“I’m 60 years old and I can’t remember anything like this.”
June 13, 2016 1:14 PM   Subscribe

 
That sucks, but it seems that the region produces a very small percentage of the nation's peaches even in its best years.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:21 PM on June 13, 2016


I wondered if this would happen given the bizarre weather we'd been having in New England. After the snowiest winter ever last year in Boston, this year we had almost no snow and a weird warm spell in February and March as the article describes. My magnolia tree did not produce any beautiful purple flowers, but instead went straight to green leaves. Phooey, I love peaches. I wonder how apple picking season will be affected.
posted by Melismata at 1:22 PM on June 13, 2016


From the farmer of the CSA that I belong to...
"An important note regarding FRUIT Shares. It appears I underestimated the extent of damage the unusual winter has done to fruit crops throughout the Hudson Valley. Strawberries and blueberries are OK, as are melons, pears, and most apples, but cherries and the other stone fruits (plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines) were particularly hard hit. I have been told to expect no stone fruit this year."
posted by kokaku at 1:25 PM on June 13, 2016


The cherry blossoms were pretty non-existent in Toronto this year, so I guess it follows that it would be a bad year for similar fruit. During the warm snap it was a big worry that farmers were having and it looks like their fears came true.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:27 PM on June 13, 2016


Yeah, I read something about this a few months back and have been low-level angsty about it since then. like really i can't be held responsible for my actions if i don't have easy access to huge slobbery white peaches all summer.

if apples are similarly affected later this year i will definitely have An Outburst
posted by poffin boffin at 1:29 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


Condolences to the Northeast. Fresh peaches are the closest thing we have to evidence that God exists.
posted by Lyme Drop at 1:41 PM on June 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm getting my dune-buggy ready with some exploding javelins and rusty spikes in preparation for the last convoy out of Peach Town this year.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:41 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


This might impact on my plans.
I was contemplating moving away from the city and then consuming quite a lot of peaches.
I thought I'd relocate to somewhere bucolic mainly so that I could have many peaches.

I've mainly experienced tinned peaches
that some guy makes in an industrial building here in the city.
If it was up to me I'd have peaches all the time.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:41 PM on June 13, 2016 [45 favorites]


This is awful.
posted by maggiemaggie at 1:41 PM on June 13, 2016


🚫❌🍒🍑
posted by The Whelk at 1:45 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


As if the caterpillars everywhere all the time on everything wasn't bad enough. Blaaah.
posted by mstokes650 at 1:47 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm still wondering what happened to all the plums. I literally haven't seen a good one in years.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:03 PM on June 13, 2016


Alas, the California stonefruit season is upon us and I'm pretty sure all those mega-orchards in the Great Valley still ship their produce around the country. The bee/water/climate collapse has not yet laid waste to the region, so enjoy.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 2:04 PM on June 13, 2016


oh noooooo this is Not Good News

Is Maryland far south enough that we'll be spared? Am I going to have to road-trip south for peaches this summer? Am I going to get the same song stuck in my head as when I went peach picking last summer, which was a weird mash-up that ended up as 'goin' to the chapel, gonna... eat a lot of pe-e-ea-ches'?

(the answer to the last question is yes.)
posted by nonasuch at 2:08 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh shit. Suddenly I'm really glad I made apricot jam last year. (My favorite apricots seem to arrive locally from from a specific orchard in New York, I'd imagine it was hit.)
posted by maryr at 2:14 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, crap. One of my rituals of the summer has been to make a sour cherry pie from the fresh sour cherries that appear in the supermarkets in mid-July. But the suppliers for the stores here in Connecticut are all in upstate New York.

That sucks, but it seems that the region produces a very small percentage of the nation's peaches even in its best years.

