98% of my peaches were infested with Oriental Fruit Moth (also called peach moth) larvae. This year, I've found them in less than half. This year's problem I've identified as Brown Rot.

Brown rot is a fungus which infects the tree about three weeks before the fruit ripens. It starts with a small, soft, brown spot on the fruit which spreads quickly. The fruit literally rots away on the tree. It's not uncommon in humid weather, and our spring has certainly been that, with all the rain we've gotten.

This would have been something to address before spring growth (chalk up this year's crop to another valuable learning experience. :) The Organic Gardner's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control recommends inspecting for and removing any gummy lesions on twigs and branches, before the tree starts it's spring growth. A sulfur spray helps protect the flowers when they begin to open, with a second application later, to protect the fruit. Copper spray is also said to be helpful. I admit I would not have known to look for this beforehand, but will know better next year.

At first it wasn't too bad and I managed to salvage enough for fresh peach slices on our breakfast cereal every morning, and a delicious pie...

peach pie from homegrown peaches
Our first (and only) fresh peach pie of the year

There wasn't enough to can, so I opted for dehydrating some.

homegrown peaches on my Excalibur dehydrator trays
I dried about a quart's worth of this year's peaches

While canning requires enough for a canner load (7 quarts for a standard size canner), drying and freezing are good for small amounts. I froze about three quarts worth. Another nice thing about freezing is that I can use as is, in smoothies, in baked goods, or make jam later on. Sadly, the remaining peaches are going bad before they have a chance to ripen. Sadly, my second peach tree, which ripens later, is a lost cause. War is officially declared for next year.

While I was busy with the peaches, Dan was busy trimming out the window over the kitchen sink....

Kitchen sink window shelf above
The shelf helped solve the problem of how
the window fits between the cabinets.

Kitchen sink window shelf above
Stool, apron, and a closer look at the trim.

That's another thing checked of the kitchen project list. I get to do the painting. :)


Theresa said...

Very pretty trim moulding! Love it. The peach pie doesn't look to shabby either. It's my favorite. Sorry about the peach failure though. Next year=more pies!

Woolly Bits said...

pity about the peaches - does it help if I tell you that they don't grow here at all?:)
the trim at the windowo looks lovely, does it have to be painted? we usually just use linseed oil, which looks more like a wood stain, but preserves as well....

Cat Eye Cottage said...

I tell you if it isn't one thing, it's another. I fight the squirrels and you fight the disease. The woodwork around your window is lovely as is the shelf.

Anonymous said...

Dan did an amazing job on that window trim with the detail (no surprise though, he is pretty creative!). Sorry to hear about the peaches, will be curious to see how your war plans pan out for next year.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Yum, peach pie. I made one a few weeks ago but the peaches I bought weren't the best, so it could have been better. Not that I threw it out, or anything.....

Rhonda from Baddeck said...

I love how the window trim matches your wallpaper. Did Dan do the carving? I'm getting all sorts of inspiration from reading about your kitchen update, and slowly going through your links and archives. I really admire what you're doing!

Anonymous said...

I am probably older than a lot of your readers & don't do all the fancy "blogger, facebook, etc. stuff". I guess I am anonymous for the identity, but I get your blog just fine. Occasionally some things go to spam, but after I click on Not Spam, they stop going there. Love your blog - woodwork as well as entire kitchen beautiful! Mary Ann Cauthen

Unknown said...

Nice design on the trim!

Renee Nefe said...

bummer about your peaches. I hope the rest of your orchard is doing better.

Leigh said...

Theresa, thanks! The peaches were disappointing, but at least there's something I can do about it. :)

Bettina, yes, I should be thankful for those peaches! I thought about leaving the wood natural, I honestly hate to paint wood. But the window was discounted because of marks on the wood, so it does need to be painted. :(

Candace, I don't know which is worse, disease or pests. My annual fight with the squirrels is over the pecans!

Stephanie, he did, didn't he? I have good hopes for next year. This year was too distracted with the kitchen. Next year I plan to do better in the garden. :)

FFG, something is better than nothing!

Rhonda, thank you! We got the trim at Lowes, actually. They have a fairly good selection of fancy trims like that. The kitchen has been a work in progress for quite awhile. :)

Mary Ann, thank you for your input. I agree about being able to be safe about one's identity. Seems like the big internet services are trying to push that out the window though. Sad, but it's the way things are.

Nancy, thanks!

Renee, so far so good with the rest. Apples, we'll see! Blueberries have just started coming in and they're gorgeous!

Crustyrusty said...

We've been fighting the Japanese Beetles on our peach trees. The little buggers will ruin them in a heartbeat. I think we finally got them under control, though.

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Love the trim. I wish I could grow peaches in my climate zone :(

Anonymous said...

If you have a small amount of fruit to preserve and don't hav enough to do the big prep and preserve routine, you can bottle ('can' in USian English)some in a microwave in a recycled jar that
formerly contained supermarket bought food. The only requirement is that the jar must have a metal lid and be in good condition.
The book that tells you how to do this (it works and works very well) is called '5-minute microwave bottling' by Isabel Webb, published by The Five Mile Press, ISBN 978 174211 5412

Fran in Astralia

Leigh said...

Crustyrusty, oh no. We have tons of Japanese beetles but so far I've found none on the peaches. Another pest to be wary of! I'm sorry about your peaches, be appreciate the heads up.

Norma, thanks! Yes, we're fortunate to be able to grow them. It's an iffy proposition though because of our sporadic springtime temps and frosts. Every year the question is, will we get peaches?

Fran, thank you for that! I don't have a microwave, but that's an excellent tip for those who do. The book sounds like a must-have for home preservers with microwave.

Heather said...

The trim around your windows is wonderful. I have been thinking of doing something similar, and this was great inspiration.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

I was real interested in this post, Leigh, as we've just planted the first five trees in our newly established fruit grove. And I also just ordered "5-minute microwave bottling" by Isabel Webb recommended by Fran from Australia (although here in the U.S. it's called "5-minute Microwave Canning" ... I've always hated throwing away perfectly good glass jars and have wondered if they could be recycled for jam-making or whatever (although I've never been serious enough to research it) My mom used to recycle jars and would use paraffin to seal them.

Leigh said...

Heather thanks! It wasn't planned. When I went to look for trims it was the only one the width I needed!

Janice, thanks! I definitely need to learn how to care for fruit trees properly. You'll have to blog about that book. If I had a microwave I'd be interested in it. Sounds very useful.