Free Peaches

Last weekend, I was driving down a gravel road several miles from home when I saw some sort of fruit hanging on a couple trees flash by my window. I slammed on the brakes, put it in reverse and backed up stopping alongside two large peach trees growing up out of the ditch and loaded down with ripe fruit. The branches were hanging down to the ground burdened by the weight of their bounty. I picked a few and took them home to ripen.

A couple days later I washed and sliced them open. They were juicy and tasted good. And, as an added bonus: They were freestone. Yay!!

So yesterday Harland and I went back and filled two 5-gallon buckets full of peaches. Visions of peach pie, cobbler and jam filled my head as I filled my bucket. Within just a few minutes both our buckets were full and we placed them carefully into the pickup bed.

Back home, Kitty admired our bounty.

Kitty:  Can I have one to play with?

Me:  No, dear. It’s food, not a toy.

Kitty:  Oh, how soft. Can I have just one?

Me:  No, Kitty. We shouldn’t play with food.

I set to work washing the peaches to remove the road dust. Once clean, they were quite pretty.

 There used to be an old homestead near the trees, so there’s no telling how old this variety is. Probably late 1800s.

Kitty:  Mmmm…they smell nice. Can I have one please?

Me:  No, sorry Kitty.

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My goal was to peel, pit, and cut them up into freezer bags. To get the peeling to come off easily, I put them in boiling water for a couple minutes,

and then let them rest in the sink in ice water.

The peeling was coming off the riper peaches as I removed them from the ice water.

Then Harland and I peeled, pitted, and sliced them into freezer bags. It took most of yesterday afternoon to finish one of the 5 gallon buckets, but we got 7 1/2 quarts frozen peaches.

Later after supper, I emptied the other bucket out onto the floor on newspapers to ripen a little further as there are some green ones mixed in. Kitty watched. I told her to leave them alone. Apparently she has a hearing problem because her little paw immediately reached out and starting batting the peaches around a little. I got them back onto the paper and told her to behave.

Sometime later, I was standing in the kitchen talking to Harland when a flurry of high-speed calico fur, and a rolling, bouncing peach came through the kitchen between our feet.  We laughed in spite of ourselves at our naughty cat. At the far end of the room, Kitty let her peach rest for a second and looked up at us innocently. I sighed. Harland pointed out that the peaches would probably be spread all over the house by this morning.

So I collected them up back into the bucket and took them to the spare room where I spread them out again on newspaper while Kitty watched. Then I picked her up and took her out of the room closing the door behind me.



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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32 Responses

  1. Alica says:

    I think you hit a gold mine with those free peaches! 🙂 They taste sooo good…much better than what you buy in the store. I think I’d rather do without than buy that kind.

  2. Dang! What a score! That is so awesome….I love when little wonderful things happen like that. That’s what makes life so fun and interesting. I can imagine how great they must taste. That must have been a lot of work doing a whole 5 gallon bucket like that! I like the story about kitty…that is hilarious…never a dull moment with her around I suppose! You know she was like, “man, I never get to have any fun!” hehe!

  3. Tina says:

    Nice! They look really good. It’s so nice that you could go back with Harland and get more to put up.Yes Kitties are like that, mine got her paw caught in the door this morning as I was leaving because she is so busy looking to see what is going on. I think Kitty-Kitty likes the oudoor smell on them too.

  4. Carol says:

    Yummy peaches and the price was right…let the jumping begin! I survive all winter waiting for the summer fruit. You know the peaches were hanging around, waiting for you, and they are Freestone? You are one lucky lady!

    • Suzanne says:

      Yes, I couldn’t believe it when I cut into the first one and found it was FREESTONE. Too good to be true….

  5. It’s so fun to watch cats bat at a ball, but save the peaches! I saw something on the news recently that the heat and drought actually makes fruits sweeter. If you can get them to produce they’ll be extra tasty because they’re not “watered down.” Enjoy the free peaches!

    • Suzanne says:

      I was surprised how much fruit is on those trees considering how little rain we’ve received this summer, but then I noticed that they are growing out of a ditch in a low place. They might have their roots down to some water. After all, a windmill is right nearby too.

  6. Jeannelle says:

    That’s great! I’ve heard that peach trees can grow here in Iowa, but I’ve never seen one.

    • Suzanne says:

      Might be too cold there? Peach trees usually aren’t long lived here in northeast KS, but maybe these trees are a hardy variety.

  7. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    That’s the kind of peach I grew up eating. Not very big but very tasty. Are there any more on the trees?

  8. Karen says:

    Oh, lucky you to have fresh peaches growing wild on trees! We are too far north to grow decent peaches on this side of the mountains, but I remember picking them fresh from the tree in Oregon. There is nothing better than a sun ripened peach! Kitty knows a good thing when she sees one. I hope you post your recipes! xx

  9. Kerry Hand says:

    Nothing better than when this happens, is there. I think it appeals to the gatherer gene we get from the distant ancestors.

  10. Glyndalyn says:

    They look great. And you have plenty to process and preserve. They will taste great in a couple months as well as now.

    • Suzanne says:

      I was surprised by how pretty they were under all that road dust. Can’t wait to bake something with them..

  11. Becky L. says:

    Wow–free peaches and delicious at that. I got some peaches last Friday from a great fruit store out in the country. They smell delicious. I need to peel and slice and freeze as well. Love the kitty story as well. Guess she thought you brought her some fun toys. NOT!

  12. JMart says:

    Hopefully, on a cold, winter day when you pull a bag of peaches from the freezer, you will remember the summer joy of this find!!

  13. Louise S says:

    Oh man, there’s nothing better than a juicy, sweet, fresh peach….unless it’s a FREE one, lol! That’s awesome. Now don’t forget us when you make something “peachy,” we want to see pictures. I made a fresh peach pie last week and took some to my elderly neighbors. She told me later her hubby hadn’t been eating well lately but that he wolfed down every crumb of that pie! 🙂 BTW, I’ve been using your Refrigerator Pickle recipe quite a bit this summer, and it’s delicious. Sometimes I add dried dill to make a “sweet dill pickle,” which is also good.

  14. Lynda says:

    Free peaches!! Lucky you. Fresh peaches in Southwest lower Michigan are hard to come by this year because of the drought we had this summer. If any can be found they are very expensive$$.

  15. What perfect playthings for kitty! 😉 You’ll be enjoying peaches far into the winter after this. I’ve been enjoying all the peaches and nectarines at the farmers market these past couple of weeks.

  16. frosty says:

    poor child.. mama just had to ruin kittys fun.. lol cute…
    we have a little min pin who is 11 and sometimes is naughty but we sure have a lot of fun and laughs with him..

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