Indian Free Harvest

I tested a fruit and it was very ripe, not all are probably ripe, but I decided to harvest today. Last stone fruit harvest, most were ripe, and by the time I used them all I lost some to rot. So having them early a bit is desirable for me. I thought I had about 30. Don’t ever asked me to guess how many jelly beans in the jar!! I harvested 71 peaches from Indian Free this year. That tiny little tree. I guess I needed to thin more!

Time for a peach-red currant crisp! I’ll have to grab some ice cream!
The tree is small, amazing production.
Next to I think? A 50 gallon trash can for perspective.

Who would think you could harvest peaches in October in Michigan? Well no problem! I’ll post some interior shots later. Not as red this year, outside or inside.
This tree is not self fertile and the wind blows the other way (towards my other stone fruit). So I hand pollinated with every fruit in my yard. Now to plant 71 seeds! Yikes! I used Pluots, sweet cherries, Nadia, Satsuma, and Arctic Glo, oh also Carmine Jewel even though it’s the wrong ploidy level. Some or even most were probably pollinated by Arctic Glo which is next to it. Still a chance of some strange hybrids. I will grow out as many as possible. I didn’t protect flowers after hand pollination, so no way to tell without growing out what is there?


How old is your tree and what is your rootstock? Nice looking harvest!

I hope to get to that level of harvest one day, my tree is bigger but its not in a sunny spot. Next time it gets a better place.

Don’t bother to hand pollinate, the bees will do their thing on it. There are bees all over peach flowers.

I agree Scott, I was doing it in hopes of an unusual cross. I did not do all the flowers either, only maybe 30 of them or less. I hoping to have a peach that ripens earlier, so i will grow maybe 5 or so out. It does get a lot of sun too.

It’s 4th leaf, 2nd harvest, extreme cold temps killed any possible 2nd leaf harvest. On Citation, which has canker now, has for over a year. Tree keeps going for now. Too bad as it keeps the tree small yet produces big fruit. Lovell next time.
It could have been thinned more, I’m still learning. I at least pulled as many off as fruited. Some fruits were close. i will thin better in the future. I don’t need 70 peaches if I can get 40-50 really good ones. Although many on this tree are big for Indian Free.


You are going to have a lot of hybrids!

If your Indian Free Peach hybridized with Arctic Glo Nectarine, the seedlings will have larger and wider leaves.

Those seedlings with Cherry parentage will probably have cherry-like leaves.

On the other hand, those with Nadia and pluot parentage will probably be difficult to differenciate from those simple plum x peach hybrids. Or maybe the Nadia x Peach hybrid will be exhibit different phenotype from those pluot x peach and peach x plum hybrids.


Well i hope some crosses I did take?? I do know I have 71 hybrid seeds, again not self fertile, they must be hybrids. i suppose a chance some self pollination is possible. That would be OK too, as I would like to see the parental traits, Indian Free is a very early hybrid probably made in the early 1800’s. Jefferson grew it, and his last garden notes were in 1824.


The Satsuma Plum x Indian Free Peach hybrids would probably have leaves similar to that of Citation rootstock.

Keep those seedlings with unusual foliage.

I cut a few up and made a Peach-Red Currant crisp.


I have to examine the plants, see what they look like. I have not thought about appearances.
I have never seen leaves on citation.

Yes, sounds like a good idea! I could grow out a lot, if I culled most.
I’m going to start them now, well the stratification. Soon at least. I only used 4 so far, so in a couple weeks. Any that spout in the winter will be transferred under lights. I now have two 4 lamp 4 foot T5 fixtures, and a T12 4 footer too. Also a two lamp 2 foot T5.


I wanted to add for those struggling getting a good harvest and are new to stone fruit. To keep at it. I’m fairly new to stone fruits, but not anywhere near new to growing plants. I have been growing hard to grow plants for 40 years, and really is the reason I’m able to obtain good harvests. It is not luck but 40 years of experience. So keep at it, and I promise you will achieve better results as you gain knowledge.

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The sliced peach actually looks better to me than the Crisp, although I’m sure it tastes delicious. A couple bakeries (real bakeries) in my area sell a peach cake with a bit of custard affect and all and all, like a cross between a cake and a tart, being fairly shallow with all the peaches nicely spread on the top. I would love to taste one with Indian Free peaches! It may be a French recipe.

Food shots are a skill I have not mastered at all! Desserts too are not my best dish. I’m still learning. I love the Greek Philo dough. i would love to come up with something that uses that dough. It’s too much work probably. Like baklava with peaches, man that sounds good!
The crisp was good, but with raspberries is better. I have been topping the crisps with toasted coconut ice cream. That stuff should be declared the 8th wonder of the world!

That dessert you mention sounds good too. I try to keep it simple. Probably too much for me, we need Moley to make us one!

I didn’t mean to put you on the defensive- it’s just the peach is so beautiful sliced.

I don’t bake at all and completely rely on my wife finding the time- or the bakeries I mentioned.

You didn’t! I’m not happy with my food photos, and you just reminded me of it.
Like my advice about stone fruit, I’ll keep trying! Some of my photos make a good looking dish look inedible! I took a photo of some fig jam I made, and it looked like something my dog would deposit on the lawn!

Are those currants as large as they seem in the picture?. What variety are they?

The peach slices are small. I used the smaller fruit. The currants are a mix, mostly Laxton’s No 1. Rovada is the same size, and easier to harvest.