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Very disappointing peaches this year

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I've bought peaches from Costco (California peaches that never ripened), Fairway (NJ peaches that were just blah), the supermarket -- mealy, and the Farmer's Market (NC, just OK). Why, oh why, can't I seem to get any good peaches this year? Has anyone had any great ones, and if so, did you get them anywhere convenient to Southern Westchester?

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  1. So far the best peaches I had this year were out of state peaches from a farmstand a month or so ago, although I'm planning a stop at Davis Peach farm this week and hoping they'll be great as always.

    These southern peaches are called Big Smile, so if you ever see them grab as many as you can. Especially when it's off season here, they are very good.

    23 Replies
    1. re: coll

      Does Davis Peach Farm have pick your own?

      More convenient to Southern Westchester is Fishkill Farms, just across the Dutchess County border. We went about a week and a half ago and while they weren't drippy off the tree, we picked a bunch and they were all perfect the very next day.

      1. re: c.how

        That's their claim to fame, although I always grab a pre-picked bushel. I'm hoping the yellow freestones are here, but everything has been a couple of weeks late this season.

        1. re: coll

          Wow You are braver than me, every single review I've read of Davis Peach Farm has been very negative. While the reviews were for pick your own(why I would go) , it's such a turnoff, I'm not going to give them my business.

          1. re: MrPhil

            Probably negative because they have so much trouble with pick-your-owns stealing fruit; a lot of farms have started charging a fee just to go in to cover the losses. It's a big problem in the last few years. I hear them warning certain people, the ones with baby strollers or giant beach bags, that they have their eye on them, so to speak. If you weren't planning on anything, it could be a bit insulting, but I hear everyone is sort of fed up. No more tin cans for the money and make your own change.

            They are typical farm people, no PR or marketing dept here, but I have had no problems dealing with them. As a matter of fact, last year they had big branches loaded with peaches as decorations hung on the stand, and when I admired it they gave me one. Then I went back a week later because I wanted to buy a whole branch and take it to work to show my co-workers, they sent someone over in the truck to get me a fresh one, and again just gave it to me. If you catch them when they're not busy, they're as sweet as pie.

            1. re: coll

              I understand the issue, but last year we were about to go for pick your own, and they wanted a $10 charge PER PERSON, just to enter. It was a little late in the season, and we could see the trees were mostly bare and people were coming out with just a handful of fruit. So we decided to forgo paying roughly $50/lb for peaches.

              1. re: sbp

                And if you just buy a whole basket, it's only $5 or $10. If you just want the peaches, that is, and not the migrant worker experience!

                1. re: sbp

                  We ended up in Dutchess county to pick peaches/blueberrys and had a great time. Had the run of the orchard and all they did was ask us to open our trunk on the way out. The negative reports at Davis go back several years so it's not a new thing. I guess if you treat your customers like potential criminals, their not going to be to happy, hence the negative reports. I'm sure there are people who will go and have a great time, and it looks like their normal retail is the way to go, but it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. To each his/her own.

            2. re: coll

              I just ate one I bought from Davis yesterday and it was excellent. Not a freestone though.

              I'm going out again tomorrow and will buy another basket or two.

              1. re: MacTAC

                I'm going today or tomorrow too, that would be funny if we were there at the same time and didn't even know it. Thanks for the info, we'll be eating peaches breakfast lunch and after dinner for the next week.

                1. re: coll

                  The trio of lady customers there this morning all denied being Coll.

                  Other than the peaches I bought for others at Davis, I also picked up a basket from Woodside Orchards for comparison purposes. I think they'll need a couple of days. A couple of weeks ago, the first I bought were Wickham's, four large peaches for seven and change. I think the flavor of the Davis were actually better, and a LOT cheaper.

                  Any that aren't eaten over the sink will become Ice Cream, Peach Pie or Peach Nectarine Salsa. I usually buy the seconds for those, though. Very cheap although there will be waste.

                  1. re: MacTAC

                    Oh no, I couldn't get there yesterday due to lack of time (even though I drove by several times) but am going to be there lunch time today, top priority.

                    I know, I think Davis has the best peach, and yet they still sell them so cheaply. You can't resist buying too much, and sharing them, and playing with jam or cake.

                    Peach Nectarine Salsa, what a great idea. Last year I made a big batch of Peach Chutney, still some in the freezer so will have to try something new this year. I've been meaning to try making my own pie crust too......

