2018 peach report


Below is my report for 2018 Peaches:

We just completed year 6 of our peach growing experiment with more fruit than we had ever seen as a result of no frost damage. My climate produces excellent peaches, but frost damage normally reduces potential yield. So far we have produced few or no peaches in about 1 out of 4 years. Thinning is normally easy but this year we under thinned by a large amount even after raking a 5 foot PVC pipe over the branches and several hand thinnings. We normally use a baseball bat for first thinning if we have a huge fruit set, but we actually had to rake the limbs to reduce the number of peaches this year. Some of the early varieties produced fruit almost too small to sell due to the lack of thinning, but later varieties produced normal size fruit. Fruit quality was good except for the last picking on Flame Prince which received 9 inches of rain over about 10 days followed by several more inches just before picking. These peaches rotted from the inside although they showed no visible defects. Red Haven, Fire Prince, Winblo and Contender yield lots of sweet, juicy peaches and their picking dates overlap some. Better varieties exist in some ripening windows, but were not available when I planted the orchard.

Rich May – Over production made a lot of small peaches but of good quality with nice sweet acid balance. The unpruned trees did not produce any sellable size fruit. This variety is sometimes impacted by frost. Size is good with good thinning.
Carored – Better size with good quality
Ruby Prince – Lots of small fruit and split pits. My least favorite peach over past several years.
Gala – Year 3 produced good crop of tasty peaches. Fills gap before Red Haven
Red Haven – Excellent peach with good yield. Freestone when completely ripe
Fire Prince – Another excellent peach with good yield
Winblo – Probably my best peach - always in demand
Contenter – Excellent high chill hour peach. My most reliable peach
Sun Prince – Year 3 produced good crop but ripeness difficult to judge.
Flame Prince – Excellent yield and good peach but some internal rot problems. Last picking around 8/30


Yeah too bad, I was thinking if you could cut costs enough wholesale could work.
I guess it’s not practical in this situation. I admire being your own boss, the hardest thing I ever did. I would much rather work for somebody else. I got out of it because I could make a lot more working for somebody else. Too much against the small businessman For me the corporations was not the issue, mostly regulations, taxes, and other expenses. The mandatory increase in minimum wage was the straw that broke the camels back. Having to fire people to get back to profit was really unfair to them, and the extra work load others had to carry. I decided to sell out. As did many of my friends. Big corporations installed self checkouts, or other automation I could not afford to do. I needed real people, but could not afford to pay them. It was an eye opener for me. The market didn’t shut me down. I could accept that, the government did, regulating me out of business. I also could not compete with welfare. It made no sense for people to leave welfare and work for me, as they would lose money, so finding people willing to work was a nightmare. It was crazy, I was grossing 200 grand a year and losing money. So many people had their hands in my pocket, it made doing business impossible. No wonder over 90% of small businesses fail,. Owners have no clue what they are in for. Local government was like the mafia, wanting their protection money. I could rant all day on this.


Yes, but they need it every week, are other customers buying a bushel every week? So I can see why they want a break.
I was looking at selling stuff you just can’t get elsewhere like figs, white strawberries, honeyberries, or fresh black currants. I doubt I will do it, as it’s not worth the time it would take. I may reconsider at some point.


The reason 90% of businesses fail are myriad. A big part is not having enough money to establish it- it was 10 years in the making for me to have a business that adequately supported my family and that’s the norm. NYS is a high tax state, with a government tilted towards big business against small (why do things for people that don’t pay for your campaigns?) However, fees and taxes are the least of it. You also have to sell something that people want to buy, whether for quality or price. Many successful business people failed at their first business, but were determined not to work for someone else and kept at it.

Once you have a business going, our form of government is actually tilted to even the small business person. The majority of the expenses of living can be written off as business expense, because technically they are. Half the money employees are taxed on are business expenses for those in business.


Having fun is a good objective. The small farm should also improve your mental and physical health. Those are my objectives as well. A small farm is a good retirement project that can produce many benefits. Making some money is possible and the trend toward local food makes it a lot easier than it was 20 years ago. Facebook and other social media allow the farmer to attract customers and quickly build customer relationships that used to be impossible with other forms of advertising.


I’m a ways away from deciding, just doing homework now to figure out what my options could be.

Yes, of course. And for the record my restaurant didn’t fail. I sold because I could make a lot more money working for others. The restaurant is still in operation. I could not justify keeping it when I could work half the hours and make twice the income elsewhere. And i didn’t have to deal with hiring and firing unskilled workers, or my former mafia landlord, or city government making me purchase their equipment to open the place. As the owner you are seen as some rich guy, which is laughable! I couldn’t afford my own food! P&J for me!


Same thing in NC. Last year we spent a week touring dozens apple orchards in central and northern Virginia looking for ideas we could use in our small operation. Just about every orchard we visited used to sell mostly wholesale at one point. They added some type of direct to consumer sales like PYO, cider or festivals in order to sell the apples they were growing. Most of the larger growers we spoke with were not crazy about dealing with small customer orders but made the change in order to survive. At one location we noticed a huge multi-million dollar controlled atmosphere warehouse and packing house next to the PYO orchard where customers were spending $15.


What kind of restaurants did you own?


Great report Blueberrythrill. Thanks!


I’m taking it to the lounge


One was a ma and pa family restaurant, the other was a franchise. I was thinking of buying 4 or 5 of them, but felt I could never run them by my high standards. Never owned a high end restaurant, but love to eat at them!


All of my Indian Free peaches dropped prematurely, about 10 days ago. The cause was probably a combination of rain splitting and yellow jacket damage. This is the third year in a row I haven’t been able to fully ripen them, but they were still decent at 14 brix.

I also picked some McKay peaches, also about 10 days ago. They were hit by lots and lots of rain around ripening time, but a few still hit 17 brix.