Happy New Year
Monday September 17th 2012, 5:48 pm
Filed under: Family,Life,My Garden,Politics

Heard elsewhere:

Sarah Palin called Senator Joe Lieberman’s office.

“I’m sorry, he’s not here, it’s Rosh Hoshanah.”

“Hey, Rosh, could you take a message for me?”


Edited hours later to add the real post. You know how some days are all about winding yarn while your brain sifts through what project and idea to pursue next? Only, I’ve been doing that with fruit trees, winding my way through websites, learning everything I can while trying to decide what makes the most sense for our small lot. Avocado trees are poisonous to birds? Forget that. Wait–we get 880 chill hours? We do? (The number of hours of cold a tree needs in the winter in order to produce a good crop come spring.) That’s a lot more than I thought and gives me a lot more options.

Note that if you plant close to a light-colored house it will reflect warmth onto the tree and up the hours needed.

Wait–Lorings? 750 hours–Yamagami nursery in Cupertino has Lorings?! (Down the right side there.) Lorings are the peach trees of my childhood!

There was a commercial orchard just barely into West Virginia that grew them.

The farm hands would come through and pick everything ripe or that might ripen, leaving only the tiniest and greenest that could never sell like that. The trees would then put their all into those very few, and over a few weeks they would become huge–a pound, a pound and a half, drip-through-your-fingers juicy and with a flavor like no other. But getting to them was so much work that to the farmer it wasn’t worth hiring help again for.

Mom and Dad would call, and when the peaches were ready for gleaning we would go. It was a long haul from the DC suburbs but also one of the adventures of our childhoods.  Putting ladders here and here and here with Mom and Dad, we six kids got to climb up in the trees after those scattered few, so perfect peaches left behind, while getting an incredibly good per-pound price for our prizes; for the farmer, it was found money.

And also found friends. He loved that we so much loved what he did–and that we got to see his peaches not the way they ship best but fully how they’re supposed to be.

Meeting new neighbors down the street once with some of those incredible peaches the day we’d picked them answered their wondering as to whether anyone would notice or care that they’d moved in. Wow, *where* did you get these?!

It took us, what, Marian, an hour and a half? Hour three quarters each way to get there? But it was always worth it.

I can grow Lorings here in California! Who knew!

10 Comments so far
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Better Rosh Hoshanah, than Rosh Limbaugh!

Comment by Lynn 09.17.12 @ 6:36 pm

They found the place after my time, Mom and I were comparing notes. We found Lorings at Sumida’s stand in Brigham City last month, a Japanese orchard Bill was familiar with, told her that was the place to stop, and Mom was ecstatic. They were ordinary sized, but anything but ordinary tasting. They were fabulous and she bought as big a box as she thought she could realistically use, and shared a few with a friend whose reaction was much the same. Where did you get those peaches?!

Mom told her, and this person was planning on going to Brigham City for peaches in a couple of days anyway, so Mom told her carefully where to go, what the variety was, and asked her to bring some more for the Jeppson household.

The point didn’t quite register–the friend went to the orchard ‘strip’ out of town, but stopped somewhere else and got some other kind, just ordinary peaches. It wasn’t the town, it was the Lorings that mattered! That’s not what other places had.

So I’m envious. Even if they don’t get big where you live, they will still be fabulous….When can I schedule my visit? (Hint, hint…)

Comment by Marian 09.17.12 @ 10:59 pm

Hey, Alison, I remember one year when the peaches in the tree would call to me. I’d look at a tree and say, “there’s a peach in there somewhere”, and would climb around until I found it. Sometimes, it was “there are more in this tree, they’re still calling to me”. I always found them. What a hoot that was. Love ya. -Morgan

Comment by morgan 09.18.12 @ 6:26 am

That would be lovely!!! My grandparents had a peach tree in just the right place to avoid the dangers of Michigan frost.
The problem of climate from the opposite direction :-}
Find any cherry trees?

Comment by Diana Troldahl 09.18.12 @ 6:43 am

The professional pickers didn’t skip small ones, which would grow.They just missed a few. Once we hit a tree with half the peaches still on it. I figured the pickers had been on the tree when the lunch break started and then came back to a different tree.
Sometimes a tree would have an abundant intrusion of poison ivy. You had to be careful what you picked

We paid $2 a bushel for what we gleaned. One we picked six of seven bushels. The fruit was so good we couldn’t stop. But the gleanings were dead ripe and had to be eaten or process within two or three days. We gave away a lot of peaches that weekend.

The orchards (other fruit, too) were well managed. Mr. Slonaker served as the president of the national peach growers association.

We stumbled on to the place when we were returning from a lakeside vacation plot we had purchased (and later sold). At that time Slonaker allowed pick-it-yourself sales. Then that stand disappeared, and a year or two later I called the orchard to ask about pick-it-yourself and when would the Lorings come one. He explained that pick-it-yourself was no longer available, but if we wanted to come and glean after his hired pickers were through, we were welcome. After that I’d call him every year to get a date for Loring gleanings.

When we missed a date because we were somewhere else at the time, on a couple of occasions we drove what I called the Peach Road along the Pennsylvania boarder looking for Lorings, with only rare satisfaction. Once while driving across the country we happened upon some at an orchard on a bluff above Grand Junction, CO. I cannot understand why more orchardists don’t grow what is clearly the most delicious peach on earth.

The Utah Lorings were smaller than the West Virginia fruit I think because the East gets much more rainfall. The smaller size did not diminish the flavor.

Love, Dad

Comment by Dad 09.18.12 @ 7:30 am

What a fun, happy post. No fig tree then, eh?

Comment by Channon 09.18.12 @ 8:33 am

I didn’t know that about avocados! happy fruit tree hunting (and yes, I can believe Sarah is that dumb!)

Comment by Bev 09.18.12 @ 9:02 am

Loring peaches. Thanks! I’ll remember that. I can see so far that they’re available in Elkton, Maryland in mid-August. But I’ll keep an eye out for them elsewhere as well.

Comment by RobinM 09.18.12 @ 12:35 pm

You know, Wilson grew up in WV. We go back to visit family. Maybe we will add Loring hunts to the itinerary.

Comment by twinsetellen 09.18.12 @ 6:34 pm

How I’ve missed reading your posts. You are SUCH a good story teller. 🙂

Comment by Karin 09.18.12 @ 8:11 pm

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