by Dr. Desmond R. Layne, Peach Specialist, Dept. of Environmental Horticulture, Clemson University, 2011
Hey, I'm Desmond Layne, Peach Specialist at Clemson University. Welcome to the Clemson Tiger Peach Network.
Welcome back to "Everything About Peaches"! Today is August 4, 2011 and we're up here at my variety test block at James Cooley's farm in Chesnee, South Carolina. We're featuring our 13th "Peach Pick for South Carolina" today. It's a hot one today and the forecast says that its going to be 102 degrees Farenheit today. If you're outside in that kind of weather, you need to keep hydrated. Mike, come here. I just want to prove to your Mom that we're out here and we're drinking plenty of fluids. You know that you've got to keep yourself hydrated in this kind of heat. That hits the spot!
As we move into the month of August, it's exciting to think that we still have at least another four weeks of excellent peach eating here in the "Tastier Peach State", you've got that right, South Carolina! Now last week, we featured Sugar Giant which is a subacid, white-fleshed peach that's got that kinda mellow taste to it. It's really sweet like honey. This week we're featuring Cresthaven. Cresthaven is a variety that's been around for a long time. Its just got that traditional sweet, tangy taste. It's an awesome peach!
In our Clemson University research trials over the last several years, the performance of Cresthaven has been excellent. Cresthaven was developed by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station in South Haven and it was released to the public in 1963 - that was the year I was born! Stanley Johnson was the breeder. It's a yellow flesh, melting flesh type that has that normal acidic tang to it and it's an excellent performer.
Depending on where you are located in the state, Cresthaven may ripen towards the end of July or in the early part of August. It typically averages about 3 inches in diameter. Its got a nice yellow background and red overcolor or blush. It's a very attractive peach. It also has a very nice uniform, round shape. When you cut through the skin into the flesh you can see that its got beautiful yellow flesh - look at that! Just perfect! It is a nice peach.
Last week, Sugar Giant was sweet and juicy. It had that mellow taste, kind of like honey. Let's see how Cresthaven tastes! Mmmm. Now, that is a nice peach! Sweet, juicy, tangy! I'll tell you what - the best thing to do with these is eat them fresh! But if you have some left over, they make a great peach cobbler. How about some peach ice cream? Why not put them on the grill and then put some vanilla ice cream on top? Or, you can can them because the flesh doesn't turn brown so they are an excellent candidate for home canning.
Why don't you join us next week when we'll feature our next "Peach Picks for South Carolina" where the peaches don't taste like cardboard?! Mmmmm. You know, being a peach specialist is a rough job, but somebody's got to do it.
To get my latest information on peaches, you can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PeachDoctor. For more educational videos and information about peaches, you can visit my "Everything About Peaches" website at www.clemson.edu/peach. And if you would like to read my columns for the American Fruit Grower magazine, you can visit their website at www.growingproduce.com.
For more information on gardening, landscaping, insect and disease problems on your plants, visit the Home & Garden Information Center web site at www.clemson.edu/hgic.
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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.