No, it's not really a problem outside of the Northeast. It just means that those of us in the Northeast won't be able to get a proper, local, tree-ripened peach this summer. And given how long the winters are up here sometimes, we need every bit of summer we can get — including delectable, juicy, farmers' market peaches.
posted by Johnny Assay at 2:17 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Alas, the California stonefruit season is upon us and I'm pretty sure all those mega-orchards in the Great Valley still ship their produce around the country.

I live up in Canada. We get CA peaches, but I once asked a Whole Foods worker why these peaches are so hard and dry compared to the real thing when I lived down in NorCal for a while. He said they are picked slightly unripe, and they will soften and sweeten if you let them sit in a paper bag for a couple days.

But food science says the aromatic compounds of a transported peach aren't ever going to be like those of a proper tree-ripened peach. So people can talk about peaches, but there are two distinct goods/commodities, one being a mere shadow of the other.
posted by polymodus at 2:18 PM on June 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


2 Years ago, Michigan had an apple and cherry wipeout similar to the one described in the article--unseasonably warm spells kicked the trees out of dormancy, then some pretty brutal freezes killed the blossoms. 95%+ loss. We are looking pretty good this year, though, so if you coastal types need your u-pick fix, we're only 6-8 short hours away!
posted by Chrischris at 2:20 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've been suspecting this - there's a flowering cherry in my yard that got precisely nailed just as it was starting to bloom by the cold snap in April. The apple tree in my yard bloomed totally normally two weeks later. The linked article suggests that early apples - those Mutsus and Jonagolds mentioned are early ones. I wonder if the Honeycrisps were spared?

Chrischris: New England apples got moderately hit by that cold snap too, though not as severely as Michigan.

As if the caterpillars everywhere all the time on everything wasn't bad enough. Blaaah.

I was in New Hampshire this week and can cheerfully add that there also a gazillion ticks this year. Like, I took one step off a road onto (not into, onto) a bed of pine needles and BAM! insta-tick.

In short, booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo El Nino. But I am glad California got some rain.
posted by maryr at 2:24 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


We should never have eaten those millions of peaches, peaches for free.
posted by maxsparber at 2:25 PM on June 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


We went strawberry picking in Rhode Island this weekend. (Salisbury Farm in Johnston was very good!) The word from all the local PYO farms is that the peach crop just failed this year.

So I guess my favorite ice cream is off the menu for my birthday on Friday. *sigh*
posted by wenestvedt at 2:26 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure all those mega-orchards in the Great Valley still ship their produce around the country

yeah this doesn't give me GOOD peaches in nyc, it just gives me "well i guess it's better than eating wet paper towels" peaches in nyc.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:40 PM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the peach
that was in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for better weather

Forgive me
it was delicious
so sweet
and so cold
posted by chavenet at 2:55 PM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


The Free Market will sort this all out!
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 3:06 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here in southeast Vermont, that weird winter weather also wiped out most of the blossoms on my azaleas, which I've never seen happen before.
posted by beagle at 3:12 PM on June 13, 2016


When I was a kid we had a peach tree in our back yard. It was kinda like millions of peaches in the right season.
posted by Splunge at 3:23 PM on June 13, 2016


Was already worried about colony collapse with bees. Now this. So sad.
posted by Fizz at 3:24 PM on June 13, 2016


Must be the pits to be a farmer nowadays. Hopefully they have diversified their crops.
posted by mightshould at 3:25 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen the apple man at the market yet but I guess this will be another bad year for Ontario apples. That warm spell caused a false spring and the cold snap after usually kills off the blossoms.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 3:28 PM on June 13, 2016


>Is Maryland far south enough that we'll be spared?

Based on my yard, no. My peach had no flowers, and my cherry had only one or two fruits. It was an unsurpassingly strange spring.
posted by acrasis at 3:32 PM on June 13, 2016


Oh, wow -- when I saw this title in the previous, I thought oh, no, am I so vain I probably think this post is about me ? Lucky me, it's not. Now, what did I come in here looking for ?
posted by y2karl at 3:36 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


My mother, in a fit of snobbery, has been mailing me California peaches from her backyard for years, to my bemusement. Now I have to tell her she was right. The level of smugness will be only a bit less intolerable than not having any peaches at all. Thanks a lot, climate change.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:20 PM on June 13, 2016


She's welcome to mail them to me instead.