                    1. re: coll

                      Here's the recipe we use...

                      http://www.masumoto.com/documents/mas...

                      1. re: MacTAC

                        Thanks! I will be making this, although possibly subbing something for the apricots....like the local plums I have that are starting to be a little sad. And adding a dash of tequila as I alway do with anything lime. What a great idea, I'm getting tired of chutney to tell the truth. I'm the only one here who likes it, and how much can you eat at a time?

                        Finally got to Davis an hour or so ago, and besides a bushel of peaches, got some apples called "Pristine". The flavor is so different, almost like clove or cinnamon, and not in a slight way. Enjoying as we speak.

                        1. re: coll

                          So how does Davis'' peaches compare to those from Briermere? Are they priced about the same?

                          1. re: erica

                            If Briermere's peaches are on the same level as their pies, Davis will win hands down. I got their big basket of peaches today for $8, probably 20 peaches or so, and they are impeccably delicious. I don't think Briermere has their own peach trees, they could very well be buying from Davis....most farm stands out here do. I'm just guessing there though.

                            1. re: coll

                              About twenty five years ago I was looking for trees at a long defunct tree farm/wholesale nursery in Mount Sinai. In one section, I came upon rows of Peach Trees just loaded with ripening fruit. The ground was carpeted with peaches in all stages from just fallen to decayed.

                              As it was obvious no one was keeping up with harvesting, I picked the nicest one off the ground. To this day, it's the best thing I've ever eaten, perfect in every way. It was quickly followed by a second, a third and I think I stopped at six, hunched over to not get covered in juice. All off the ground, instilling in me the knowledge that the perfect peach is one that drops off the tree into your hand.

                              I was told later that Davis was growing some trees on the nursery's land. I'm only confessing now because the Statute Of Limitations will protect me...

                              1. re: MacTAC

                                That was where the Davis stand used to be, in Mt Sinai. Wading River was their actual orchard. Then they sold the land to those giant condos on the corner of 112, and moved operations out to Wading River.

                                I really think Davis is it. I've been going to them since I was a kid, they are 100 years in business this year. When I brought those branches to my office last year, my boss got really emotional, remembering taking his daughter there when she was 2 years old, and the peach juice dripping down her face.

                              2. re: coll

                                Thanks, Coll.

                                I had never heard of Davis before reading this thread and will make my way there soon. It never occured to me that Briermere would not be growing their own, since many farmstands out East identify their peaches are coming from Brieremere! At the main stand/bakery, the small baskets (7-8 peaches or so..) cost about $6 or so and the peaches are just not that good.

                                The mystery deepens!

                                1. re: erica

                                  I honestly don't know if Briermere has peach trees, just that my farmstand admits his peaches are from Davis, when he can get them. I started with Davis so never looked further. Just make sure to eat them over the sink!

              2. re: c.how

                Fishkill Farms has pyo peaches? Hmmmm, sounds like that might be something to do this weekend.

              3. re: coll

                Oh, if I were on Mattituck, I'd run right over to Wickhams, whose peaches, imo, never disappoint. They're expensive, yes, but I don't wind up throwing them out, so cheaper in the long run!

                1. re: roxlet

                  Viva Grande may have changed owners but their summer fruits were always good in the past. The peach I had last night (not sure from where, someone else bought it) was hard and seemingly in need of a few days to ripen, but tasted firm and sweet. Fairway can be hit or miss, but this time of year, peak season, is worth a gamble.

                2. re: coll

                  I absolutely agree on those southern Big Smile peaches. Once again this season is spotty with my best (and least expensive) peach experience being the South Carolina peaches (BigSmile and other brands) available at ShopRite.

                  NorthFork farm stands now have local peaches including peaches from Briermere.

                3. I got some absolutely wonderful peaches from Whole Foods the other day. Just also got some from Ramsey's Farm in Scarsdale, but they're still a bit too firm, so I don't know how they'll turn out. I didn't ask their provenance, but I seem to remember being told in the past they grow most of their wares on some acreage in NJ.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Westjanie

                    I got great peaches from NJ last week at Stew Leonard's in Yonkers. The ones I got were outside of the store.

                    1. re: Elisa515

                      I also got great peaches from Stew Leonard's in Yonkers recently. I was bitching about the crappy peaches I had purchased at Costco and the man working in the fruit area (outside) assured me theirs were really good. He said if I didn't like them to come in with my reciept for a refund ( fruit not necessary ) typical Stew Leonard customer service. These peaches were also on the small side.

