PEACH | How Does it Grow?

PEACH | How Does it Grow?

Let’s talk peaches – shall we? Peaches are… Wait, what? This is a nectarine? Yeah but it’s also a peach! It’s a peach without fuzz!
I know…a lot of us think of nectarines as a separate fruit, but it’s just a
variety of peach. Think of a Granny Smith – it has its own unique color and flavor, but it’s still an apple. And because nectarines don’t have that fuzz, they’re a bit harder to grow. So what’s all the fuzz about? To uncover that secret, we have to find out: Peach – How Does it Grow? We’ve come to historic Mullica Hill, in
the southern farmlands of New Jersey. Peach farmer Tom Holtzhauser traces his family roots here to 1771. And his 120 year old farm is dedicated to 30 different kinds of peaches. The Latin name for peach is “Prunus
Persica”, which means “persian plum”. Relax – I’m not going to tell you that peaches are plums…but they are in the same botanical family, along with other stone fruits like apricots and cherries, even almonds… The Persian part is misleading. Alexander the Great brought the first peaches to Europe from
Persia, but peaches originally came from China, where they were the coveted fruit
of royalty. In the late 1500s, European immigrants brought peaches to the Americas, where they became one of the nation’s first commercial fruit crops. And they thrived in New Jersey, which still today is a proud peach pioneer. You know these flat donut peaches: so-called because when you pop the pit out, they
look like a doughnut! These first hit the market in the late 70s, thanks to a variety called Saturn, which was developed right here in New
Jersey. And even though flat peaches had been grown for centuries, the resilient
yet super-sweet Saturn was the one that kicked off the commercial demand for
donut peaches around the world. The orchards here are full of beautiful
varieties of white and yellow peaches, with names like “Flamin’ Fury”, “July Rose” and “Glen Glo” – just some of the thousands of peaches that exist. But at this farm, there are no nectarines…Farmer Tom says he does not want the headache or expense of growing that fragile beauty… It all comes down to the fuzz. What is the point of this stuff? Is it there just to eat your lips It is there just to give you haptodysphoria? Yep – there’s a name for peach fuzz phobia… No my friends – the fuzz is an important protective coating, that guards against insects, rot, wind, fungus…it even helps lock in the peaches’ moisture. Without the fuzz, nectarines are more prone to all of these things, which means that farmers have to spend more time and money to care for them. (Tom): My dad used to say “a peach
tree itself looks for an excuse to die”… Now check this out – see how much fuzz is on that peach! You’ll rarely see it like that in the stores, because packing houses have special equipment that brush down the fuzz. Why? Because we eat with our
eyes first! Some people see fuzz and think of mold…Less fuzz also means the enticing colors of the peach comes through. A Peachtree can be productive for 20 to 25 years. So each year, Tom digs up the old and plants new trees purchased from a nursery. It’ll take them roughly six
years before they bear a substantial amount of fruit. The life of a peach begins surprisingly in the winter. Peach trees need more than 500 hours of chill time. The cold stimulates fruit growth later in the year. That’s why peach trees
can’t grow in the tropics. The trees bloom with stunning pink flowers early in the spring – so early that frost is a major concern. If frost kills the flowers, that means no fruit in the summer. Last year a February frost wiped out the entire peach crop of New England, and cut Jersey’s harvest in half. Farmers call it the “Valentine’s Day Massacre”. Most peach trees are self pollinating – that means each flower has both the male and female reproductive parts. So just a little
breeze is all it really takes for the pollen to fall on the female parts, to fertilize the flower. The fertilized ovary will develop into the fruit. But before the fruit even shows up, there’s a huge job for Tom to do – he needs to thin out the blossoms. Since each flower could potentially grow a fruit, he needs to make room for the peaches to grow without squashing each other, so by hand he and his men remove flowers up and down every limb of his six thousand trees. There’s no rest for the weary. Harvest
season begins here in July, hit its peak in August, and carries on through
September. (Tom): Try to control your hands from spreadin’ the fuzz all over you… (Nicole): And what will happen if the fuzz get on my skin? (Tom): You are just gonna break out into rash, and then you’re gonna be itching yourself all day… (Nicole): So long sleeve…(Tom): Long sleeve shirt on first…(Nicole): Right. (Nicole): What about something like this? (Tom): All right, it looks ready to go…Nicole: Yeah. (Tom): But what happens is when you flip it back over, you’ve got almost half the peach (is) between green and yellow. (Nicole): And yellow…yeah it’s a very light
yellow…yeah. (Tom): So what…what that is not mature
and it’s not ready to be picked. (Nicole): Okay. (Tom): You have to take the…the limbs and look up and underneath of them, to make sure about what color. (Nicole): Okay…okay. (Nicole): Basically, peaches don’t all ripen at the same time on the tree!
(Tom): They don’t. (Tom): It’s just a quick little turn and snapped and all… (Nicole): Okay, so a small twist…(Tom): Turn…snap! (Nicole): Oh it snapped right off. (Tom): Snap, you got it. (Nicole): Lovely! (Tom): All right? (Nicole): Okay, all right, I can do this! (Tom): So you got…you got that? (Nicole): All right… (Nicole): He’s letting me assess these for color and size…I don’t know…I’m nervous for him… (Tom): Hahahaha… (Nicole): Do we have to get into the tree? Yeah? Yeah… I’m cheaing…he’s telling me which ones to do…haha… Today, it’s 104 degrees… This is by far the hottest harvest I’ve ever
participated in. I am amazed at the stamina and skill of these guys, who come up from Puerto Rico every year. [Spanish] Tom sells most of his fruit to customers right from his packing house. He says people have been known to drive 150 miles to buy his peaches. (Tom): Uh…the biggest thing that people have no clue about, is the acidity level in the white peaches…it’s just a straight much more sweeter sugary taste, and you don’t get the bite of the tart, in the back of your
jaw – like you would like with a yellow piece of fruit. Peaches don’t continue to ripen after they are picked. All farms pick their fruit firm, so they’ll endure the shipping. Also – so customers don’t have to race to eat them all up. Now how do you store your peaches, so they don’t turn dry and mealy? Here’s Tom’s “Pro Tip”: when you get
them home, leave them all out on the counter – that’s right, don’t put any in
the fridge, and don’t wash them yet either. Let them all soften. Then put the
ones you’re not ready to eat in a plastic zipper storage bag, and put that bag in the fridge. See, peach skin is porous, so without the bag protecting the fruit, the circulating air in your fridge will strip out moisture, with each pass
through the fruit, turning them dry and mealy. Now, I can’t tell the story of peaches without acknowledging passionate regional loyalties…I know some Americans who won’t eat a peach outside of their own state. I’m looking at you – Georgia…And as crazy as that sounds, there is a truth here: Peaches do taste different – the hotter South grows different varieties from the cooler north. Heck, Sicily grows different varieties from Spain! Also climate and
soil affect the flavor. So I say bring on the food fight! We live in a world of
ever-increasing monoculture and uniformity, where everyone grows the same one variety of banana…and foods like wheat flour are made to taste the same. Let’s celebrate the differences in our peaches – one sticky sweet fight at a time…

