Hello, I’ve read a few articles recently about the peaches grown by native americans in the SW after spanish contact, that over time became smaller, paler with red patches, etc. and very drought and heat tolerant. Supposedly it was grown from the bottom of the grand canyon all the way to the mountains. I’m living in a zone 6b arid semi-desert environment where I think these would do very well. Is this the Indian Blood peach or is it something else?
Indian Blood peaches are eastern so unless they moved west it is a different peach.
PS sounds like you may have seen this article:
Maybe some day there will be seeds available from this project.
Thank you, I wasn’t aware the Indian Peach was a peach from back east. But that makes sense since the Spanish were in Florida also (peach obviously originating in asia, but the Spanish brought to the New World). Yes that is one of the articles I saw. There were two or three others. I emailed the authors of each article and got no responses. Can’t find seed or saplings available anywhere. Seems they want to tell people all about this tree but not sell, share, make available, etc. I live in desert country full of sagebrush, tumbleweeds, etc. I would just like to have a tree that can survive desert conditions for my household and that of my family which includes seniors, disabled, etc it would be nice for food security to have a tree on property that doesn’t require a ton of watering, can handle itself if left alone for a period of time for whatever reason, etc. (if people travel, go into hospital, area gets evacced for fire, or whatever the case may be). I am not looking to steal their tree and profit from it.
Did you try emailing Reagan W? She is the one to contact as she has the seeds.
There is restrictions with seeds/plants. I know my state of CO has it so Gurneys and Natures hill will not ship peach trees to me. Meanwhile Raintree, Bay Laurel, Grow Organic and what not will. Dave Wilson lists many vendors for their plants but many plants on their website I cannot get because they are only sold by retailers not in my area. Places like Arizona or Florida will not ship citrus trees into their state because of disease/pests. I question how many of those issues are with those kinds of restrictions and how many of those are with wanting to keep them to themselves. I am sure if they were interested in preserving certain varieties they would be trying to spread it as much as they can.
Yes I did email RW, I don’t think I ever got a reply.
That is not super surprising as it sounds like her main goal is to re-distribute them to Indian communities. You could try offering to send back seeds once your trees produce, maybe that would get a response.
Keep your expectations in bounds.
Canyon de Chelly ( pronounced “ duh SHAY”) is a favorable microclimate more than there is a wonder peach out there.
The peaches would probably date to after the reconquest in 1692. Pope’ who lead the successful Pueblo revolt in 1680 immediately ordered the destruction of the corrupting influence of Western society, such as stone fruit trees.
The Reconquest met with surprisingly little resistance. As a pre-literate society we don’t know the reason. I speculate that the systematic destruction of stone fruits substantially undermined support for Pope’
Interesting, I had not heard of this revolt. Reading the Wikipedia page it looks like not all of the pueblos went along with the de-Spanishing bit though. Plus I bet that even the pueblos that went along with it not all seeds were destroyed, and the revolution was over very soon. So the peaches could well be from before the revolt.
It was a well-coordinated and widespread revolt that even included the Navajos.
I’m guessing that a guy like Pope’ was a martinet who really did destroy as many corrupting peach trees as he could find. Of course he wouldn’t get all of them, let alone the seeds.
Modern day peaches are successfully grown in this region against palisades as in Colorado . A relatively narrow canyon with lingering cold weather (inhibiting early bloom) and offering protection from the wind would be a favorable microclimate for peaches. No doubt the Navajo peaches described are rugged, But not likely preternaturally so.
If the peaches growing that OP talks about are truly growing by Palisade than I would say that is a extreme microclimate based on my experience living in Colorado. I know most of Colorado is zone 5 or 4 and the Palisade area is zone 7. Many people try to get peaches after trying palisade peaches from churches or Farmers insurance thinking they will get a pear the size of a baseball or bigger and taste like candy. The sad reality is most peaches produce a lot of small peaches here but they taste similar to grocery store peaches here in the other parts than palisade. Palisade just has a hot try area that is uncommon. Don’t get me wrong you can still get super sweet peaches from certain varieties like donut peaches but the varieties they grow in Palisade will never taste the same as outside palisade.
There is a podcast on the topic:
The above podcast explains the reluctance of sharing these varieties outside of their communities of origin.
It’s an hour long podcast. Would you mind sharing the cliff note version as to why not to plant these trees on a large scale?
I listened to it quite a while ago while driving so the details are somewhat hazy. The overall premise was that these isolated communities seperated from each other by mountains, valleys and canyons each used to have their own peach trees. Some of these have been lost to time but in a few of the communities there are still some peaches being grown. I honestly didn’t completely understand the logic in not propagating them widely. On one hand they talked about saving these trees from the brink of extinction but they also then talked about keeping them within the native communities. You would think widespread propagation is a sure way to save the genetics? It did talk a little about how the elders were skeptical to share the seeds and how she had to ensure them that it wouldn’t be widely distributed. The podcast exclusively talked about seeds and not a single mention of collecting Scion was mentioned which I thought was odd
It sounds like a bit of paranoia, which would be understandable. They probably want the benefits to be for indigenous Americans and fear having their heirlooms exploited for profit, hell, maybe even patented, by non-tribal people.
With the history of native seed varieties being exploited and patented, do you wonder that they are not particularly inclined to share?
On the other hand, the Navajos are not a particularly insular group. New things are not automatically considered a threat to the culture—-we just assume that as outsiders.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t some mail-order Stark’s Peach DNA from a few decades ago mixed in.
This is an aside to the main topic, but, Huonglongbing disease has been found in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and southern California, and has been decimating the citrus industry. Northern California doesn’t appear to have it yet, so growers there are the only ones not under quarantine, last I read. Four Winds Growers I believe moved their citrus trees indoors.
I assisted today with the harvest of these peaches in northern Utah. I worked alongside Reagan today and got to inquire and understand the project and what work is still being done so that these peaches can be brought back for all to enjoy. If you have a question, just ask and I’ll answer the best I can. Cheers