120 year old peaches

peaches1

The peaches growing out the back of the homestead are grown from cuttings of an ancient peach tree that Nick’s parents found when they bought Kirwin, the property next door to Milkwood Farm. So technically, these peaches could be said to be from a 120 year old tree.

Whatever their vintage, they grow like no other fruit trees around here. And chips off the old block (or tree) are good enough for us…

The original cottage of the property (c 1860, also our home while we were building the tiny house next door), with peach trees grown from cuttings of the original old trees of the property

The original cottage of the property (c 1860, also our home while we were building the tiny house next door), with peach trees grown from cuttings of the original old trees of the property

peaches3

Where the peaches end... as stored sunlight for the depths of Winter's desserts...

Where the peaches end… as stored sunlight for the depths of Winter’s desserts…

Preserved peaches are grand, but I am a sucker for dried fruit. The apples and nashis are about to start, which will take us into major fruit drying mode just like last year, but a sprinkle of dried peaches seemed like a cool idea also.

Sliced and ready to dry

Sliced and ready to dry

Classy anti-ant technology... the four water bowl method...

Classy anti-ant technology… the four water bowl method…

120% yum

120% yum

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Our Excalibur electric fruit drier is, it turns out, capable of running on our solar power system on a sunny day, which is great. However Murphy’s law applies directly to fruit drying at a level not often seen in everyday life… if you prep to dry, the sun will not shine for a full day the next day…

Which leaves the solar system sapped and beeping alerts at you, and your fruit un-dried, and starting to turn.

So the drying operation has been relocated to the woolshed, which is on grid-connect solar. I can confidently do two batches a day there, and power through fruit drying season to the happy land of apple, nashi and peach rings, everywhere.

Will the peaches last another 120 years? Unlikely. Can we wait till Winter to eat them all? Possibly…

>> More posts about food preserving at Milkwood.net

13 Comments

  1. Noreen
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    What is the best time of year to take cuttings. We are in Bay of Plenty, NZ. Thanks

  2. Posted February 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow that is awesome, The originals are usually the best! I think I need one of those driers……

  3. Posted February 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Are you able to grow peaches directly from cuttings, or do you mean grafting onto seedlings (which was the only way I knew to do it). LOVE peaches, and bottled peaches have to be the BEST bottled fruit ever….

    • Posted February 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

      There were grown direct from cuttings, which shouldn’t work (apparently) but which clearly did in this case!

  4. Posted February 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    yum! I too am interested in taking cuttings…(from our trees, that is, of course – not yours! LOL)

  5. Ginny
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Could you please tell me how to prevent worms in my peaches organically? Are there any natural sprays that you use, i live in South Africa. Thanks.

  6. Posted February 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Have you guys considered making a solar-dehydrator instead of running your electric one off solar? Not sure of efficiencies, and mine doesn’t work too hot, but I know some that work pretty well.

    • Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink | Reply

      I wasn’t happy with mine either that is why I purchased an Excalibur dehydrator about 4-5 years ago which now runs very efficiently from our grid connect solar. We have dried figs, apricots, peaches tomato, beetroot and berries all year round now. Haven’t bought fruit for about 3 or 4 years and probably eat about 15 pieces of fruit a day.

  7. kansamuse
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yum! I wish I had better luck with peaches.

    • Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink | Reply

      I just use seeds. Might not always come true to form but they seem to all produce good fruit starting after about 3 years and into full production in five.

  8. Posted February 28, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hey Shawny… at some point we will set our dehydrator up with a solar air heater feeding hot air into it… that way we will get the low energy consumption of a solar dryer with the reliability of the electric dryer.

  9. Mel
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    Would you sell some cuttings from you’re 120 year old peach tree????

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