Of course, I've already written about last year's traumatic frost. No need to dwell on that! Nor on the near-miss we experienced this spring. But it hardly seems real that we already have mature stonefruit at the end of May. Up north, where I hail from, we don't get scratch (except strawberries) till at least June. My trees up at Jones won't bear till later--my earliest, the Harrow Beauties, in July. But the arrival of the Derbies sent me into a bit of a panic, so on Memorial Day, up to Jones I dashed.
My friends the Harpers and the Iveses came along with their kids. Little Anna and my son Gus collected baby peaches. They plan to found a museum on our front stoop.
Gus wandered into a fairyland zone of the orchard, where my heirloom Elberta tree is.
The last time we were up there, the peaches were tiny and the difference between the frost-stunted fruits and their healthy brethren was negligible. Now the runts stand out. The rains and heat have also encouraged the vetch and the leaves and the grasses; the place glowed green against a heavy sky. On this sultry day, the whole place felt enchanted.
We even found a peach-troll.
After we visited my trees, we went over to pick some more strawberries. Not that I needed any; I'd bought 4 quarts at the MFM on Saturday. But it's getting so that I feel ill at ease if I don't have to rearrange the condiments in the fridge to make room for berries. By the time we got over there, piled-up clouds were tumbling in and spattering us occasionally with big cooling drops. Just as we filled our buckets, thunder growled us off the field and we took refuge in the lunchroom adjacent to the Jones farmstand, just in time. As rain hammered on the tin roof, we reveled in pimento-cheese sandwiches, tender white beans and cornbread, and lemonade.
It was a perfect Memorial Day.