What a ‘Peachy’ four weeks it’s been with Traprock Region stone fruit making its way around sunny Queensland.
The dedicated families that grow this deliciously healthy stone fruit in Stanthorpe are the Finlay family at Pikes Creek Orchard, the Pratt family at Traprock Orchard and the Ferrier family at Rosemary Hill Orchard.
Some of the family members attended the product launch which was held at Montague, Brisbane Produce Market. It was quite a buzzy morning with many greengrocers who couldn’t resist the incredible flavours, buying boxes of fruit and loading their trucks ready for the stores. The independent fruit shops are located in NSW and Queensland; from Lismore to South East Queensland, Darling Downs, North Queensland, and Far North Queensland even in Darwin, can you believe it?
Some of these fruit shops can be found at Your Local Fruit Shop http://www.yourlocalfruitshop.com.au/find-your-local/
Over the past four weeks, the growers produced a number of white and yellow flesh peach and nectarine varieties. We don’t want to get too technical, however peaches and nectarines have quite a different taste and are categorised as acid and sub-acid varieties. Acid simply means that the peach or nectarine is a little tangier before it ripens fully; they include Spring Princess Peach, Zee Fire Nectarine and the varieties in store right now are Crimson Lady Peach and Rose Bright Nectarine. The latter means that it is almost instantly sweet when you take the first bight and include Snow Angel Peach, Honey May Nectarine, Polar Light Nectarine and Ivory Duchess Peach. All of these amazing varieties were and are still enjoyed by families.
Last Pick of Traprock Region Season
Right now the Traprock Orchard is harvesting the last of the nectarines. There are 1200 Rose Bright Nectarine trees that on average can produce up to 150 pieces of fruit on one tree. It is a beautiful stone fruit variety with deep red skin encasing a bright yellow, succulent flesh. It is delicious on its own but is also great for cooking as it has a slightly firmer flesh than other varieties and holds its shape making it perfect for pies and cakes. One of the Pratt’s family favourites is a Rose Bright Upside Down Cake. This recipe is also tasty using peaches and plums. Recipe to come soon…
Pollination and Plums
Did you know that peaches and nectarines are self-fertile? This means that the flowers own pollen can fertilize itself…interesting stuff! On the other hand, most plums are not self-fertile. The plum varieties Red Beaut and Purple Majesty require flowers from another plum variety with compatible pollen that flowers at the same time. This helps for their flowers to be fertilized and beautiful fruit to form. Many plums also require a couple of years for the wood that bares fruit to form; this is quite different to the peach and nectarine which bares fruit on the previous seasons’ new growth.
So how many plums are harvested on a tree? Well, this usually depends upon the age of the tree, the distance between trees and the height of the tree. Some mature trees can produce around 180 – 500 plums. There are over 20,000 plum trees grown on the 3 orchards. The Red Beaut Plum is in store right now. It has an orange coloured flesh with an intense flavor. In a couple of weeks, we’ll see the Purple Majesty Plum. These are yellow centered with a mild, sweet flavor. Oh so tantalizing! Purple skin and red-fleshed plums contain antioxidants in every bite.
We know what we’ll be eating this season…!!!