Both freestone and clingstone peaches (Prunus persica) thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness zones 5 through 8, plus California leads the country in peach production with approximately 770,000 tons produced in 2012. Clingstone peaches have flesh which sticks to the pit, or stone, whereas freestones have seams which pull from the flesh having hardly any resistance. Although both types are available in the market, most commercially canned peaches are of the clingstone variety, and most fresh peaches are of the freestone type. Most new peaches you find have moderate to high acid content, making them ideal for baking applications, and peaches with high sugar content are ideal for out-of-hand eating. The main considerations when selecting a peach are how you handle it and its own maturity level in the time of harvest.
Examine the peaches to make certain about three-quarters of the green ground color has changed to cream or yellow. Even though the number determines the last skin color, all peaches have a green colour which changes from the bottom up as they ripen.
Hold the division holding the peach and grasp the peach with the other hand. Stand on an orchard ladder to grasp divisions which are higher than your reach.
Twist the peach slightly while gently pulling downward from the division. The fruit must release easily from the division without resistance. If you feel resistance when pulling the fruit, then allow a few more days of ripening.
Position the peaches from the choosing container or basket gently to avoid bruising the fruit. Only fill the container or basket two to three layers in a time to stop the weight from the very top from damaging the underside layer of fruit.
Store the peaches in a sealable plastic food-storage bag in a refrigerator set at 32 degrees Fahrenheit for best outcomes. Peaches harvested at the correct stage of adulthood have a shelf life of about two to four weeks.