I Love Peaches With Worms!
…but I’ll just eat the Prunus persica (aka peach), thank you! After 3-1/2 years the Madison peach tree that my wife Steph planted is happy and producing more that it can bear (literally). I had to prop up its tiny branches with bungee ropes hooked to an improvised wooden tripod so they won’t break off. It produced abundantly this year (about 50 to 60 peaches) with no pesticides, growth hormones whatsoever. The proof is the worm! Last year we lost all 16 but 2 of them to the bloody squirrels (we hates them!), but this year we observed that if we leave the lawn to grow long enough, they seem to hesitate to walk over it. Not sure how much truth there is in this theory (beside the fact that we have a pretty un-kept back yard lawn), but it looked like each time they wanted to approach the peach tree, they kept stopping by the driveway border then turning back hissing mad as if their evil plan failed. I guess it’s a more humane way to keep them out of our trees than I previous thought of [ahem], and I won’t go into details here.
It is indeed difficult to grow peaches here in the Midwest plains (Chicago) due to the climate region we have. But there are certain peach species that can thrive in this climate and much more in our backyards.
Steph planted quite a bit of trees in our backyard – cherries, three kinds of apples, persimmon, paw-paw, and a medlar. But this peach is the most fruitful!
Of course they will have to battle different enemies and whatnot but they can be successfully grown. This particular one Steph planted is called a Madison peach, a variety very adaptable to the Central Midwest, Northeast, West and Mid-Atlantic regions. The fruit has “Peach” written all over it – flavor, texture, aroma, sour to sweet balance and feel. It started producing after the first 3 years.
They barely need any babysitting besides pruning and a little more attention during harvest time (August). In our case the most intensive care was to guard against the squirrels. But that looked like it’s solved so much more that these peaches can be harvested before ripening and stored in brown paper bags until they reach maturity without losing any of their character.
So really, it cannot get better than this. And now from the boy born in the middle of peach country, just some inspiration of what can be done with these peaches (Part 1 and Part 2):