CSU, Chico News

Peach Picking Time Is Here

Date: 07-30-2015

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

The public is invited to pick their own peaches beginning Monday, Aug. 3, at California State University, Chico’s University Farm and continuing weekdays, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon, until the peaches are gone.

To get an updated status report on the peaches, call the farm’s Peach Hotline at 530-898-4989.

The price for peaches is $1.50 per pound, cash or check only. The farm is located at 311 Nicholas C. Schouten Lane off Hegan Lane in Chico.

Pickers must bring their own containers to take the fruit home. The farm provides buckets for picking only. Certified scales are on site.

The farm staff ask customers to please not pick up or eat fruit that has already fallen to the ground, and to be gentle with the fruit and the trees.

The University Farm’s three varieties of peach ripen in the following order:

  • Hale

Old variety, still one of the best; exceptionally large, round, uniform, freestone fruit is golden-yellow overlaid with carmine; firm, fine-grained, deep yellow flesh is free from stringiness and has delicious flavor; good for home canning and fresh use; outstanding handling and shipping peach.

  • Fay Elberta

Large, yellow-skin freestone with little red blush; has fairly good shape and good flavor; flesh is yellow, fine-grained with good firmness; a shipping and canning variety.

  • O’Henry

Popular fresh market variety; large, freestone fruit, round to irregular shape; skin color is 75 to 100 percent red blush; flesh is yellow, streaked with red; superb flavor; very firm, stores well, and an excellent shipping peach.

The Hales are generally ready to pick when the season opens, as some of the Fay Elbertas. The O’Henrys are the last to ripen. Customers should not squeeze or pick the green fruit, as it will cause bruising.