A little bit o’ heat, a whole lot o’ peach!

WOW, it’s hot outside! While this heat wave may put a damper on your plans to bask in the sun all weekend, we promise it’s not all bad news. In fact … it’s great news for a certain fuzzy fruit that you’ve been waiting all summer for. You probably know which fruit I’m referring to. Maybe it’s their adorably round heart shape, or their velvety soft skin, or maybe it’s their sunshine yellow flesh, but there are few fruits that elicit summertime excitement quite like a fresh peach.

A blast of heat like the one we’re having this weekend helps peaches develop their sugar content as they ripen (although too much heat would actually halt their development, so everything in moderation). Additionally, the bouts of rain we’ve seen over the past few weeks have aided in adding nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil, while also ensuring that the peaches will be juicy. After all, fruit is made up of mostly water!

So don’t let the heat and rain spells of late get you down. Mother nature has provided the solution to its own problem. Peaches are juicy, indicating that eating them will help keep you hydrated. They’re an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium, too, nutrients your body will surely need replenished after even a short time out in the heat. And anytime you eat freshly picked produce grown locally, you’re getting the maximum nutritional benefits from it! Oh yeah, and it tastes amazing.

Different varieties of peaches ripen at different times throughout July, August, and September. The ones we grow typically reach peak ripeness in early August, so we have to be patient for a few more weeks before heading out to pick our own. However, there’s no patience required if you’re like us and in need of an immediate thirst quencher! In the farm store right now, we’re selling peaches from our neighbors at Carlson Orchard in Harvard, MA, where they grow an earlier ripening variety belonging to the Flamin’ Fury breed. This line of peach is freestone, meaning it’s easy to separate the pit from the flesh, with a lovely red and yellow coloration outside, and a bright yellow inside.

With all this in mind, we’ve come to the conclusion that a little heat is worth putting up with for a whole lot ‘o peach later. Stop by the farm if you agree!

You can never go wrong with just a ripe peach and a napkin as your snack. But if you’re looking to try something extra refreshing on this extra hot weekend, here’s an idea for you: Peach Rooibos Iced Tea! It tastes just like Peach Snapple, if you ask me, but without so much sugar, sweetened with only honey. If you make it with rooibos like I did, it’s caffeine-free and packed with antioxidants, but you can absolutely make this with black, green, or white tea and it will be equally thirst quenching.

Peach Rooibos Iced Tea

Add a chopped large peach, 1/4 cup honey, and 1 cup water to a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Once the water starts boiling, stir and reduce heat to low so that the mixture is lightly simmering.

Then, let the peaches simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally and smashing the peaches with the back of a spoon as they soften to release all their juices. While the peaches are simmering, brew your choice of tea.  

Strain the peaches from the liquid into a pitcher.  Use a spoon to press the peach chunks against the strainer, squeezing as much liquid from them as humanly possible!  When you’re done there should be very little remaining in the strainer.

Now add the brewed tea to the peach liquid, and place the pitcher in your refrigerator to cool.  This is the hardest part, as you have to be patient while you wait for it to be cold enough!

Finally, serve over ice with a little lemon if desired.

Cheers!

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