Peach season is just around the corner. As I was scouting a block of peaches at our Belleville farm, a red hue caught my eye. The first hint of a ripening peach. What a wonderful feeling it is to walk through a peach orchard just loaded with fruit. We will begin harvesting our first peaches, Frank’s Block Early Clings, toward the end of next week.
Cling peaches are somewhat difficult. The name is well earned because the flesh of the peach “clings” to the pit. As a result, they are more work to can and freeze. Their virtue is that they ripen early.
In fact, the first peaches harvested at Eckert’s were a mistake. When we planted a block of peaches in 1988, we ordered Loring trees. We planted the block of trees and three years later, when we harvested the first crop, we noticed some of the trees mixed in with the Loring were ripening extra early. Loring do not ripen until the end of July and these trees had ripe fruit in mid June. Well, turns out we had 100 trees of another variety shipped to us on accident. But the peaches tasted pretty good and our customers loved having some homegrown peaches early in the season. Therefore, the mistake stayed and we are still picking “Frank’s Block Early Clings”. Name comes from the fact that they are grown in Frank’s Block (the block located next to Frank’s house), they ripen early and they are clings. Hey we never claimed to be original.