Tubby Fruits Peach Orchard
                     Where We Focus on Flavor!
Ever wonder why peaches from the store don't taste very good?  The answer is actually pretty simple.  They are picked too early.  It's not that farmers want to pick them early; it's that they are forced to.  If peaches destined for the grocery store were picked ripe, they would be mush by the time they were picked, sorted, packed, trucked to a wholesaler, trucked to a retailer, and put on the shelves (This is also true for blackberries.)  They just spend too much time in the distribution chain to be picked ripe.  Additionally, grocery store peaches need to be picked "rock hard" to withstand the rigors of stacking, trucking, and handling by grocery store personnel and customers.  Peaches picked anywhere close to peak ripeness bruise too easily and will not tolerate modern shipping and handling practices.  So, most wholesale peach growers have to pick them early and green to get a decent looking fruit on the store shelves.  Unfortunately, peaches picked this early won't develop the sugars to make them truly sweet.  Too many times they end up dry and mealy.  Yuck!
Fortunately, we don't have to deal with those issues at Tubby Fruits.  We can leave our peaches on the trees as long as we want.  We don't stack peaches, so we don't have to be as concerned about bruising.  We don't have to truck peaches the way wholesalers do, so we don't have the issues with spoilage.  This enables us to pick our peaches near peak ripeness.  Most of the time the peaches you buy from us are picked that very day!  The difference is huge!
As a comparison, view this historical video recorded 1973.  Unfortunately, wholesale peaches portrayed in this video are not handled much differently today.  Peaches picked anywhere near tree ripe could not tolerate the rigors of conveyor belts shown in this video.  For fresh picked peaches to be delicious, they need not to be so soft as to be able to "push your thumb into them" but neither should they be picked two weeks early, as the peaches in this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3-AzZPH_kk

Boxes of Redhaven peaches from our orchard.
Additionally, from an orchard management perspective, we try to do it differently.  First, we use mostly natural compost materials (leaves, grass, wood chips) to fertilize our trees.  This composting medium forms a healthy humus for the trees which smells rich and fertile.  We also run what's called a "dry" orchard.  This means, except for emergencies, we don't irrigate our fruiting trees and plants.  Irrigating increases yield but frequently leaves the fruit with an artificial "watered down" flavor (not as sweet).  We choose to forgo the extra production from irrigating, in favor of fruit that are dessert quality.
We also harvest with special care unique to our orchard.  As mentioned, we never pick fruit two weeks early, as is common in the industry.  We strive to pick our peaches anywhere from peak ripeness to firm ripe (which is close to peak ripeness, but still crunchy).  Peak ripe peaches are soft, juicy and ready to eat immediately.  Firm ripe peaches need to sit on the counter from 1 to 3 days before they are soft and ready to eat.  Firm ripe peaches allowed to sit on the counter until soft are indistinguishable from peaches picked at peak ripeness.  For pies, cobblers, and canning, peaches still a little firm work best.
Because we pick peaches tree ripe, they require special handling that is simply not practical in the industry.  Tree ripe peaches bruise easily, so we never stack them.  We pick them gently and place them carefully only one layer deep in boxes.  They are then taken inside and (again gently) placed on tables to be sorted and placed one level deep in the smaller boxes in which they are sold.  Through the whole process these peaches are treated as gently as babies☺  Our vine-ripened tomatoes are handled the same way.  We truly strive to sell the very best peaches (and tomatoes) we can.  Since our thornless blackberries are Upick, customers are in control of picking the most cane-ripened berries.
One other thing we do differently is focus on flavor of the variety.  What that means is if a variety doesn't meet our expectation for flavor, we remove it.  Over the years we've removed numerous fruit tree and blackberry varieties.  Why did we tear out perfectly healthy trees and bushes?  The simple reason was that, for the most part, the fruit didn't taste good enough. 
When we have our first harvest of a variety, our family taste tests the fruit.  If they don't think it's outstanding, we pull that variety out and try a different one in its place.  It's very rare for a commercial operation to manage its orchard this way.  It's more common for commercial operations to plant varieties that have the most production, or varieties that are the easiest to grow.  Because we focus on flavor, we do it differently.
Please check our Facebook page for daily ripening information.  You DO NOT have to have a Facebook account to access our Facebook page linked below.  Sometimes we are temporarily sold out of fruit, so a quick check of our Facebook page could potentially save a wasted trip, in case we are temporarily sold out of fresh peaches, blackberries or tomatoes.  Just click on the white "f" in the blue box below.
Mark Angermayer
Owner Tubby Fruits