Last weekend Matt, myself and our friend Samantha piled into the car to head east in search of a farm. Well actually an orchard, filled with peaches. Wanting to check out pick your own farms, and looking for good peaches, I did a bit of research on PickYourOwn, a website that has a list of farms around the US and few other countries where you can go and pick the produce yourself. Scrolling through the list for Northern California I found Peter Wolfe Ranch in Brentwood, CA (about an hour east of San Francisco). Peter Wolfe Ranch produces apricots, peaches, cherries, citrus, honey, plums, tomatoes, and loquats. The produce is available at different times throughout the summer at their locations around Brentwood, both picked and pick your own.
We drove up to the orchard surrounded by little farm houses and a hand painted sign directed us into the sea of trees. Once parked we were told to the left were white peaches and to the right Suncrest yellows.
I was in heaven as I explored the orchard, smelling every peach as I put it in my bucket, rubbing their little fuzzy skin in my hands. After an hour or so, with buckets filled to the brim and having sampled as many as we could muster, we emerged. Everything was weighed and packed up in boxes and just like that we were done, driving home, still mesmerized by the experience.
Later that afternoon as I started to lay the peaches out I began to realize just how many Matt and I had picked. Pulling the receipt out of my pocket I was shocked to see that exactly 50 pounds of peaches, 47 pounds of yellow and 3 pounds of white, were now sitting in my house.
After the shock wore off, and after a couple phone calls to my mom and aunt who have both canned and made jam, I was armed with a mission. I pulled about 10 pounds out for us to eat and give to neighbors, and the rest were made into peach butter, peach jam and canned peaches. Haha - I say that like it happened in a snap. Not exactly. The rest of Saturday, all day Sunday, and Monday evening were spent washing, chopping, and boiling peaches. A few trips to the store and a couple phone calls later and I have 27 jars of peach yumminess.
I just checked the ranch's website again and it looks like plums will be ripe and ready to be picked soon. I can't wait.
(photography by: alison clayshulte)