Seventeen years ago we moved from the beautiful mountains of Western Maine to the very different world of Eastern Washington. You couldn’t ask for two more opposite locales.
- Western Maine, predominately cold and snowy – we left on April 1st in a snow storm, still wearing our winter jackets.
- Eastern Washington, predominately dry and sunny – we arrived 7 days later to trees covered in leaves, daffodils in bloom, and kids playing baseball. The jackets were ditched along the way.
The first thing I did – plant a peach tree. Now I knew nothing about growing peaches, except that I liked them and finally lived somewhere with a growing season that was longer than 60 days. We went to the local ShopKo, bought a tree and put it in the ground. It grew. And grew. And quickly developed large, beautiful, fuzzy, sun-kissed orbs of deliciousness.
But I still knew next to nothing about growing peaches and didn’t thin the tree enough. So branches broke, even as the tree grew larger. These days most of the tree grows in the neighbor’s yard, along with most of the peaches. I wanted to replace it, but didn’t know what kind of peach tree is was. I think it’s an Elberta, but am not sure, I call them mystery peaches. That’s where Mother Earth News came in. They inspired me to try to grow a new tree from a pit.
I followed the directions found here with fantastic results – so far. The first year they ( I actually had 3 germinate) they were just babies, grown in a corner of the garden. Last year I put all 3 into one large container and let them grow. This is year three and as you can see they are still going strong. Each tree has it’s own container now and they are about 2 1/2 feet tall. For now, I am planning to leave them in the containers and grow them as dwarf trees. With any luck, within a few years they should be providing me – not the neighbors – with a new batch of mystery peaches!