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This is probably a 'redundant' question...."FREESTONE PEACHES" ?

pearlD Sep 5, 2012 07:29 AM

I have not seen any in my usual shopping places, they're probably gone by now...but did anyone see/buy them and 'where'? Have you seen them lately? I'd like to make some Peach Jam if it's not too late.....

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  1. Kagemusha RE: pearlD Sep 5, 2012 07:34 AM

    They're around but quality this year struck me as subpar, thanks to poor weather early in the growing season. Saw some at Highland Farms this weekend. Best I had were some early, smallish cling varieties about a month back. Price/quality now might be uneconomical for jam/preserves.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Kagemusha
      Splendid Wine Snob RE: Kagemusha Sep 6, 2012 07:12 PM

      I agree-despite what people have said, they are not great this year. Juicy, but mealy. The peaches I ate in France this summer were much better tasting.

      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
        Kagemusha RE: Splendid Wine Snob Sep 7, 2012 04:35 AM

        Weather was no help this season. Wondering now just how bad the apple crop(s) will be after the late frosts.

        1. re: Kagemusha
          midtowngirl RE: Kagemusha Sep 7, 2012 07:21 AM

          The weather in the spring destroyed a lot of the crop at the early stage, but for those that survived the hot, dry summer actually increased sugar content for Niagara peaches resulting in juicier, sweeter peaches. Peach crop was down about 25%, but apples suffered a lot more and crop is projected to be down by about 80% so expect higher prices. I guess I've been lucky with my purchases, but I've not had one mealy peach yet this year and found the quality exceptional.

          1. re: midtowngirl
            ls150 RE: midtowngirl Sep 11, 2012 05:57 PM

            Agreed. I'm Niagara-based and regularly make peach pies. Gorgeous peaches, an abundant supply. Clingstone, semi-freestone, and freestone. Many farms still have plenty.

            FYI, as per Kagemusha's comments, apples really suffered from the crops here. So far we have Macs and Ginger Golds, but the frost really crated some havoc on some other varieties.

            1. re: ls150
              Kagemusha RE: ls150 Sep 12, 2012 08:21 AM

              Look forward to higher prices, limited availability, and restricted pick-your-own. Just back from Ferri's in Brampton--ginger golds and galas only with more available in the next 2 weeks--where they weren't thrilled with what's coming. They have orchards around Collingwood but their Brampton orchards are closed for picking this season, as others are in Halton and Peel according to them.

    2. Full tummy RE: pearlD Sep 5, 2012 07:52 AM

      Saw some last night at the Longo's on Laird.

      1. g
        gembellina RE: pearlD Sep 5, 2012 08:35 AM

        They had them yesterday at Longo's at Yonge/Bloor. They also has them at loads of farmstands on the way back from Niagara but the ones I bought were quite firm and not very juicy or tasty.

        2 Replies
        1. re: gembellina
          crawfish RE: gembellina Sep 5, 2012 10:00 AM

          You can ripen peaches quite nicely if they are just a little under ripe. Lay them out on a table in the sun so they aren't touching and rotate them so they don't get bruised. Takes about a day but improves the flavour enormously.

          1. re: crawfish
            gembellina RE: crawfish Sep 5, 2012 10:23 AM

            Good to know. The woman at the stand said they were fully ripe and that their firmness would be a good thing for a peach pie. Incorrect on both counts, as it turns out!

        2. midtowngirl RE: pearlD Sep 5, 2012 11:38 AM

          Bought some freestone peaches at the Nathan Philips Square farmers market today at lunch (on every Wednesday). I've found the peaches from Niagara this year to be fantastic - sweet and juicy.

          3 Replies
          1. re: midtowngirl
            pearlD RE: midtowngirl Sep 5, 2012 02:44 PM

            thanks to all...I am 'heartened' by the response(s)...will call Longo's on Laird as my first try and follow up on the others if needed...plus 'thank you 'crawfish' for the 'ripening' hint...

            1. re: pearlD
              GullyJaye RE: pearlD Sep 5, 2012 05:28 PM

              Been getting them for several weeks now on north side of St. Lawrence Market. Need a day or two to ripen but made for good jam, chutney and canned peaches.

              1. re: pearlD
                rstuart RE: pearlD Sep 6, 2012 06:36 PM

                Midtowngirl beat me to it.. I've also been buying great peaches at Nathan Phillips Square. This might have been their last week though..

            2. b
              beach_cook RE: pearlD Sep 11, 2012 07:20 AM

              bought Loring freestones @ Square One so-called farmers' market (from a real farmer from Beamsville, which has later season than peach growers elsewhere in Niagara) on Sunday (canned 2qts more, to add to 9qt Redhavens done earlier (season now over).

              Cresthavens also freestone but seemed watery in flavour by comparison.

              BabyGolds are NOT freestone & skins WON'T come off w blanching!

              3 Replies
              1. re: beach_cook
                Kagemusha RE: beach_cook Sep 11, 2012 08:51 AM

                Gave up on Sq. 1 a couple years ago--too many resellers, too few legit growers. Found that a few too many Niagara "growers" there were just selling from the area--caveat emptor. Unhappily watched that market go from great in the late 90s to borderline awful now.

                1. re: Kagemusha
                  beach_cook RE: Kagemusha Oct 1, 2012 02:59 PM

                  Absolutely agree, Sq1 is caveat emptor, but there are real growers selling their own +- their neighbours' produce (AND growers caving & selling BrColumbia apricots 6w prior to their own ripening!) - clearly dependent on customers' not knowing/caring. That said, I bought tasty ripe not-mealy Redskin variety freestone peaches yesterday (Sept 30 !)from Brincovar's (grower) & 1st greengage plums in 7y (by inquiry) 2w ago.

                  1. re: beach_cook
                    Kagemusha RE: beach_cook Oct 1, 2012 06:43 PM

                    Despite my Sq 1 market hate-on, I have found some gems there, like damson plums from one of the few legit Niagara growers. Hoping next season isn't so brutal. Not digging the wiped-out apple crop.

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