We currently grow 35 varieties of peaches, 9 varieties of nectarines, and 22 varieties of plums. Many varieties (especially peaches) have similar flavors, so we have only included more detailed notes here where there is something noteworthy to share about a particular variety. Please note that many of our fruit varieties are grown in very limited quantities, and may not be available at all farmer's market and CSA pickup locations.
Forget those icky, flavorless grocery-store plums, and open your mind (and tastebuds!) to the amazing variety of colors, shapes, flavors, and textures of locally-grown plums! You're likely to become addicted. A few of our plum varieties routinely show up at farmers' markets. Many of the varieties, however, are in relatively limited quantities, and will go into the CSA Fruit Share first.
Plums may remain at room temperature for a day or two at most; they soften quickly! To keep them longer, store plums in a bag in the refrigerator, and just pull them out as you need them to soften up. Some people prefer plums more firm and tart, but we feel the best tasting plum is one that has a bit of 'give' to it. Some varieties, such as Oullins Gage and Rosy Gage are best when quite soft. Experiment and enjoy!
Delicious: Caution: The juice in these is super-red and will make a mess of a light-colored shirt (or pants or dress or shoes!). Wear a bib to protect your clothes as you chow down on these tasty, luscious plums! Early September.
Golden Transparent Gage
Imperial Epineuse: Early-season bluish-purple plum with fantastic rich flavor. Sweet through and through, these are a famous French variety. Can be eaten firm or soft. They may be Ike's favorite plum.
Mirabelle: Very small and yellow. A traditional European variety used often for plum tarts and other confections. Around here, we just tend to pop them in our mouths and eat them like cherries! (The tiny pits come out very easily)
Mt. Royal: Small blue plum. Delightful and addictive sweet flavor from skin to pit. Great for cooking or eating fresh.
Oullins (or Oullins Gage): Yellowish/greenish and softer-to-the-touch than you think they should be. One of our favorite plums; don't let the green color throw you off. These have a delightful and addictive sweet flavor, from skin to pit. The softer they get, the richer the flavor is. Even when you think they're too soft, they'll be awesome! They just about are nearly tied with 'Rosy Gage' as our favorite.
Pearl: Yellow European variety. Rather similar in appearance to Oullins, but they're more yellow. Excellent rich flavor; sweet through and through. Mid-August.
Posey (aka Pozeqaca)
Purpleheart: Small and dark purple, with outstanding flavor. Asian variety.
Rosy Gage: Color ranges from a speckly green to a speckly pink. One of our most favorite (and addictive) plums. 'Gage' plums have a certain flavor to them that just lingers and begs that you eat some more. They get sweeter the softer they are, but it takes no more than a day or two for them to develop their full, rich flavor and texture. Truly amazing. Late August.
Royal de Vilvoorde
Spring Satin Plumcot
Vanier: Medium-sized red/yellow Asian variety. Very fruity, and they get sweeter as they soften up. Nice for fresh eating or to use in recipes. Mid- to late August.
With a few exceptions (noted below), many peaches are too similar to each other to give accurate descriptions. Plus, depending on extreme wet or dry weather just prior to harvest, the same variety of peach may vary greatly in flavor and texture from year to year, or even from day to day! Your best bet? Ask us, when you're at the market, which is sweeter, firmer, peachier, or whatever you're looking for. We usually have a few varieties to choose from on any given day during the season.
Our peaches are picked tree ripe. So, while they start out firm, they will achieve the desired texture/softness in 1 to 3 days at room temperature. Please keep peaches in a fruit bowl or on the counter; there is no need to hide them away in a paper bag! To delay softening, store peaches in a bag in the refrigerator. While some people say peaches should never be refrigerated, we have found this only to be true with peaches that have been picked 'too green'. Many commercial orchards pick fruit much too early. Then, the fruit 'shuts down' when it is refrigerated, and further ripening does not occur. When picked tree-ripe, as our peaches are, the fruit continues the ripening process even when it is cold... although refrigeration does delay the process. You can refrigerate our peaches for a short period of time without losing much in the way of flavor or texture. It's certainly better to refrigerate a few, if you have too many, than to allow them to 'get ahead' of you at room temperature.
007 (aka PF24-007) Freestone
Autumn Star Freestone
Autumn Supreme Freestone
Challenger Freestone. Great peach flavor in a small package!
Early Gem (aka PF1) The first peaches of the year! Clingstone and fairly small, but these have good flavor for such an early peach!
Early Star Clingstone
Erin Freestone from our own fruit breeding program. They may be small, but the sweetness and peachy flavor make for a superior eating experience.
Gala: A harbinger of freestone peach season, this is a semi-cling peach. If you let it get quite soft, it comes off the pit fairly easily. Delicious...
Harvest Gem (aka PF15A) Freestone
John Boy Freestone
Madison: Freestone. Don't be fooled by the pale color on these. Older varieties of peaches didn't have nearly the red blush that newer varieties do, but they had tons of flavor.
Margaret: Freestone. A favorite from our own fruit breeding program. Margaret are fairly small, have a dark red skin and red streaks in a bright yellow flesh. Strong peachy flavor with a great sugar content that balances the flavors perfectly.
Scarlet Queen Freestone
Summer Glo (aka PF25)
Victoria Freestone. An absolutely stunning late-season peach!
White peaches tend to be lower in acid than yellows. They have a sweeter, more delicate flavor than the peachy 'bite' that yellow peaches have. We call them "super sweet". Again, ask us at market for specific recommendations.
China Pearl: Very pale freestone; white to almost green with some red blush, white inside. This white peach always wins rave reviews from everyone. It can be so 'bleh' to look at, though. Let your family think that so you have them all for yourself! China Pearl have an amazing sweet flavor with a truly lovely lingering flavor. And the texture is to die for. Smooth and creamy - just incredible! As with most peaches, wait to try it until it has a bit of 'give'- maybe a day or two on the counter. We always have a limited supply of these, and we try to rotate them around from year to year to different CSA Fruit Share pickup locations.
Snow Giant Freestone
Spring Snow Clingstone
Sugar Giant: Freestone. SUGAR - and that's all I have to say about that.
White Cloud Freestone
White Lady Freestone
I had no idea how amazing nectarines could be! I always figured that nectarines would just be like fuzzless peaches...but for whatever reason, they're even better than that. The flavor and juice is amazing, and the skin texture is awesome. We never have nearly enough of these to go around, though. CSA Fruit Share members definitely are the lucky ones here, as they get first dibs.
Arrington Freestone non-melting type; it always stays more firm than other varieties yet has truly amazing texture, flavor, and juiciness!
Bradley Freestone non-melting type; it always stays more firm than other varieties yet has truly amazing texture, flavor, and juiciness!
Easternglo Clingstone packed with tangy nectarine flavor.