Pennsylvania has lots of peach orchards, ranking among the nation’s top-10 peach producers. The first harvest begins in mid-July and winds down about the middle of September. The most popular and desired peaches around here are the Chambersburg Peaches, but they are not a variety of peaches. Chambersburg is a town in central Pennsylvania, once the top growers and sellers of peaches in the state. Peaches of the same variety grown in other locales, usually the Red Haven variety, are often referred to as Chambersburg peaches because of their high quality. They certainly are the biggest, sweetest, juiciest peaches you will find, good for eating, canning and baking. If you like peaches, you just can't get enough of them.
I found an interesting article about peaches in Pennsylvania in the July 2011 edition of the Pittsburgh Magazine.
In keeping with good old-fashioned, Pennsylvania tradition, we ordered a bushel of Chambersburg peaches from one of our local farm markets. Pajer Farm Market and Bakery is a family owned and operated business that has been in the area for decades. It's a lovely place to visit. You can't help but come away with baked goods made on the premises, fresh fruits and vegetables, and even colorful flowers from their fields.
|Pajer Farm Market and Bakery, Sarver, Pennsylvania|
We used most of the bushel we bought for canning and freezing, yielding 14 quarts of canned and 8 quarts of frozen peach slices. During the snowy days of winter, we will smack our lips when we open those jars of Chambersburg peaches for lunches or smell the tantalizing aroma of peach crisps and peach pies baking in the oven.
Of course, we had to hold back some of those peaches for eating right away and just couldn't wait to make that first fresh peach pie of the season.
Be sure to check us out at Farm Chick Chit Chat on September 15 2012 when we will be having an Apple Pie Bake-Off. I'll be featuring my Mom's fool-proof pie crust recipe. She taught me how to make amazing flaky pie crusts when I was first married, and Yes, I'll be glad to share her recipe and tips with you!