We picked all these (about 20 lbs.) from one singe dwarf Hale Haven peach tree. They averaged 8 to a pound. Hale Haven is considered the best freestone canning peach of all.
A few hours and 10 pounds of sugar later...
Peach preserves taste great on ice cream (and pancakes and english muffins)! We ate a bunch of fresh peaches, made a peach cobbler (not pictured because it is already eaten), then made 18 half pints of peach preserves and 3 quarts of canned whole peaches. There are still a few fresh ones left for snacks.
September 1st, 2005
Yes, we can grow peaches here in the frozen north! We have two dwarf peach trees growing in our small fruit orchard at Saux Head Lake. Each is a different variety: Hale Haven and Reliance.
They are both rated for zone 4-5, which is the zone at our Saux Head Lake cabin. They were planted in 1994 but didn't really start producing until the past few years. Some years are better than others and 2005 was the best yet.
Last year, I removed a Maple tree that was shading the peach tree and that (more sunlight) was the trick that turned this tree into a peach making machine! The pictures are of fruit from the Hale Haven tree. It is considered the best canning peach of all. We got peaches from the Reliance tree too but not as many.
The tree is only about two inches thick at the trunk. All these peaches weighed the tree down so much that it fell over in August! I had to tie it to the house to keep it standing upright. We picked the peaches on Sept. 1st.
An advantage to growing them at home is that we can leave them on the tree until they are ripe, soft and sweet, then pick them at just the right time and process them right away.
Based on Amazon prices, this one tree produced about $100 of preserves, $30 of canned peaches, a $15 peach cobbler, and some fresh peaches for a total of $150. It should do better every year for the rest of my life. The tree cost only $20. That comes to a +750% return on investment this year alone! I put almost no effort into growing it. We DID spend some time canning, but it was fun.
We'll be enjoying these peaches all winter (along with our strawberry and raspberry preserves) so if you can find time to make it up for skiing, we'll treat you to a super flavorful taste of our summer.
P. S.: Gentian just finished knitting the scarf she is wearing so we included it in the second picture.