Sunday, July 25, 2010

I got free peaches!

Yesterday the "peach man" was selling his wares at the Farm Center parking lot.  I bought two bags at $6.00/piece and noticed he was throwing some into a bucket outside the van during his sort to fill my bags.  I asked him what he was going to do with those and he said get rid of them unless someone wants them.

Last week I read a good article by Stephanie over at Saving Naturally about Why We Waste Food: Are We Too Picky?   In Stephanie's article she says:

"The only thing that could probably be said for them was that their imperfections offended my culturally-influenced concept of what “good” food ought to look like."

This really got me thinking about that bucket of bruised and imperfect peaches and all the things I could do with them.  Even if I couldn't think of any wonderful baked desserts and peach goodies, there's always smoothies that make any imperfect fruit look good.

I still have never canned or preserved any great quantities of food, but I was sure I could figure it out.  So, I asked him if I could have them and he said "sure!".  He went through the rest of his crates to pick out the "spoils" and I took half a crate of FREE peaches home!

Once I got them home I panicked a bit.  Whatever I was going to decide to do with them had to be that day and fast before the fruit flies and rot quickly set in.  I searched the internet and found some great freezing tips on but the task still seemed overwhelming.  So, I called my dear neighbour and friend, Sarah, to see if she could help.  She came right over and showed me how to do everything.

We put a few at a time into a boiling pot of water for about 30 seconds, then quickly transferred them into an ice bath for peeling.  After peeling we laid them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet and placed them in a freezer.  Once frozen, we transferred them to freezer bags. 

We could've added some juice or sugar syrup to the peaches prior to freezing them but decided not to.  These aren't going to last that long.  We also put some in jars that we planned on using in the next couple days.  In the end we ended up with about 3 jars each and 2 freezer bags full of peaches - all for free!

I wish I could've taken mroe photos of our work but we had to move quickly as a big storm was rolling in fast.  Outside looked like this within moments of her driving home to bring all our peach scraps to her chickens.
Look at how far my poor trees are bent over on the left. 
The temperature drop was 20 degrees within minutes.

I hope you'll be inspired to take a second look at imperfect produce and recognize that it's still useable and worth a try.  Hey, you might even get it for free!



  1. That is a lot of peaches. Now you have to figure out what to do with all of them. I would definitely make my peach chicken with those and some type of cobbler. What a wonderful dilemma to have.

  2. I love to use the imperfect fruit in freezer jam! This has all the taste of fresh, you don't see the imperfections, and it is amazing to eat in a few months when fresh peaches are history!

  3. Oh you are lucky. I am still waiting on the peaches I get from family. I wish I had gone to the farm store that day. I do not think the looks of fruit matter as much when you are canning and freezing. I always make peach jam, can a few for eating and freeze some for pies and cobblers. Yum. The hard work is so worth it when you take a bite of those peaches in the winter.

  4. wow, that's some wind! I can't wait to see what you make with those peaches. The boys and I are getting ready to go peach picking this week. Good for you for saving that fruit. what a shame that he would throw it away.

  5. This is definitely inspiring. I know I throw out things I should find ways to use and now you've inspired me to try harder.

  6. I love it! That's a great story, and I'm sure you'll enjoy those peaches!

  7. we had a friend who worked in the produce dept at our local grocery store and used to get a couple boxes of bruised or over-ripe peaches in the summer...i froze them and they were great...oh and LOVE the granola recipe too!

  8. Beautiful post! Good for you, that was great what you did with the peaches.

  9. You've reminded me of a great childhood memory. My mom froze peaches every year! Loved when we would pull them out in the winter! They were awesome!
    Wow! That looks like some storm. Take care :)

  10. You are so industrious! Very impressive the way you canned your peaches. :)

  11. I am loving your blog! In the future in a pinch you can put peaches in a freezer bag unwashed, whole and freeze them. When you are ready to use them put them in boiling water for 30 seconds then and ice bath and then use for whatever recipe your heart desires. I am highly allergic to peaches...........but my family loves them! I prefer canned peaches............but my nails don't like to be stained!


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