                  2. I've had some great peaches from the Pleasantville Farmers' market... not huge or particularly pretty specimens, but tasty nonetheless. I think I've gotten them at Mead orchard... though a couple other vendors have them too.

                    1. The fruit at the NC farmer's market is always a disappointment. Surprisingly, the fruit from Migliorelli's farm (in Tivoli), sold at the farmer's market in South Salem, was excellent last week (peaches and nectarines). Highly Recommended.

                      1. I'm sorry you're having a hard time finding good peaches. I live in NJ, and the peaches at my Farmer's Market have been fantastic (from Melick's Farm in Oldwick, NJ). They're not entirely freestone, so they are pretty messy, but really delicious. Keep hunting - they're out there!

                        1. I've had some pretty decent supermarket peaches from NJ, but I never like California peaches. I did have one good batch of donut peaches from a local market, then bought some more at Apple Farm and they were terrible -- started rotting on the bottom the day after I got them home and did not notice them until it was too late since I do not live nearby. Even the pieces I got to eat (since they were not ripe when they rotted) were not very good.

                          I bought the 3 pound pack of apricots from Costco. They took forever to ripen but were pretty good once they did.

                          -----
                          Apple Farm
                          1640 State Route 444, Victor, NY 14564

                          1. Got some terrific local peaches from Westchester Greenhouses in Hartsdale yesterday... A big bucket (about 3 lbs) for $2.99. Good texture, sweet, and freestone. Extra fuzzy like local peaches should be.

                            They also had great local tomatoes at bargain prices, $1.49/lb.

                            I find the produce at this place to be well above average at below-average prices, a perfect combination! Flies off the radar, though. There is some supermarket-grade regular produce at the back, but if you are selective you can pick out the local stuff from local producers not purchased from the Hunts Point Market! Local lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, plums, strawberries to name some. Generally toward the front near the registers.

                            Just down the road from Benjamin Steak House...

                            http://www.copywriterskitchen.com/200...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: menton1

                              I've never been to that place in Hartsdale (have driven past many times) but I did get some nice stuff from them at the Dobbs Ferry farmers market a few weeks ago that I just happened upon one Friday. I was very pleasantly surprised at their reasonable prices.

                              1. re: MisterBill2

                                Frankly, they really don't belong at a Farmer's Market, they are a retail store. They don't grow anything. I don't understand why they are allowed at these markets!

                                But they are a good place to go to in Hartsdale for local produce at good prices!

                            2. We finally got out to the North Fork this week and got some amazing peaches (not to mention white corn, plums and apples) at Wickham's. I don't know why it's impossible to find fruit of this quality in Westchester -- even at the farmer's markets.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: roxlet

                                Impossible to find in supermarkets and local "farmers" markets because of logistics. Easier and cheaper to truck in huge volume of poor quality fruit that travels well to hundreds of supermarkets at a time.

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  ..and I finally got to Davis Peach Farm in Wading River and would highly recommend. I got a 3-quart basket of their peaches for $8. and they have been very good....I also noted that corn is selling for 3 for $1 in the Riverhead/Wading Ricver area which is quite a bit less than we are paying on the far east end of the NF.

                                  Davis also has early apples and farm vegetables......

                                  1. re: erica

                                    For the past few years I have been buying NJ peaches from Whole Foods or a local supermarket. They come from two orchards but I forget the names and the season is now over. Check them out at whole Foods next year. Once you get the names of the orchards you can see if they are available in other supermarkets.

                                    1. re: professor shorthair

                                      I got really tasty NJ peaches from Whole Foods in White Plains on Friday for $1.19 a pound. The season is not over. Also got some at Stew Leonard's the week before, again from NJ.

                                      1. re: professor shorthair

                                        Prior to my trip out to the North Fork, I had purchased NJ peaches at Whole Foods and Fairway. They were just ok.

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          Do you know when you got the ones from WF? The ones I bought on Friday were really good, almost as good as the ones from Stew's a a week and then two weeks earlier. I don't refrigerate them, since that tends to take away the flavor.

                                          I grew up in central NJ near peach and apple orchards, so I only want fresh peaches that mostly ripened on the trees (and in local season).

                                          1. re: Elisa515

                                            I think I got the ones from WF about 3 weeks ago. Ditto the ones from Fairway. The ones I got on LI are just so fantastic, it may spell the end of peach season for me when they're gone.