100 thoughts on “PEACH | How Does it Grow?

  1. Nowadays Chinese use them as offerings for our ancestors, or as offerings to our house guardian (gods and demigod statues), then we eat them. Fun fact, there's a Japanese folklore about a boy born from a peach called Momotaro.

  2. wow, this video is amazing!!! thank you so much. I have subscribed your channel ^^ please keep doing the good job

  3. I was a produce Manager for 12 years I have never had a peach from New Jersey. Didn't even knew they grew them. Road trip. We are in Georgia so we got local Georgia or South Carolina for eastern peaches and California for western peaches. All different flavors at different times. So awesome.

  4. Your such a great woman with great work….lots of thnx for ur hrd wrk.
    When i watch ur video i thougt im watching some of worldclass news report like…Cnn,Bbc
    Love you maam from Bangladesh

  5. Plz do episodes on mango, pears, guava, papaya, pineapple, kiwi, blackberry, gooseberry, ground cherry, sandalwood, red sandalwood, mulberry, etc.

  6. At 3:52 "I wonder if I can grow these plants in South India and get the fruits" At 4:01 "Oh well, that's too bad then"

  7. So beautiful 😍 my peach tree is a year old and four feet tall already ♥️
    I started the process from the seed 🥰 and it is growing in my cousin’s backyard here in Bronx, NY. We are dreaming of the day we can see it flowers bloom 🥰

  8. I so love peaches and I envy her picking them. We don't have peaches here in the Philippines. I can only eat the canned ones.


  10. You should visit Stella’s farm in Berlin, NJ. They have the best corn and the best strawberries I’ve ever had in my entire life! They had some trouble with deer the last couple of seasons, and because of that the corn fields have suffered! The deer ate 4-5 acres of corn in 2 days! It’s so sad! They did manage to bring in some super sweet white corn from a backup grower that grows their same corn for them. Typically it’s used for the families that own and grow for Stella’s. It was a rather small harvest though. I hope they find a humane solution to the deer problem next season. Anyways, you should try their corn and strawberries! I promise you won’t be let down! Just make sure to ask if it’s grown by them.

  11. A peach lover's paradise! I love peaches, without a doubt my favourite fruit – although I don't like the white version, just the traditional tart, yellow/orange varieties. Thanks for showing us around a commercial orchard. Do the growers have any ideas to combat frost damage? I doubt they can use water as would be the case with apples as it would probably rot the blossom – do they use fans or light small fires to warm the air? I live in the UK and peaches are a delicate crop here, not grown on the same scale as apples or pears. The traditional Victorian kitchen garden method was to have 'flues' in the boundary walls and light a fire at one end, allowing the heat to travel through the wall cavities. The trees could be covered as well, but at least the heat behind them protected them from frost. This of course is only practical for small scale gardens. If growing is you business, you can't really afford to lose a season's growth.

  12. My nephew has three hectares of land full of nectarine trees in Morocco. They grow big sweet nectarines. Each year I go to Morocco and I can enjoy his sweet nectarines 👌

  13. There is nothing like riding past a peach orchard when the peaches are ripe. You can taste the air brings back memories…..

  14. In Nepal we say peaches are called #aaro usually grown in Western hilly region but sad reality they are not commercialized as that of other fruits instead wasted in fields

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *