Sunday, August 12, 2007
End of a Season
"Today's the last Saturday market," he said.
I was astonished, the last. The End. Fin.
No more peaches for the summer. Its not even mid August and no more?
I was upset to say the least. I've been eating peaches daily, counting up to 4-5 sweet treats within 24 hours. There have been pies, muffins, salsa, and no more. I'm sorry for the repetition, but when you become so dependent on a food, it is hard to know the season is ending.
As you know, I believe in farmers markets. I support my farmers because well I hope someone would have the same compassion for the farmer, tending my dad's land. I know that farming isn't really a profitable business, but it is rewarding. A farmer sees his progress each day and in the eyes of customers. What I view as the payoff is the farmer watching someone enjoying and experiencing the freshest produce possible.
To start this peach season, I decided to PYO- pick your own. So I googled and found farms that allow it. My friends and I drove out to Fredericksburg to pick peaches. It was the first weekend of opening. It was a comfortable day, partly sun, cool. My friends and I went to Psencik Farms outside of the town.
The farm was on a backroad, where you crossed a low bridge to get across, this beautiful stone house stood where we would pick. Ms. Psencik greeted us warmly, asking whether we wanted to pick blackberries and peaches. Our answer was both.
My two friends and I picked our boxes, went to the field, and picked. I picked a large box. A pie was what I intended. I would need a lot, plus more for eating. I ate 5 that day, I believe. Juicy running down my chin, no napkin, no paper towel, just the way you should eat a Fredericksburg peach with a BIG BITE!
We then scrambled to pick blackberries that were nice, black, and tart. The vines had been plucked over. However, I insisted on blackberries. My best friend complained of the thorns, but I got what I wanted and more. Enough to last me a week and keep my lips puckered.
I traveled a second time to pick peaches. The second time, I couldn't pick because of flooding. However, I still bought enough peaches to survive on and of course another pie. I branched out to B's peaches, which were just as good as Psenciks. And this time I was even able to buy Texas plums, which were delicious.
Psenciks even sold peaches at my farmers market until mid-July, so I didn't even have to go to Fredericksburg. I always chatted up the owner, talking about how all the rained had helped and hindered the crop. It was nice to have a daily farmer to visit.
So what do I do now that peaches are over? I don't know. Asian pears are in season, but don't quench my palate like peaches. Maybe I'll move to Washington. There I would have berries, cherries, and currants. Anybody need a baker and chef?
Alas, I must say so long to what some are calling the best peach crop ever. I hope next year is just as good and that I get to savor it, again!