I'd also take figs.
posted by maryr at 4:29 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


The farmer I get most of my fruit from here in Philadelphia told me this past Dubdsy that they had all of their apricots wiped out but they do have a below average bit not awful peach crop coming in. They are located in central PA for what it is worth and do supply some farmers markets in Maryland as well.
posted by nolnacs at 4:31 PM on June 13, 2016


Is there any news about how food for wild animals is affected? Nuts? Berries? Squirrels, birds, etc.?
posted by amtho at 5:23 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


It is customary in my family to go to an orchard outside of Worcester during the summer and pick peaches, plums, and apricots, eating so many off of the trees in the process that we all get happily sick. I'm worried about what'll happen to the farmer, peaches are one of his main crops.
posted by 1adam12 at 5:43 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I live in western Mass and have friends with a family apple and stone fruit orchard. They're expecting to not have peaches this year. This winter and spring was so bizarre. Last year the apple trees were breaking because they were so full! It's lucky they have a diverse crop, but this year is going to be tough on them.
posted by apricot at 6:06 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I grew up near Palisade the peach capital of Colorado (which produces, to me, the best peaches in the world). Every once in a while, frost and weird weather kills off the crop, and then it doesn't seem like there's a good reason to even have a summer after that. I'm sorry, northeast peach lovers.

For the peaches:

.
posted by heurtebise at 7:10 PM on June 13, 2016


This is a complete bummer about the peaches, but I am glad that this thread confirmed that I wasn't imagining a massive (awful) uptick in caterpillers everywhere...

I'm mourning the loss of cherries, too. So far I've caved to temptation a few times and bought the overpriced cherries at the grocery store and they have tasted awful to add insult to injury.
posted by TwoStride at 7:31 PM on June 13, 2016


Nothing a grasshopper, a centipede, an earthworm, a spider, a ladybug, a glowworm, and a little boy named James can't fix.
posted by fairmettle at 8:30 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Had a Northeastern peach from a farmer's market on the road in NJ 2yrs ago and it was better than any fruit I had tasted before. Was actually upset Georgia is famous for its peaches. At any rate, thanks for explaining why we have not seen many up here so far.
posted by skepticallypleased at 9:35 PM on June 13, 2016


Must be the pits to be a farmer nowadays.

I see what you did there.
posted by biogeo at 11:31 PM on June 13, 2016


Do I dare to eat a...

Wait, where is my fucking peach

GODDAMMIT CUMMINGS
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:14 AM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


If y'all want, we can organize an airlift from Atlanta. We have a huge airport and a lot of streets named Peachtree.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:58 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not great. but it appears that my stone fruit intolerance is timely...
posted by mollymillions at 5:47 AM on June 14, 2016


I'm not sure this has as much to do with our mild winter as it had to do with one last hard April frost after many trees--including my peaches and magnolias--had just started to crack open their buds.
posted by Camofrog at 6:45 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, despite the article's warning, I doubt this will affect future crops. My trees are fine; they might even produce a bumper crop next year after a nice rest this summer.
posted by Camofrog at 6:48 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow, we are actually having a bumper crop for peaches in Texas this year and they have been delicious. I've often wondered if anyone outside of Texas gets them, though? Fredericksburg peaches are The Best.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:29 AM on June 14, 2016


I just confirmed with the farmer who runs my CSA that their farm is expecting no peaches at all this year, and their cherries look to be at less than 50%. This is terrible. Fresh local peaches still warm from the sun and so juicy you have to eat them over the sink and slurp obscenely are literally my favorite thing about summer.
posted by SeedStitch at 10:03 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


shall I part my hair behind?

(I am very, very sorry about the peaches)
posted by aspersioncast at 12:06 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


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