Pick Perfect Local Peaches in Tennessee - While They Last
NASHVILLE -- Turns out, bigger really isn’t always better—at least when it comes to peaches. Tennessee’s peaches may not match their rivals in size this year, but that’s exactly why, at the end of a soggy summer, Tennessee peaches have more flavor packed beneath their fuzzy exteriors.
In many parts of the Deep South this summer, excessive rains have affected famous peach crops in a way that isn’t immediately evident. For peaches, superabundant water is too much of a good thing, creating what looks to be simply an exceptionally large fruit. When the flesh of waterlogged peaches swells, the real result is a peach with literally watered down flavor.
Fortunately, Tennessee’s mild summer has perfected local peaches, a sometimes elusive fruit for this state since frosts can hit too heavy and too late to accommodate early blossoming peach trees. Tennessee orchard growers are tickled peachy pink over this year’s yield, which is been sweet and abundant. With only a few weeks left in the season, local farmers are inviting customers to come pick the last of a great crop.
Cathy Bradley of Sumner County’s Bradley Kountry Acres says, “Our peaches that are ready to be picked now are full of flavor and could rival peaches from other states any day. Many people don't realize that Tennessee farms have peaches and will always be much fresher and tastier than a peach shipped in from another state. This year, it just so happens that Tennessee peaches are the best peaches available anywhere.”
John Adam Turner of Turner and Sons Nursery in Warren County says, “The peaches are looking good this year. The peaches we have that are now in season are the cling free or freestone varieties and should last until late August. Everyone ought to go to a farm or farmers markets to taste a locally grown peach.”
Peaches in East Tennessee orchards are typically available for another two weeks beyond the end of the season for Middle and West Tennessee.
For more information about Tennessee peaches, contact Tennessee Department of Agriculture Agritourism Coordinator Pamela Bartholomew at Pamela.Bartholomew@tn.gov.
To find local peach orchards and local farmers markets, visit www.picktnproducts.org . Pick Tennessee Products is the statewide promotion developed by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to help consumers find and choose local, farm grown foods and other farm direct products. Recipes featuring seasonal local foods are also available, with tips for choosing, using and storing fresh local produce.
Tennessee Peach Soup
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 pounds fresh Tennessee peaches, peeled, pitted, and halved
1 cup orange juice
1 cup plain Yoplait yogurt
2 tablespoon local Tennessee honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Place the peaches in blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and add the orange juice, yogurt, honey, lime juice, and cinnamon. Adjust the thickness with more lime juice if necessary. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving or up to 8 hours.